Catholic Weddings

Random question

So, here is a random question.

Both my fiance and I were raised Catholic and have had all of our sacraments, etc.   We've both fallen away from the church in probably the past 10 years or so (as in, we do not have a home church, we don't attend Mass regularly, etc)

In such, we have chosen to have a non-Catholic wedding.  I don't think it would be right to pull the 'we were raised Catholic' card and "use" a church for a Catholic church wedding since we are not active, practicing Catholics at this time. 

But...recent conversations here on TK have me a bit perplexed.

In the future, I have every intention of re-joining a Catholic church.  Especially when it would come to the point of having children and raising children.  I would want my children to be raised Catholic, I would want to attend Mass weekly, etc.  I would want my children to be baptized, attend mass, attend CCD classes, etc.  This is something both my fiance and I agree upon.   We've just not been good at being good, practicing Catholics ourselves and don't want to "use" some random church at this point for our wedding (we don't even have a church at this point...we'd need to eventually find one once we move to our new house next year)

If we don't get married in the Catholic church because we are not current practicing members...will we be unable to do these things when we ARE ready to be active members of a church again?
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Re: Random question

  • monkeysipmonkeysip
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited July 2013
    So, here is a random question.

    Both my fiance and I were raised Catholic and have had all of our sacraments, etc.   We've both fallen away from the church in probably the past 10 years or so (as in, we do not have a home church, we don't attend Mass regularly, etc)

    In such, we have chosen to have a non-Catholic wedding.  I don't think it would be right to pull the 'we were raised Catholic' card and "use" a church for a Catholic church wedding since we are not active, practicing Catholics at this time. 

    But...recent conversations here on TK have me a bit perplexed.

    In the future, I have every intention of re-joining a Catholic church.  Especially when it would come to the point of having children and raising children.  I would want my children to be raised Catholic, I would want to attend Mass weekly, etc.  I would want my children to be baptized, attend mass, attend CCD classes, etc.  This is something both my fiance and I agree upon.   We've just not been good at being good, practicing Catholics ourselves and don't want to "use" some random church at this point for our wedding (we don't even have a church at this point...we'd need to eventually find one once we move to our new house next year)

    If we don't get married in the Catholic church because we are not current practicing members...will we be unable to do these things when we ARE ready to be active members of a church again?
    I have to admit, I'm really confused by this.  You want to EVENTUALLY be a practicing Catholic, but you don't want to be one now?  I mean, that's what it comes down to, right?  There's nothing keeping you from practicing your faith and having a Catholic wedding, but you don't want to.  But you eventually want to.  I mean, no one is perfect in their faith.  Everyone fails at some point, or goes through periods where they don't feel as committed.  But the point is to keep trying if it's important to you.

    But to answer your question, that's really up to the priest's discretion.  My church, for example, doesn't do convalidations.  Some churches do them, but only if they felt like you had a good reason to not be married in the Catholic church or if you really did make a mistake and have a change of heart.  I think it's wrong to get married outside of the Church on the presumption that you can just get a convalidation eventually though.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree that people shouldn't just use a Catholic Church as their venue when it doesn't mean much to them and they aren't practicing.  I'm just confused about you wanting to practice in the future, but not now.  It almost sounds like you're hedging your bets.

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    lalaith50[Deleted User]wittykitty14lizybeff
  • lalaith50lalaith50
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited July 2013
    agreed. It sounds to me like you need to figure out WHY you want to raise your children Catholic... Either you believe in the Catholic Church, or you don't. 
    For example, the Catholic Church teaches that Catholics have an obligation to go to Confession at least once a year, and to not miss Mass on Sundays. Missing Mass is a mortal sin, which means the Church would say you are going straight to Hell if you die without repenting. 
    So... either you believe that, or you don't. If you don't believe that, then... why do you want to raise your children Catholic?
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  • Lalaith, just to clarify, it's a mortal sin as long as the other conditions for mortal sin are met (full consent and full knowledge).  I know you know that, I just want it to be clear for others reading.

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  • well, now that I've told everyone on here, everyone reading this has full knowledge. ;-)
    (and since we're all adults, I assume full consent.)
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  • KDM323KDM323
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
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    edited July 2013
    I'm guessing I need a "refresher" course on all the rules, etc.  and what sets a Catholic church apart from others.

    Like I said...it has been a while since I was a part of a Catholic church.  In the interim - I've attended non-denominational churches, baptist churches, methodist churches, UU churches, etc. so I'm *not* up on what all of the specifics of being a part of a Catholic church are as an adult...it has been years since I was in one.

