Post # 1
I posted a long time ago about this issue. I was raised Catholic, my Fiance non denom Christian. We’ve been attending a Presby church. Since I was raised Catholic, I want to lay flowers at Mary and kneel in front of a statue of Mary to pray to God to bring me strength when I am a mother one day and to look at Mary as a role model. I then want to give flowers to my mother and FI’s mother to thank them.
In the past, I cried because I wanted Fiance to share that moment with me. But I took everyone’s advice and realized that I shouldn’t expect him to do something he doesn’t believe in or is not comfortable with. Well, I decided that this is very meaningful to me. I really want to incorporate this into my ceremony. I decided that instead of my Fiance going with me, I would take my mom. It would seriously make her so happy. It would make me so happy to share that beautiful moment with my mom! It’s just something that I REALLY NEED and WANT to incorporate. NO LONGER NEGOTIABLE.
Well, Fiance says no. He doesn’t want a statue of Mary at HIS ceremony. He still doesn’t get it. Doesn’t understand. Doesn’t find it necessary. It’s not in the bible so he doesn’t believe it. WTF?! There’s a thousand things in the bible that he doesn’t believe (slavery, treatment of women, eating shellfish, etc whatever). And quite frankly, I’m not asking him to change his beliefs! I’m not asking him to do ANYTHING except respect what is meaningful to ME, even though HE doesn’t understand it. I would NEVER try to take something away from him and his mom that is special for him, even though I didn’t understand it or didn’t “get it”.
We share the SAME core religious beliefs. Adding this to the ceremony doesn’t change anything. I really don’t understand and don’t know how else to make him understand or respect my own sets of beliefs. I really feel like he’s being so selfish!
And I really don’t want to get into a discussion about praying to mary. I really don’t. There is one God, but many different ways to worship. I’m not so arrogant to believe that my way is the one and ONLY right way. There are so many different beliefs and translations from the bible and I don’t think it’s necessary to go into any philosophical discussions because that would be an endless argument.
I just need to know how to deal with this. So frustrated!
Post # 3
Are you getting married in a secular location or at a specific church?
Post # 4
At a non denom church that is letting us bring in our own clergy and set it up any way we want…
Post # 5
Have you talked to the clergy doing the ceremony and the reps from the church itself? That should be your first step, as you should know if they will even allow it for sure.
Post # 6
I’m mistaken- it’s not a non denom church, it’s Methodist, so they do have other statues of Mary around.
We’re meeting with our Pastor on Sunday for premarital counseling. He’s really laid back and I think he would be ok with it. We’ll see what he says.
I just get so frustrated because I feel like my Fiance is trying to control me! Why can’t he respect my beliefs if they don ‘t impact the ones we share? It’s ok to have different opinions and interpretations. We are two separate beings that share a common belief. We are not the same person and we weren’t raised the same way! Why can’t he respect that?
Post # 7
I’m a nd Christian that typically would go to a presby church (that is also where I was baptized as an adult) but I’m getting married in the catholic church because it was really important to my fiancÃ© & his family. So it sounds like I might be in similar shoes to your fiancÃ© so I can say that most non catholic churches “frown” upon the relationship that Catholics have with Mary & the saints. At least that was the impression i was given in the churches i attended. But I will say after going to our “engaged encounter” weekend through the catholic church I got the opportunity to learn a lot more about the church & why some things are done – in fact it was the priests answer to someones question about praying to Mary & saints that really struck a cord with me – he basically said it’s like asking the very close friends of Jesus to help put a good word in for you to Jesus. In the end it’s still asking Jesus but using his nearest & dearest to help getting your request through. So I’m sure I didn’t just explain it as well as the priest did but what I’m trying to get at is sometimes assumptions are made & maybe you guys can ask the priest to explain the meaning behind it & your fiancÃ© might become more comfortable. I also highly recommend the engaged encounter – it really helped some of my concerns with getting married in the church & made me realize some things I believe is due to the way they were explained to me in the past which may or may not be true. Good luck
Post # 8
This is something that you should go over in pre maritual counciling. Being a Protestant myself who used to be a Catholic and went to Catholic school, I see where you both are coming from. I really think that both of you are not really on the same page religously as you might think. I really think that you may need a professional to help you to either find the middle ground, or for one of you to retreat from that belief. Sorry, but I really think that is the best way.
Post # 9
Thanks bees. Yes, I believe a lot of it is misconceptions and lies that his anti Catholic Protestant Scottish grandmother instilled into his mother who then instilled into him. She thinks all Catholics are going to hell and need to be saved. What an insult!
I tried to explain it the way you did, SweetBrandy, but he still doesn’t get it.
I find it funny that there are multicultural and multi belief ceremonies ALL the time. But my Fiance is refusing to have a tiny meaningful element of Catholicm in the ceremony. Really grinds me right now!
This is our main conflict. We’ll see what happens in counseling.
