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Catholic Weddings

Catholic and Protestant Traditions

I am recently engaged and wondered if anyone else has a similar situation.  I am Catholic and my fiance is protestant.  We agree on almost everything with our faith.  We currently attend a protestant service regularly and sometimes a Catholic service.  It is important to me to have our marriage recognized by the Catholic church.  We are both students who live in Chicago, but we will most likely have the wedding at home in Ohio.  My home church does not have a center aisle and rarely has weddings.  I am not a huge fan or the preist, but I do enjoy the deacons.  My fiance's home church is nice and we know the pastor decently well.  We are also considering havign a pastor we are close to in Chicago marry us. 
I know that I need to get  in contact with my home church to talk to them, but I wondered if anyone had a similar situation.  I roughly know the rules of Catholic weddings.  I think it would be great to be able to get married at my fiance's home church or somewhere else, to have the pastor from Chicago marry us (which I do know he would travel, that isn't an issue), and to go through PreCana with the Catholic church to make the marriage valid.  Is this possible without a separate ceremony for the Catholic part?
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Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions

  • You cannot have 2 religious ceremonies. A Catholic is bound to canonical form in receiving their sacraments.... occasionally there are dispensations from form granted, but it must be a reason more than "the church doesn't have a center aisle". Usually they are given when the non-Catholic's parent is a pastor at a church or something like that.

    Since your FI is protestant, it is likely you wouldn't have a mass at your wedding (although possible if you wanted to), so a deacon can witness the marriage, and no priest is needed for that.

    I'm glad it is important to you to have the marriage recognized by the church. When doing so, there are serious promises you have to make, including raising the children Catholic. I really really encourage you to fulfill your Sunday obligation every week in attending mass. 


  • I understand those obligations... I simply posted for adviceor if anyone was in a similar situation not for judgement. Its much more than the church not having a center aisle that would make us not get married there, that was an example of one reason why many people chose to not get married there. And I am good friends with a woman who did have two religious ceremonies. I would rather not have two religious ceremonies though.
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  • Hello and welcome! Congrats on your engagement!

    agape is right - the Catholic church does not permit 2 religious ceremonies, so the woman you know that did this likely didn't let her priest in on the 2nd ceremony bc a priest would not allow it. I also know a couple that had 2 religious ceremonies - I'm pretty sure their priest didn't know about the 2nd one.

    As far as having your marriage recognized as a valid Catholic marriage, you will need to have a Catholic ceremony, in a Catholic Church. There are very rare instances which will allow you to be married in a Christian, non-Catholic church. Like agape said, this is typically only allowed if you have a family member that is an officiant in that church that you would like to perform the ceremony. You would need your priest to approve this and file the proper paperwork.

    You can also be married in a different Catholic Church, with a different priest officiating. We were not married in our home parish. We also didn't use the priest at the parish where we were married, we brought another priest in for the ceremony. Do you or your family have ties to another parish? I would look into that.

    If you are married in the Protestant church, without proper dispensation, you will have married "invalidly" according to the Catholic Church and you would be forbidden from receiving sacraments (such as communion) in the future. In many ways, it is much "simpler" to be married in the Catholic church, than to try and pull-off a non-Catholic ceremony and still have the marriage recognized as a valid Catholic marriage.

    Also - agape was NOT being judgmental, she was giving you important information to HELP you. Her intentions are for YOUR own good. I know it is sometimes harsh to hear it when we're given advice, but please do not accuse her of something she didn't do. That's not fair.
  • We currently attend a protestant service regularly and sometimes a Catholic service.

    why arent you attending a catholic church on a regular basis?

    you really cant just walk in to a catholic church and get your marriage recognized.  they will ask questions abotu your intent on living hte faith and raising your children in the faith.  i can guarantee you a priest is going to have reservations marrying someone in the church who says they attend a protestant church regularly. 

    do you find you identify better with the protestant church?  if so, and that's the church youd rather attend, then you shoudl get married in that faith and convert over.  are you hoping to have your marriage recognized more to appease, perhaps, your catholic family? 
  • There was no judgement in my post. Here is the canon since you don't believe me:

