Post # 1
I am new to this and I know there are several threads regarding this topic already. However, I am starting a new one because my question is different.
My fiancé and I are both Catholics. Both our families are Catholics and both our parents were married in the Church. (My family is from Brazil – VERY Catholic.) Both of us were Baptized, but neither participated in Confirmation because our parents did not impose upon us. I am much more religious than my other half and attend mass at least one a month. (I know – it is not that often. But it is the truth). He attends only twice a year.
We both love God, believe in Jesus, and pray before we go to bed.
Given all of this… we decided that getting married in the Church was not appropriate for us. We are having an outdoor ceremony on the ocean-front in San Diego next May.
What are our options for having at least a Catholic blessing at our ceremony? Would a Catholic Deacon marry us without recognition from the Vatican? Would a Deacon do a blessing at the ceremony? Would a Priest bless our wedding bands prior if we complete pre-cana?
Or is any source of Catholic blessing out of question?
Thanks for your help!
The Future Mrs. Best
Post # 3
Hi- this is something that you would have to ask your local priest. In my experience, some priests are more flexible than others meaning they will perform a ceremony outside and some priests will not.
However, since neither of you are confirmed, I don’t think that technically makes you full-Catholics in the eyes of the church. You’d have to be comfirmed (which happens at Easter usually so next Easter for you).
In the Catholic church, marriage is a sacrament so I don’t know if they would do something for you without being confirmed and/or pre-cana.
The best advice I can give you is to talk to your local church and explain your situation.
Post # 4
We really wanted to get married outside but we also wanted a Catholic wedding because we wanted the Sacrament. We were met with some pretty tough resistance by our parish and the others we looked into. We were basically presented with two options, get married before the actual wedding in a Catholic ceremony or do a Convalidation later on (something I wasn’t too keen on because really we were being deceptive). We decided on the wedding before – we got a special dispensation and had the Catholic Marriage portion preformed the day before the “wedding” – we just had our witnesses and the priest, then we got married the next day and did the big hooplah. I’m of the personal opinion that a marriage and wedding are two different things, the Catholic sacrament part was the marriage portion and for us and the outside wedding was the party portion we did for our family and friends.
I know people will tell you that it depends on the priest but I felt like I was very presistent and did a lot of research trying for a Catholic outside wedding and no Bishop or Archbishop would assist. We looked in different STATES even.
Post # 5
I’m pretty sure there isn’t a one size fits all answer to your question, unfortunately. Like the first poster responded, it really is dependent upon your priest, or a priest that you select to do your ceremony. There are some priests who are willing to be more premissive and relaxed about ceremonies outside, while others are very stringent that a Catholic mass must happen in a Catholic church.
I think you’ll find plenty of stories on here with both outcomes. Best advice is to check with your priest if you have one in mind, or start calling around if not.
Post # 6
You can find ex-priests that will perform your wedding in any venue you wish, but it would be very difficult to find an actual priest or deacon that will perform anything outdoors that is not on sacred catholic ground. At least not in my area…believe me…I tried.
I think your best bet is to have the union blessed after the fact. It’s not -supposed- to be that way, and you are not supposed to marry in a non-catholic way that circumvents the sacrament entirely, to be blessed later…yet it happens all the time.
Post # 7
Yeah, just to reiterate what PPs have said. You can’t have a Catholic ceremony without Precana and at least one of you has to have had all your sacraments.
A deacon won’t marry you outside. He has to follow the rules of the parish he is a decon for.
You can have an outdoor ceremony and get it convalidated in church after. A friend of mine and her husband wanted to have an outdoor ceremony (both of them Catholic) so they had an ex-priest presiding who did the Catholic rituals for a wedding ceremony, but it’s not documented by the Church/blessed by the Vatican.
I guess you have to prioritize. (not judging either way) If you want your marriage ceremony to be a Sacrament it has to happen in church by a priest or a Deacon.
Post # 8
It’s a tough spot because outdoor weddings can be beautiful. If it helps, the Church usually requires weddings in a sacred place because a marriage ceremony is such a sacred special thing. There are circumstances where an outside wedding would be OK – but it would have to be a situation like all the churches in town got blown to rubble the day before the wedding. Not just a personal choice.
