Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Officiant Woes

Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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edited February 2014 in Ceremony and Vow Ideas
I let my FMIL be in charge of finding a minister for our wedding because their church is more flexible on ceremony location. He's Church of Christ, and I'm Catholic.

First we asked FIs HS minister to officiate our wedding, and after 3 months of waiting for a decision about travel schedule and costs, told us no. So then they thought it would be a precious idea to have the man who baptised FI so many years ago marry us. Only problem, this man now lives in Ireland. Yet they still asked! (crazy people..) Well, the man declined (thankfully daily quickly). So I encouraged them to please ask someone in the church who does not have to make travel arrangements and they said they would ask the minister of the church. After 2 weeks of emailing, apparently the minister has a previous engagement and cannot do it. I'm super frustrated being told no over and over with 5 months to go...

So I'm taking over and FIs family is not in charge of this anymore lol. My question for everyone is:
Has anyone had a friend or family member become licensed to officiate for the day? What kind of preparation did it require, and are there negatives to doing this if we wanted a religious type ceremony? FMIL is going on about them not being an "ordained minister" of the state, but I don't know anything except that I'm Catholic and a priest will not marry us outside of the Church. Thanks for any information about this.

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Re: Officiant Woes

  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    Are you aware that if you are married outside of the Catholic church, you will be banned from the sacrament of the eucharist?  (Communion)  This is not an easy thing to fix!  If you want to continue to practice your Catholic faith, then you need to be married in a Catholic church by a priest.  Otherwise, the Catholic Church will not recognize your marriage.
    Since the late 1960s, the Catholic church does allow other Christian denominations to co-officiate at a wedding ceremony, as long as the priest agrees and it is held in the Catholic church.  My mother was married by a priest and a Methodist minister.  Her husband and his kids continued to attend mass every Sunday.  I think this compromise (if your priest is willing) might be the best solution for your wedding.  Mass is not usually done at a co-officiated ceremony.
    You two will still need to go through pre-Cana classes together.  Your FI does not have to convert to Catholicism.
    You need to talk to your priest ASAP and find out what is possible for you, and what consequences there will be for you if you decide to get married outside of the Catholic Church.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MairePoppy
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    I never knew that, but I did originally ask if a Deacon would marry me and they told me no, they would not marry me at my chapel location.

    They did not share other information about the negatives to getting married at an alternative venue. I will go search some things to find out more info, but I'm not willing to change my venue when I have all of my vendors booked (except the officiant!).

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  • Ditto CMGragain. If you get married out of the Church, you will not be able to practice your faith.

    What's more important to you: the ceremony site you've selected or being in Communion with your church?

    The officiant is a fairly large and important part of the wedding to delegate to someone else.

    Regarding your actual question, check the laws of where you live; some states (W.Va is one) do not allow online-ordained people to perform weddings.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    I never knew that, but I did originally ask if a Deacon would marry me and they told me no, they would not marry me at my chapel location. They did not share other information about the negatives to getting married at an alternative venue. I will go search some things to find out more info, but I'm not willing to change my venue when I have all of my vendors booked (except the officiant!).
    So your plans are more important than your religion?  I just don't understand.  How are you going to feel when your children go up for their first communion, and you cannot partake because your wedding location was more important to you than your religion?  How are you going to explain it to them?

    My Mom died in October.  She was divorced from her Catholic husband in 1974, and he remarried outside the church.  That marriage didn't work out either.  I telephoned my ex-stepfather and told him that now he was a widower in the eyes of the Catholic Church, and he could probably get things worked out so that he could partake of the Holy Communion before he died.  (He's 90.)  He cried.  It was important to him.
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  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    So, all of this is brand new to me, and I never knew that just because I got married somewhere else meant that I'd be ex-communicated.

    It's a lot to take in.

    I've been baptized and confirmed, but FIs family and friends wouldn't come to a catholic church, which is why it was never a considered location from the beginning... (he's come with me to church but does not want to join)

    Please allow me some time to talk with my church about this (HUGE) news they apparently left out.

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  • You better put a hold on your wedding until you have this worked out.  If FI's family and friends are that prejudiced (Wow!) you two need to work out a lot of things before you decide to marry.  This can be a deal breaker.  How were you planning to raise your children?  Or did you even discuss this major issue?
    Good luck, my dear.  Talk to your priest ASAP!!!!!!!
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  • So, all of this is brand new to me, and I never knew that just because I got married somewhere else meant that I'd be ex-communicated.

    It's a lot to take in.