    1127
    §3. It is forbidden to have another religious celebration of the same marriage to give or renew matrimonial consent before or after the canonical celebration according to the norm of §1. Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the Catholic who is assisting and a non-Catholic minister together, using their own rites, ask for the consent of the parties.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    We currently attend a protestant service regularly and sometimes a Catholic service. why arent you attending a catholic church on a regular basis? you really cant just walk in to a catholic church and get your marriage recognized.  they will ask questions abotu your intent on living hte faith and raising your children in the faith.  i can guarantee you a priest is going to have reservations marrying someone in the church who says they attend a protestant church regularly.  do you find you identify better with the protestant church?  if so, and that's the church youd rather attend, then you shoudl get married in that faith and convert over.  are you hoping to have your marriage recognized more to appease, perhaps, your catholic family? 
    Posted by Calypso1977
    I was wondering the same thing.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you attending a Protestant church, if that fits your faith better, then great!  What you should do is really think about what you want for the rest of your life.  If you don't intend on regularly attending Catholic mass or raising your children Catholic, then a Catholic ceremony is not the way to go.  Your FI doesn't have to convert for this to be valid by the way.  But when you get married in the Catholic church, you're more or less marrying the Catholic church too.  You are commiting yourself to live a life based on its faith and its teachings.  You should never base your marriage in a church you cannot attend for the rest of your life (Church being denomination, not the actualy physical church).
  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions : I was wondering the same thing.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you attending a Protestant church, if that fits your faith better, then great!  What you should do is really think about what you want for the rest of your life.  If you don't intend on regularly attending Catholic mass or raising your children Catholic, then a Catholic ceremony is not the way to go.  Your FI doesn't have to convert for this to be valid by the way.  But when you get married in the Catholic church, you're more or less marrying the Catholic church too.  You are commiting yourself to live a life based on its faith and its teachings.  You should never base your marriage in a church you cannot attend for the rest of your life (Church being denomination, not the actualy physical church).
    Posted by chelseamb11

    I agree with this
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  • I'm not going to go as far as saying there is "absolutely nothing wrong" with someone attending a protestant church if they are Catholic.

    Catholics believe we have the fullness of truth. That's not a good thing when people reject it.
  • Hi-

    I'm totally a random lurker, but I'm Catholic and got married in Chicago.  I promise you, you're not the only one in this situation.

    Call the Archdioces's Family Ministry.  You can try to speak to Elsie Radtke.  I've met her before, and she's super nice and understanding.  I'm sure she can advise you and help answer your questions.
  • Thank you for the information.  I knew we would need to talk to someone but I just didn't know where to start.
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  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    I'm not going to go as far as saying there is "absolutely nothing wrong" with someone attending a protestant church if they are Catholic. Catholics believe we have the fullness of truth. That's not a good thing when people reject it.
    Posted by agapecarrie
    I meant if she feels like she identifies more with Protestant, there is nothing wrong with her going there and no longer being Catholic.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions : I meant if she feels like she identifies more with Protestant, there is nothing wrong with her going there and no longer being Catholic.
    Posted by chelseamb11
    Actually, it's kind of a big deal to deliberately cut yourself off from the fullness of Truth found in the Catholic Church. 

    As the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium says, (and quoted in the catechism, 846,) 
    "Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."
    It goes on to say, "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart , and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation."

    Therefore, the proper answer to someone who may be considering leaving the Catholic Church is NOT "do whatever feels right," or something like that. It seems to me that the Church would have us challenge someone in this position as to how hard are they "seeking God" with all their heart, and trying to study/discern what the Church actually teaches and how that relates to what they believe.

    I would be amazed if there are more than 100 people in the whole world who have left the Church (or consider themselves "ex-Catholics") who have spent more time researching the Church then they do watching TV or on the internet. 

    The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it more eloquently, "There are not even 100 people in this country who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they think the Catholic Church to be."

    OP, sorry for this bit of a threadjack, since I know it's not exactly what you were asking about, but I hope at the minimum it challenges you to examine more about what you really believe, and more importantly, why, and even to spend some serious time and energy examining what the Church teaches and what importance you want that to play in your life, since in all honesty, attending a Catholic Church "some of the time" really doesn't cut it, according to the Church. (It's kind of an "all or nothing" deal.) Don't rely on what you were taught growing up, since the vast majority of Catholics of our generation were extremely under-catechized while growing up, and there comes a point when we need to take our faith into our own hands, and take some serious initiative.
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  • As you said that was not what I originally posted about.  And considering you do not know me I do not take offense.  However, I do not feel that you assuming that I have not already taken the time or that I not currently taking the time to do those things is extremely unfair. 
    And I know many people who have left the church and took years and so much prayer and study to decide to do so.  I would venture to say there are much more than 100 people who have made that decision after much study and prayer.  I would not say that anyone I know that has left hates the Catholic church though.  They actually have a strong appreciation for it.  They just disagree with some of the doctrines. 
    And as far as your all or nothign comment, there is a lot more to faith than just the act of going to church... I don't at all consider myself only half or kinda a Christian.  On the contrary I am very strong in my faith, even if I do not have the time to make it to a service every week.  I am a full time student and work 20+ hours a week.  there are sundays when I attend 3 different services and sundays where I do not attend 1.  I find importance in attending a service, but that is not the only aspect that determines my faith. 
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  • but the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith. It is an obligation to participate in mass every Sunday. The church is a big puzzle and we are a piece...and when we miss, we are a black hole in the puzzle missing and letting down the other 1 billion Catholics. For Catholics, it isn't just "going to church". It is participating in the time that heaven meets earth, and we are joined with the rest of the church and with God. The mass IS what defines Catholics.