*heavy sigh* 🙁
Post # 10
@MissTaken: I see both of your points, but even as someone who was raised Catholic I certainly hope you are not referring to it as ‘misconception and lies’ to your Fiance…if so then I can see why is getting so defensive over this issue and saying no. Problem is the wedding should represent both of your beliefs, which it sounds like they’re very similar so it seems to make sense to have the ceremony focus on your beliefs in common rather than the ones that separate you and would cause him to have tension and something he disagrees with at his wedding. But it really doesn’t seem like either of you are so willing to compromise here – getting angry and telling him this is not negotiable is just as bad as what he is doing. You can’t ask him to be open minded if you’re not either.
And I seem to recall in your last post that there were a LOT of issues with you not going to a Catholic church or identifying yourself with Catholicism anymore but wanting to have a priest there, have communion, etc. So it really doesn’t sound like this is about one thing. How did you two end up resolving the other things, like whether or not you will have a priest there for a blessing? He didn’t want that either, but if he said okay to that and now you’re pushing for ave maria also, I can see why he’d be upset and hardly think you can call him selfish. But if he has shot down everything and not given you an inch of consideration, then I understand why you’re angry.
And I see it’s now a Methodist church? Not Presbyterian like before? I guess I’m just confused and could use some background info on what has happened between your last religious post and this one, parts of them seem to contradict eachother so I’m a bit confused.
Post # 11
@Wonderstruck: I agree. Couldn’t have said it better.
I know it can be really difficult when these kinds of differences cause tension, but try not to resent your Fiance for standing up for his own beliefs. You two are a team! Try not to point the finger at him, calling him selfish and thinking his beliefs are misconceptions and lies. That’s pretty severe.
Pray together about this 🙂 I will also keep you in my prayers too.
Post # 12
Does this have to be part of the ceremony or is it something that you could do at a different time?
I can see how this is meaningful to you, but it does seem a little strange (to me) to have part of the ceremony with just you and your mom, especially when it is about becoming a mother and does not directly relate to the wedding itself.
It also sounds like your FH might be a little uncomfortable about including something that is not part of his beliefs, is one of the biggest differences between Catholic and protestant beliefs, and does not directly involve him. I might save the future mother/flowers for Mary & prayers to when you area closer to having kids or get pregnant?
Post # 13
I am slightly confused… where I’m from, a Methodist church would not allow any statues inside the church, as they are viewed as idolotrous. In fact, this was a pretty central idea in my non-denominational, strongly Methodist influenced upbringing. We weren’t even allowed crucifixes… crosses only. So I would make triply sure with your church that this is definitely OK first of all!
You both clearly feel strongly about this issue… I have similar ones (but the issues for me are reversed… Fiance is Catholic), some of which have been resolved by “thinking outside the box” a little, and taking on unbiased religious advice from people from both sides. The more opinions the better, but you will BOTH have to be a little flexible on this. You could also consider bargaining if you don’t think it’s as important to him as it is to you… eg “you wanted X and I didn’t, but if you will let me do this then you can make all the decisions regarding Y and Z”.
If he is inflexible… could you perform the ceremony to Mary before the wedding or after, but not as a part of the marriage service? I am seriously considering doing that with the communion… arranging it so that Catholics may take communion before or after, but not during, as that would exclude both myself and my family (we are marrying in a Catholic church).
On a different note, I was told that marriages have to be performed by Catholic priests in order to be considered valid in Catholicism… are you having a priest come to this church, then? How does that work, out of curiosity?
Post # 14
Mary is not only big in Catholic belief. I’m an Eastern Orthodox and Mary is HUGE in our religion as well. We pray to Mary pretty much equally as we pray to God (Jesus is not really someone we pray to, I think we see him as more human than other denominations do), and if you’re a woman you can pray to Mary even more.
I think this is not about whether or not the church will allow it. Yes, talk to the pastor, figure that out, of course that’s important. But what the OP seems to be worried about is that her Fiance is not respecting her wishes. I know that he was raised a bit anti-catholic but he needs to accept you as you are and respect your beliefs. I think you should sit him down nicely and just tell him calmly that this is very important to you, that despite the fact that this is your ceremony together, you won’t be happy with it unless you do that ritual, and that it’s important for the two of you to respect and accept each other even though you may not share in your beliefs. Also, make sure you bring it up in your counseling, that will help a lot! Good luck!
Post # 15
I’ve seen plenty of wedding ceremonies irl and on blogs which incorporate two very different faiths with no problems. It’s funny how the more alike the two beliefs are, the more they don’t get along with each other, lol.
I really do not see why you shouldn’t be able to encorporate this in to your ceremony. You’re not making anyone who isn’t Catholic pray to mary. I think your Fiance is being unreasonable. I’m protestant, so I can see why your Fiance would never want to put flowers at a statue of mary and even why he may be uncomfortable with the whole thing, but he has to realize now that he is marrying a catholic, he can’t expect you to just change or hide your beliefs, and he needs to respect your faith as he expects you to respect his.
Post # 16
@courtney1188: I agree
This ceremony is supposed to be for the TWO of you. You see him as being selfish and disrespectful for not “allowing” you to do this, but he probably sees you in the same light when you say that it is non-negotiable.
Hopefully counselling can give both of you a bit more insight into each others point of view.