Catholic Weddings

Non-Practicing Catholics Want a Catholic Wedding

Hi! Please go easy on me...

My FI and I are both non-practicing Catholics and are co-habitating. However, it's important to me that we have a Catholic wedding as we both agreed that we'd like to raise our future children in the Church. I set up a meeting with my priest, but I'm very nervous. He knows me well and likely knows that I've been absent from the Church. Do you think there's a chance he'll refuse to marry us? What can I expect from "the talk"?

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Re: Non-Practicing Catholics Want a Catholic Wedding

  • You may be presented with the question of why do you want to raise your children catholic if you aren't practicing it yourselves. This is a great opportunity to explore the church teachings, and pray -- for God's grace to come to you to fall in love with Him and live as He wants-- in union with the Church. 
  • I think you can expect the priest to make some suggestions for you and FI to prepare yourselves for marriage, and I hope you take them to heart.

    Above all else, be HONEST.  Good luck, congratulations, and welcome back!
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    stephisawes0me
  • I would say be prepared for some things that will be difficult to hear. My FI and I moved in together a month before we got engaged- when his priest found that out, he demanded that we live in separate bedrooms (and make it known) until we were married. After a couple of week of soul searching I moved into our guest room and have been in there ever since- I won't say it's fun, but it's certainly given us a deeper perspective on obedience to God and the effect it will have on our marriage. 

    That of course is only one example and I should mention I'm not Catholic, but we are having a Catholic ceremony.
    professorscience
  • I just went through this EXACT same situation.  I haven't been to church in years (neither has my fiance)  we do want to raise our children catholic though.  We also have been living together since before we got engaged. I  was very nervous to contact the priest and sit with him, but we finally did and i'm now happy i did.    he was very easy to talk to.  We were 100% honest with him and he of course want us to make an effort to start attending church.  Regarding living together, he told us of course it's not ideal but he would not ask or expect us to change our living arrangement now, but we can not receive communion at church until we are married.    we have since meeting with him, been making an effort to attend church. 

    Good luck!   Once you sit and talk to him it will be a sigh of relief, trust me!

  • I agree with what previous posters said. I would expect the priest to make suggestions on how to prepare for the sacrament of marriage. I would not be surprised if this included encouraging you to start attending mass more regularly and abstaining from sex until the wedding. I very much doubt that he would refuse to marry you. I think there are a lot of people that are in your situation where they fall away from the church as a young adult but when it comes time to get married and raise children realize that it is important to them to have a valid marriage in the church or baptize and raise children Catholic. I agree that above all it is important to be honest with your priest. We are all at different places on our faith journey and hopefully marriage preparation can be a positive experience for you and a chance to grow and learn more about our faith. I also wanted to add I think many of us on this board have struggled with various church teaching at one time or another and would be happy to discuss pretty much anything. Congratulations and welcome!
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  • On the decision to sleep in separate rooms -- it really does send a definite message, not just to the outside world but also to the couple, that you are serious about your intentions and preparations for marriage.  H and I lived in the same apartment complex, but had separate apartments right next to each other.  He was basically at my place all the time, but he'd go home every night.  He had a crazy downstairs neighbor, so sometimes he'd stay over with me and sleep in my guest room.

    If nothing else, it's part of "the change" when you get married.  So many people who live together before marriage say their married life is no different than their single life, and it should be!  Marriage should change you!
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  • Here's a blog about living together from a friend of mine, and the virtues that grow when being inconvenienced.

    Also, I want to plead with anyone giving up the Eucharist in order to continue their lifestyle, please reconsider. Eucharist IS Christ. He wants to become one with you-- to consummate yours and his relationship. Please don't choose someone else before Him. 

  • Thank you everyone for your advice, thoughts, and prayers. There is a lot on my mind and a lot to consider and I appreciate all of your insight.

    @jenni1221, special thanks to you. I feel so much better after reading your post. It sounds like you're further along in a similar situation and I hope that I encounter the same kind of gentle love from my priest!

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  • stephisawes0me   are you welcome! glad i could help, esp being in your shoes until recenlty.  we started planning our wedding over the summer and I put off contactin the priest for so long because I was nervous.   It was only when we were finally 6 months out to the wedding(last month!)  that i finally did it.  I hope you have a similar experience with your priest!  
    stephisawes0me
  • It's good that you want to get married in the Church, and hopefully the priest will be helpful and kind when you talk to him.

    But I also hope that this means you'll be taking proper steps to try and start practicing the faith.  I can promise you (from the perspective of a teacher at a Catholic school) that children model what you DO way more than what you SAY.  You can baptize them, teach them the faith, enroll them in CCE or even a Catholic school.  But if the parents aren't sincerely practicing the faith, children perceive that and it's very difficult for them to sincerely practice it themselves.


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    professorscience
  • It's okay if you're non-practicing. He'll ask you a bunch of generic questions, basically the only one that is church related other than your religions, if you were baptized and had communion is if you're practicing. For me, I go to church when I'm in my home town, but I'm rarely home, so he put seldom. For my FI, he put no. It all just depends. He didn't judge us or force religion on us. Actually, I took my FI to mass the Sunday before Christmas when we were in my home town and now he wants to look into more about Catholicism and go to church more often. So for us, it actually helped and we'll be going to church more regularly in our new city. He didn't mention anything to us about living together, though he knows we do. 
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    stephisawes0me
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