    I've been baptized and confirmed, but FIs family and friends wouldn't come to a catholic church, which is why it was never a considered location from the beginning... (he's come with me to church but does not want to join)

    Please allow me some time to talk with my church about this (HUGE) news they apparently left out.

    I think you also need to have a conversation with your FI about what your religious traditions will be going forward. If he doesn't want to convert, that's fine, but one of the requirements of a Catholic marriage is that YOU will agree to raise your kids Catholic and your FI will agree not to interfere with that. Is he OK with that?

    Also, no offence, but the bold is bullshit. Whether your FI'S friends/family *want* to attend a Catholic church is irrelevant. If that's what you and your FI decide you want to do, then your friends/family show up, shut up, and smile.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    He is fine attending church with me without the sacraments, and we agreed that Catholic would be what we raised them as.. I didn't know NEITHER of us would be allowed to attend their communions, or that I'd be barred from taking communion from now on..

    Thank you. I just can't believe no one mentioned this when we've talked about it. I knew it would not be "recognized" as blessed, and that it would not actually be a Sacrament, but no one told me it removes me from the Church.

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    I don't understand how a Catholic doesn't know you have to get married in the Catholic church?  So bizarre  to me.


    ** note I grew up Catholic (confirmed and everything) yet knew full well when I got married on the beach it would not be recognized by the church.  Neither of us are practicing Catholics yet still know the basic policies of the church (DH is also confirmed).






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    MairePoppy
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    You will be allowed to attend the mass, but not to participate.  I used to drive my step-sisters and step-brother to mass, and I sat in the back when everyone else went forward.  You are not barred from attending the church, but you will not be in a state of grace to accept the eucharist.
    Your FI's relatives and friends are simply ignorant and mislead about the Catholic church.  They may have been (wrongly) taught that Catholics worship idols, or even that they are not Christians at all!  Try to be patient with them.  Your FI can be of great help here, especially since he has attended mass with you, and knows that lots of this is just misinformation on their part.
    You need your priest.  He should help you through this.
    I think God was watching over you when those first two officiants declined!  You might have gone through with your plans, and THEN found out the truth!  You have been blessed.  Now go say some prayers, and trust in the Lord.
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    MairePoppy
  • He is fine attending church with me without the sacraments, and we agreed that Catholic would be what we raised them as.. I didn't know NEITHER of us would be allowed to attend their communions, or that I'd be barred from taking communion from now on..

    Thank you. I just can't believe no one mentioned this when we've talked about it. I knew it would not be "recognized" as blessed, and that it would not actually be a Sacrament, but no one told me it removes me from the Church.

    If you intend to raise them Catholic, you need to put all tour other plans on hold and find a priest ASAP.

    You will be able to attend their ceremonies, but you'll be barred from receiving Communion, which would make religious ed difficult -- how do you explain to your kids why they have to go to Confession and make FHC if you're not participating in the Sacraments yourself?

    And I ditto Lynda -- how did you *not* know this? Regardless, yes, this will remove you from Communion with the Church.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    lyndausvi said:
    I don't understand how a Catholic doesn't know you have to get married in the Catholic church?  So bizarre  to me.


    ** note I grew up Catholic (confirmed and everything) yet knew full well when I got married on the beach it would not be recognized by the church.  Neither of us are practicing Catholics yet still know the basic policies of the church (DH is also confirmed).
    I'm often shocked when Catholics don't know these things. I actually had to tell a friend of mine about this a few years ago when she was planning her wedding that the church would not recognize her lovely garden ceremony. She was shocked.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    OP, please come back in a few days, and tell us how you are going to work this out.  I will worry about you tonight!
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  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    As it is late on a Saturday night, nothing has been done as of yet. Crying a lot, first. I plan to have a conversation with our bishop on Monday about your suggestion.

    (Is there a way to delete threads? This is pretty personal and serious, and while I love your responses, suggestions, and prayer that this all was a blessing in disguise, I'd like for this to hide so others don't continue to wonder why I didn't know.)

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  • There isn't a way to delete threads, other than a DH (dirty delete), which is frowned upon, and you've been quoted anyway so it wouldn't matter.

    And even as intensely personal as it is -- you're not the first bride and you won't be the last who didn't know this. It's OK.

    If it makes you feel better, a friend of mine is the director of religious ed for a church and she told me she and her BF had argued about the procedure for having a priest perform a marriage at a parish not his own.

    She was like, 'And I told him it was this way and I work for the church so obviously I know what I'm talking about.

    I said, 'Actually, you don't, because you're wrong and your BF is right.'