    When there is unavoidable work or illness that prevents one from attending mass, then there is no obligation. Other than that, we are obliged to the rest of the church and to God to attend mass.

    You said "We currently attend a protestant service regularly and sometimes a Catholic service"   This is not the way the church works. It is a serious sin to miss mass.
  • Well you don't know anything about me and I've said all that I will.  I came here seeking advice with questions regarding a wedding, not about my personal faith.  I will stick to other boards from now on, considering only about 2 posts talk about what I was asking.  All Christians are called to love others and not to judge them, that includes with their faith.  Just a thought.
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  • WHOA...there was absolutely NO judgement in what I said.

    I never judged your soul. I stated a fact, what the church believes. Telling a person that steals that "stealing is wrong" is NOT judging them. Telling someone that "murder is wrong" is not judging.

    In fact, I AM loving you by telling you what the church believes. It would be very unloving of me to let you keep thinking the church thought something it didn't.

    Would I be loving if I saw a child fall into dirt and not help her up and help clean her up?

    There's my thought.

  • mk - agape and lala are trying to help. They wouldn't bother telling you these things if they didn't care. They want to be sure you understand the consequences. They have both been amazing voices on this board and have helped me immensely with my faith. I know it's hard to hear something that sounds critical and not get defensive, but I implore you to look at their intent.

    Judging actions is completely acceptable and a loving thing to do. It is often very difficult to give someone advice that they don't want to hear. Especially when you know they are likely going to hate you for it, or call you judgmental.

    I hope you stick around here because it is a great group of ladies that are helpful and supportive of each other and the faith.
  • lalaith50lalaith50
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    member
    edited January 2012
    fighting powers unseen (Eph. 6:12)... the "dictatorship of relativism."
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  • chelseamb11chelseamb11
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited January 2012
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions : Actually, it's kind of a big deal to deliberately cut yourself off from the fullness of Truth found in the Catholic Church.  As the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium says, (and quoted in the catechism, 846,)  "Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. " It goes on to say, "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart  , and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation." Therefore, the proper answer to someone who may be considering leaving the Catholic Church is NOT "do whatever feels right," or something like that. It seems to me that the Church would have us challenge someone in this position as to how hard are they "seeking God" with all their heart, and trying to study/discern what the Church actually teaches and how that relates to what they believe. I would be amazed if there are more than 100 people in the whole world who have left the Church (or consider themselves "ex-Catholics") who have spent more time researching the Church then they do watching TV or on the internet.  The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it more eloquently, "There are not even 100 people in this country who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they think  the Catholic Church to be." OP, sorry for this bit of a threadjack, since I know it's not exactly what you were asking about, but I hope at the minimum it challenges you to examine more about what you really  believe, and more importantly, why, and even to spend some serious time and energy examining what the Church teaches and what importance you want that to play in your life, since in all honesty, attending a Catholic Church "some of the time" really doesn't cut it, according to the Church. (It's kind of an "all or nothing" deal.) Don't rely on what you were taught growing up, since the vast majority of Catholics of our generation were extremely under-catechized while growing up, and there comes a point when we need to take our faith into our own hands, and take some serious initiative.
    Posted by lalaith50
    I completely get this but I disagree about her leaving.  If her beliefs don't align with the Catholic Church and she doesn't feel at home there, I think it's better to go regularly to a protestant church that you feel good in than to go rarely to a Catholic Church that you don't agree with. 

    My parents must be 2 of those 100 then.  They left the Catholic church (and took me and my brothers with them) when I was 12.  I came back to the Church when FI and I started dating and realized it was where I needed to call home.  I was confirmed at Easter Vigil last spring.