I think what most people do if they really want outside, is have the marraige convalidated, where you have the Church bless and accept the civil marriage at a later date. Or people sometimes do a small Catholic ceremony beforeheand and the big outdoor “wedding” later. Sometimes on the same day!
Not being confirmed is not technically an impediment to marriage… canon law says a couple should get confirmed before marriage, “If they can do so without serious inconvenience.” That sort of leaves what qualifies as “serious incovenience”, up to interpretation. Being confirmed is ideal of course.
One important thing to keep in mind, if you don’t have the Catholic ceremony or have the marriage convalidated, you won’t be allowed to receive Holy Communion at Mass any more, or be chosen as a godmother – Until the marriage is convalidated, then you’re all good again.
Post # 9
You sound fairly religious and say you consider yourself Catholic, I’m not clear on why you feel it’s not appropriate for you to get married in the church? Do you just want an outside ceremony? Or do you feel you aren’t religious enough to have a Catholic wedding in good conscience?
My priest told us that the church no longer requires confirmation in order to be married. Not an issue for us, but thought I’d mention it.
Post # 10
@BestToBe: You can have a special blessing. I know people who divorced and remarried and asked for a special blessing from a Franciscan friar. I know the Church allows this. Good luck anyway!!
Post # 11
To be honest, you sound like you’re more devout than many Catholics that I know. Have you thought about why you don’t want a church wedding? You don’t have to be confirmed – or agree with everything the church teaches – to have a church wedding. In any case, I would discuss options first of all with the priest of the parish that you attend.It may be that something is possible but I suspect they would want you to have a marriage service in the church, followed by whatever ceremony you want outside. A garden wedding will be much harder to get a priest to perform. But you may strike it lucky! Or if you consider yourself to be Christian but not Catholic, why not approach another church with the garden idea? We’re having a ceremony led by the Anglicans (Episcopalian) after our (lesbian) civil partnership because they were ok with it and the Catholics weren’t. Doesn’t make me any less Catholic.
Post # 12
To have a wedding mass, you both must have received all of your sacraments. To have a scripture services (which is still the sacrament) one person in the couple must have received all the sacraments. Since neither of you have been confirmed even if you choose to have your ceremeony in a church you may not be able to have the sacrament. My recommendation is for you to speak to your local priest to get advice. I got confirmed last spring (I’ve been a catholic most of my life – but had never gone through the confirmation process), because I knew I wanted a full wedding mass for our wedding.
Post # 13
@luckyduckinlove: To have a wedding mass, you both must have received all of your sacraments.
a) Only one person needs to be Catholic (baptized, 1st communion, confirmed) to get married, even with a full Mass. This is dependent on the parish– which surprises me, I can’t seem to find any universal rule anywhere but definitely know non-Catholics can have a full Mass, they just don’t participate in the Eucharist.
b) There are very few people who ever get all the sacraments– “holy orders” (becoming ordained as a priest) is a sacrament.
Additionally, OP, any priest who would do a ceremony outside isn’t following Catholic orders and therefore wouldn’t be any more legitimate than having a Methodist priest blessing your rings (just arbitrarily picking a trinitarian denomination). A Catholic wedding takes place in the church, that’s the bottom line. I’m sure you could ask your parish to pray for your marriage or something along those lines? But I don’t think anyone with a position of authority in a church would be very willing to show support for an outdoor, secular wedding. Obviously no one would wish anything negative on your marriage, but it’s just not a sacrament.
You and/or your spouse could go through RCIA to get your confirmation as an adult– if your faith is important to you, it might be worth looking into the process of getting married in the Catholic church.
Post # 14
You should read “Catechism of the Catholic Church” by Pope Benedict himself. There you should find the most accurate information about marriage and Catholic wedding. Anyway if you want a real Catholic wedding you must be baptised and confirmed, that’s for sure.
Post # 15
@tatina: The Catechism specifically on marriage is short– you’re right that one person should be baptised and confirmed, but technically OP’s Fiance could be the one to do that.
You might be especially interested in the “Mixed Marriages and Disparity of Cult” section– be sure to read all the details because it doesn’t prohibit anyone from getting married, however, it does say that the Catholic spouse is to be praying for the non-Catholic spouse to eventually convert. So technically, if you were the one getting confirmed, you would be praying for your spouse to become more fully Catholic (or some sort of Christian) and would be the one promising to raise the kids Catholic.