    She was shocked.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    I wouldn't recommend deleting.  You aren't the first Catholic bride to be shocked by the Church's rules.  If you delete, it's going to attract attention from casual Knotties who want to know what all the fuss is about.  You have been quoted, and that can't be deleted.  Only the Knot gods can remove an entire thread.
    You are right.  This is very serious.  You are doing the right thing by going directly to your church for advice.  I'm so glad we could help you.  Now, go to bed.  It isn't too late to fix this.
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  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Thanks

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    I understand it's personal, but I would not delete.  There are a lot of others who do not know the rules either.  Other posters and/or lurkers can learn from your post.  Think of this thread as a PSA.

    Feel free to come back and ask other questions.  There are some very knowlegable Catholic brides on this site.  There is also a dedicated Catholic Wedding board in the Cultural Wedding Boards area.


    Good luck.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    emmyg65
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    I thought I would let y'all know that I had two conversations today - one with my priest, who declined to marry us at another location but offered to bless our marriage in the church when we are ready. The second is SUPER interesting for other girls in my situation!

    So if you look at officiants on TK, you might see "the white monks of St. Benedict" from Catholics without a Church. They told me that while they are not ROMAN catholic, they are catholic and have a bishop and if I have one of their priests marry us, they marry us under the Sacrament of Marriage and will not cause me to stop participating in communion. So this is something for me to think about! They will come to my alternative venue and perform a Catholic nuptial ceremony or a marriage rite ceremony, whichever I prefer, and it will be recognized by the Catholic church.

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  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    Whoa!  Just because they have "Catholic" in their name doesn't mean that they are recognized by the Vatican!  This group is an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church.  They are not recognized by your church, and neither will the marriage they perform be recognized!  Yes, it is the same ceremony!  No, it is not a sacrament for you, or other Catholic couples.
    I am very familiar with this group.  Don't believe what they told you until you clear it with your priest.  Their marriage ceremony isn't recognized any more than any other protestant ceremony is recognized as fulfilling the requirements of the Roman Catholic Church.  We used to have a Knottie last year who was always telling Catholic girls to try this, and she was constantly being told that this ceremony would not work for Catholic girls. 
    Talk to your priest some more.  Maybe he can manage a dispensation for you.

    http://www.catholicswithoutachurch.org/wedding.html

    Here is the significant quote from their website:

    "Will my marriage be recognized by the Catholic Church?

    If you mean "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church", the answer is "YES". But Catholics without a Church is not affiliated with the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. " (End of quote)

    "The one, holy, catholic (note the lower case c) and apostolic church" does not mean your Roman Catholic Church.  It refers to all christian churches everywhere - Catholic, protestant or Orthodox.  No, their ceremony is NOT recognized by your Roman Catholic Church!  Catholic literally means universal when it spelled with a lower case c.

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    carliealissa
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Thanks. I think it is wrong for them to say "Yes, you may take communion following your wedding" to me over the phone if a Roman catholic is seriously trying to clarify. We will go another route.

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  • Whew!  Sugargirl, I'm determined to keep you out of trouble!  Your priest sounds like he's a good one, and I'm guessing he will find a way to help you out of your difficulty.
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  • Good catch, @CMGRagain. She's right -- they are NOT recognised by the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican, and your marriage would NOT be sacramental in the eyes of the Church.

    Is it dishonest? Yes. But this is also a church that has broken away from the Holy Roman Church, so it's in their best interests to lie, cheat, and beguile people into doing things that are against the Holy Roman Church they disagree with.

    These people also e-mail me every year (I teach religious ed), trying to get me to buy their religious ed books over the ones we already use -- and of course theirs are canonical at all.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
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    edited February 2014
    Sugargirl1019 your post will help so many Catholic women who also don't understand the rules of the Catholic Church. Thank you leaving the thread, as is. 

    If you marry outside the Roman Catholic Church, you will be welcome at mass, but you won't be able to go to communion. The sacrament of reconciliation may be offered to you, under certain circumstances (ex:you're convalidation  is imminent and the priest wants a sincere confession before giving the sacrament or you're seriously ill and receiving Divine Unction [Last Rites]). I think the representative of the white monks, is suggesting that you go to communion, without informing your priest of your marriage, which is detestable, IMO. 

    Some priests bend the rules, but I have never heard of a priest approving a convalidation, knowing that the couple is planning a ceremony outside the church. But you should clarify that you understood what he said, and the priest understood what you're planning. It would be very sad to discover after the ceremony that your information is incorrect. 



                
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