    However, as much as we believe that our way is the Truth, we can't force that on anyone.  If she feels more comfortable at a protestant church, I don't see the big deal.  I think it's horrible (and hypocritical) to attend a church every week that you don't even believe in.

    ETA: I'm all for showing someone the Truth and the Light.  But the minute you say "NO YOU CAN'T GO. WE ARE RIGHT" is when people get really defensive and shut down completely rather than being opening to figuring out what is right.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited January 2012
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions : I completely get this but I disagree about her leaving.  If her beliefs don't align with the Catholic Church and she doesn't feel at home there, I think it's better to go regularly to a protestant church that you feel good in than to go rarely to a Catholic Church that you don't agree with.  My parents must be 2 of those 100 then.  They left the Catholic church (and took me and my brothers with them) when I was 12.  I came back to the Church when FI and I started dating and realized it was where I needed to call home.  I was confirmed at Easter Vigil last spring. However, as much as we believe that our way is the Truth, we can't force that on anyone.  If she feels more comfortable at a protestant church, I don't see the big deal.  I think it's horrible (and hypocritical) to attend a church every week that you don't even believe in. ETA: I'm all for showing someone the Truth and the Light.  But the minute you say "NO YOU CAN'T GO. WE ARE RIGHT" is when people get really defensive and shut down completely rather than being opening to figuring out what is right.
    Posted by chelseamb11

    It isn't "either/or".   We also believe that there is infinite grace at the mass. By attending alone, believing or non-believing, God can work in the mass. 

    The problem I have is the statement "there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to another church". That statement just isn't true. 

    and no one said "no you can't go".

    And in my experience, it NEVER fails, when someone asks me about a church teaching they think they disagree with and I explain it to them, they realize that they really didn't understand the teaching to begin with. This happens 100% of the time.



  • I do not disagree that there may be a time when people need to leave, but my point is that I know sure that as Catholics we are called to gently remind people in such a situation of the gravity of that decision, and that it should not be taken lightly, nor done out of convenience or comfort. (I myself do not "like" certain Catholic teachings. But I know they are true, and when I take the time to try and understand them, they are hard to argue with.)
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  • 100% of the time?  You must be around a lot of people that don't study the church teachings very much.
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  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    100% of the time?  You must be around a lot of people that don't study the church teachings very much.
    Posted by mkmistretta
    That doesn't make sense in response to what I'm saying.

    My 100% comment is in regard that EVERY time someone thinks they disagree with something, they trully don't understand it. Because when explained in light of the rest of the church teachings, and the fact that you can't have one teaching without the other, because its a web woven together, it all falls into place and nothing else makes sense. Their disagreement is actually with something that is not church teaching.

    A good book is called "Rome sweet home" by scott hahn. All of his disagreements started falling apart when one went. He studied his way into the church because it was the truth.

    The quote earlier said it eloquently. There are less than 100 people who actually hate the church for what it is. All the disagreements are with what people think the church teaches, not what she actually does.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    100% of the time?  You must be around a lot of people that don't study the church teachings very much.
    Posted by mkmistretta
    Yeah, unfortunately most of the "Catholics" I know do NOT know or understand the real doctrines. They hear what others say, and make an assumption that they are correct. Many that have posted here in the past have been the same way.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    100% of the time?  You must be around a lot of people that don't study the church teachings very much.
    Posted by mkmistretta
    Considering the number of Catholics who only attend mass at Christmas and Easter, are you actually surprised that one might be surrounded by people who don't study church teachings?
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  • Catholics recognize marriages from other faiths as real marriages. For example, if you get married in a Protestant church and decide to end the marriage, you would have to go through the process of annulment to be able to get re-married in the Catholic Church. If you have a civil ceremony and divorce, the Catholic Church doesn't recognize that marriage so there's no need for an annulment.

    It was years ago, but I do remember there being a Priest and a Rabbi at a family wedding where the groom was Jewish and the bride was Catholic. I'm not sure about this rule that people have brought up and if the rule is different for Judaism than a different branch of Christianity.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions:
    In Response to Re: Catholic and Protestant Traditions :   The Church "recognizes" all marriages. Some are valid Catholic marriages, and some are not.
    Posted by Riss91
    This is a bit misleading...

    The church recognizes a marriage that 2 people enter into validly...non-baptized and baptized. They don't have to be Catholic in order to be valid. 

    There really isn't such a thing as a "valid Catholic" marriage. 2 protestants can marry validly and it is a sacrament. 


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