    I was born and raised Catholic and then when I went away to college, etc...wanted to check out other churches to see what I really felt comfortable with, etc.   I always figured I would return to Catholic church when it was time to raise a family, etc...but now I'm a bit concerned that if I don't return prior to getting married we won't be able to even have that option.

    Perhaps I'm not phrasing this correctly at all. 

    I'm really NOT trying to be disrespectful...just trying to figure out some stuff that I haven't honestly given a lot of deep thought to in years.
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  • but... why? Why not raise your kids baptist, non-denom, methodist, or just let them choose for themselves? I mean, *I* don't think that's what you should do, but I think you should know WHY you want them to be Catholic if that's what you want. ("Because that's how I was raised" isn't exactly a good enough reason.) Which means... it's never too early to start researching for yourself what the Church teaches! 

    There's loads of fantastic books by people like Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, and Christopher West. Or find a Catholic Church near you and inquire into their RCIA sessions; most churches will have them starting in September for people who want to be confirmed at the Easter Vigil, but even though that's how they're advertised, they're really great for any adult who wants to learn more about the Catholic faith.
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    monkeysip
  • KDM323KDM323
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
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    lalaith50 said:
    but... why? Why not raise your kids baptist, non-denom, methodist, or just let them choose for themselves? I mean, *I* don't think that's what you should do, but I think you should know WHY you want them to be Catholic if that's what you want. ("Because that's how I was raised" isn't exactly a good enough reason.) Which means... it's never too early to start researching for yourself what the Church teaches! 

    There's loads of fantastic books by people like Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, and Christopher West. Or find a Catholic Church near you and inquire into their RCIA sessions; most churches will have them starting in September for people who want to be confirmed at the Easter Vigil, but even though that's how they're advertised, they're really great for any adult who wants to learn more about the Catholic faith.
    Its never crossed my mind to *not* raise my kids Catholic.  I'm Irish.  You raise your kids in the Catholic church.  It just *is*. 

    Perhaps a good place to start is with a few books.  I appreciate you giving me the names of the authors and will check out some books.  Is there one or two in particular you can recommend?
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  • Rome sweet Home by Scott Hahn is a good one.  The Good News about sex and marriage by West is good if you want to learn more about the Church's teachings on, well, you guessed it, sex and marriage!  :)

    I second the advice to do research.  Either way you decide to go, it's a good thing to learn more.  I understand that sometimes we make religious choices based on our upbringing culture, but it really should be based on what you really believe.  When you try to raise children in the faith, but you can't back up your beliefs, it often just ends in failure.  It's good to be educated in what you believe because children just llloovvee to ask those difficult questions!

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    amaryann210
  • It is never too late in your life to go back to the church (to answer your original question).

    I think the biggest things you need to ask yourself are:
    1. Do you believe the Catholic Church's teachings?
    2. Why do you want to raise your children Catholic vs another Christian denomination? (Please don't use "I'm Irish" as an excuse.. you need to keep in mind it is VERY hard to raise a child one way and believe another.  It's like a smoking parent telling their kid not to smoke because it's bad for them)
    3. If you believe their teachings and want to raise your children Catholic, why not have a Catholic ceremony?  It is still doable, especially since you still have 6 months to go.  I think it would be very helpful for you and your FI to go talk to a priest and just ask questions if you have any.

    Bottom line is this:
    Do you believe the teachings of the Church and want to lead a Catholic life?  If so, go back to church.  If not, then don't feel like you have to raise your children in a religion that you don't even want to follow.  You need to do what is best for you and for your family. Not what is best for your culture.
    libby18bell
  • KDM323KDM323
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    TXKristan said:
    Kathy, what I'm hearing you say is this ... you aren't sure you want to be married in the Catholic Church, but you don't want to put yourself in a position where you don't want to "lock yourself out".  Is that accurate??



    Heres's how I explain what makes Catholicism different ... we believe that we have maintained the Fullness of Truth as revealed by Jesus and the apostles.  We have maintained the apostolic lineage from Peter to Pope Francis, and every bishop and priest can trace his lineage of ordination back to St Peter.  With that apostolic succession, we have maintained the initial authority Jesus gave to Peter in Matthew 16:18.  We also believe that Christ makes his grace real to us through the seven sacraments:  Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders.  The Eucharist is the source & summit of our faith.  It is the true presence of Jesus Christ - body, soul, blood, and divinity.

    I would suggest "Rome Sweet Home" by Scott Hahn or "Surprised by Truth" by Patrick Madrid.

    This. Thank you ALL. I do NOT want to be locked out. I am going to star reading. Thank you *hugs*
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    Ambybambi1125wittykitty14
  • KDM323KDM323
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
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    For me, for us....it is one thing for US to fall away from the church. To not be good Catholics....to step outside the church and "see". But when and if we are blessed with a child? Then everything changes because then we are, in some way, responsible for the upbringing and the soul of another person. I'm, in some way, ok with gambling with my own....I believe Christ will be forgiving of my "testing the waters" with other Christian denominations. Neither my fiancé nor I will risk that with our future children. Thank you all.
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  • For me, for us....it is one thing for US to fall away from the church. To not be good Catholics....to step outside the church and "see". But when and if we are blessed with a child? Then everything changes because then we are, in some way, responsible for the upbringing and the soul of another person. I'm, in some way, ok with gambling with my own....I believe Christ will be forgiving of my "testing the waters" with other Christian denominations. Neither my fiancé nor I will risk that with our future children. Thank you all.
    I think the problem with this is that, again, if you're raising your children in the church just because "it's what you do," it's going to be hard to give them the foundation they'd need to be strong in their faith or to return to it if they do waver.

    I'm definitely not saying you shouldn't do the research or that you shouldn't come back to the church, I'm just saying that, as the parent, your kids are going to learn from your example whether you want them to or not, and if you can't give them a good reason for being Catholic, they're more susceptible to falling away.

    That said, I'm glad that you're thinking about this NOW, rather than a couple years down the road when it's time to baptize a baby and you don't know what to do.  =)  Feel free to hang around and ask more questions -- I loooved this board when I was in the process of converting because the ladies here were so knowledgeable and helped me deepen my understanding of the Catholic faith!
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    image

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  • In our instant gratification world now, it's easy to think of "gambling" our soul...but honestly. Eternal. "ETERNAL" . that means forever. it never ends. Eternal life. 

    Please don't "gamble" with that. 



  • The best time to make a change in your life, if you want to, is today. Look up Sunday Mass times at a nearby parish and go. This week. It's not going to get easier when you have kids, trust me. When LOs enter the picture, it takes commitment and sacrifice from mom and dad to get kids to Mass every week. For us, it has been made so much easier because it is already part of our rhythm of life, and because of the commitment to our faith (and raising kids to be strong in the faith) that we share.

    In the mean time, I'd suggest you talk to a local priest about what they will allow in terms of convalidation -- only he can really tell you what your options are. He might also be able to answer some questions.

    I'd really encourage you to do some reading and research, as others have recommended. I love Scott Hahn, because he presents theology in a really user-friendly way. If the Church's sexual teachings are something that is holding you back (and they are for the many many people who did not receive good catechesis on them), lots of people's lives have been changed by the Christopher West book others have recommended.

    If you have specific questions, ask them. There are lots of really knowledgeable ladies here. I'm sure a priest or RCIA program would be happy to work with you as well. There are books and articles on whatever you might be struggling with. I wish you luck and offer my prayers. Making the move to having an adult faith really is challenging, but it is also very rewarding.
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    [Deleted User]
  • I know that this is just a small part of the discussion, but you mentioned being responsible for the upbringing of children, and feel that that should happen in the Church. I agree, however, it is also the responsibility of married couples to bring their spouse (and again, children) to Heaven. So if you feel compelled to bring children up in the Church, you should also consider this responsibility in terms of returning or not returning to the Church before, for, or after your marriage.
    lalaith50monkeysip
  • KDM323KDM323
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
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    That's an amazing story. Thank you for sharing.
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    HisGirlFriday13
  • here's the thing.  if you want to properly guide your children (which it sounds like you do) then you need to set the example.  if you marry outside the church, when you start taking them to church you wont be able to receive communion.  then they will ask you why, and then they will ask why you didnt marry in the church.  they will then grow up thinking that marrying outside of the church is an acceptable option.  also if you arent practicing you may be hard pressed to find someone who will baptize your children as a priest may not want to run the risk of the child not growing up in the faith (again, a significant challenge if you as parents arent practicing/cant participate due to your invalid marriage).

    the other thing is, when you marry in the church you receive a sacrament.  that sacrament is meant to help guide you and strengthen your faith and relationship.  in some ways getting married in the church would be the best option because it may help clarify your return and strengthen your resolve to commit to the church and faith once you have children.

     

    tiny speck
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