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Catholic Interfaith Wedding

Hi There,

I'm helping my sister plan her wedding, and I'm a bit stuck on the officiant issue. She is not religious at all and God/church has never been a part of her life. Her fiance is an Easter-and-Christmas sort of Catholic, and his parents are considerably more devout. He would like to be married by a Catholic officiant. They do not, however, want a traditional Catholic wedding and they will not be married in a church. Does anyone have suggestions? What kind officiant am I looking for? Is it even possible for them to be married by a Catholic?

They will be getting married in Nashua, NH, if that makes a difference.

Thanks!
Bailey

Re: Catholic Interfaith Wedding

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    if you look to the left, on all the boards, under "cultural wedding boards" there's a section for Catholic weddings, and they'd probably have the answer =)
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    Hey there!

    There is very little chance that they could have a non-Church ceremony and still have a valid Catholic marriage. If your sister's FI would like to still receive communion and other sacraments in the future, it would be best for them to be married in the Church. If this is not a problem to him, they could have their own ceremony and incorporate whatever they wish! A Catholic priest would not be able to perform the ceremony or "bless" it. It's likely his family will be upset by this, but your sister and her FI have to do what they believe in, not what their family wants them to believe in.

    Also, if they are interested in having future children baptised and raised Catholic, it would be best for them to be married according to the Church. It's not impossible for them to have their future children baptized Catholic, but some priests will wonder how serious the parent is about raising the child Catholic if they didn't have a Catholic wedding. Just something to consider!

    Definitely hop on over to the Catholic Weddings board - the ladies are very helpful over there!
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    edited April 2011
    Catholic priests perform marriage ceremonies inside the church only. And couples marrying in the church are required to attend marriage preparation programs. If your sister and her fi are not practicing Catholics, I'm not sure why they would want to have a priest marry them.

    A friend of mine hired a priest from the Independent Catholic Church, who performed a marriage ceremony with prayers and readings from the bible. There's also a web site called rentapriest.com. If they decide to go with either of those, their marriage will not be recognized by the Catholic Church.
                       
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    What about a non denomination pastor? if you have any of them in your area? we have a bunch here in wisconsin.
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    these days there are 2 types of catholic weddings: the full mass, and the wedding ceremony.

    the full mass MUST be done in the church and both participants MUST be confirmed catholic. this ceremony MUSt be performed by a priest.

    the standard wedding ceremony is a bit shorter than the full mass, but still typically includes 3 readings from the bible and standard wedding vows. this is usually performed by a deacon. both bride and groom MUST be baptized.  this ceremony is still usually performed in a church, but some deacons are willing to do the ceremonies elsewhere, so that will depend on the individual.

    i am all for the idea of using rentapriest.com and having it wherever the heck you want, just don't tell the parents it's not accepted by the Church!!

    the other thing to consider is the vows: your sister will most likely have to profess a belief in God and a commitment to honor jesus, accept children from God, and raise them Catholic. that is probably too much to ask of your sister. of course she can lie, but who wants to start off their marriage on a lie? no priest or deacon could in good conscience remove those lines from the vows. the independent priest probably would be willing to.
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    I'm getting married by a Catholic Priest and in a Catholic church. It is HIGHLY unlikely you will find a Catholic Priest to marry them outside of a church. A big part of a Catholic wedding is getting married in "the house of God". I would try to find a non-denominational officiant for a non-church wedding or have them get married in a church if they want a Catholic Priest.
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    In Response to Re: Catholic Interfaith Wedding:
    [QUOTE i am all for the idea of using rentapriest.com and having it wherever the heck you want, just don't tell the parents it's not accepted by the Church!! the other thing to consider is the vows: your sister will most likely have to profess a belief in God and a commitment to honor jesus, accept children from God, and raise them Catholic. that is probably too much to ask of your sister. of course she can lie, but who wants to start off their marriage on a lie? no priest or deacon could in good conscience remove those lines from the vows. the independent priest probably would be willing to.
    Posted by rkatz8[/QUOTE]

    I agree that starting marriage off with a lie is a very bad idea. So don't lie to the parents or other guests, either. The priest who performed my friends ceremony did not try to represent himself as a Roman Catholic priest. The wedding program stated the name of his (brick and mortar) church and that  it was an Independent Catholic Church.
                       
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    Thanks everyone!
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    In Response to Re: Catholic Interfaith Wedding:
    [QUOTE i am all for the idea of using rentapriest.com and having it wherever the heck you want, just don't tell the parents it's not accepted by the Church!!
    Posted by rkatz8[/QUOTE]


    Say what? Any practicing (and especially "devout") Catholic knows that it isn't allowed by the Church, what a silly thing to suggest.
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    I am an Interfaith Minister who performs weddings for those who are not "traditional" religious couples.  If you think they would like to go that route, it is personal, warm and can also be spiritual, not religious.
    We don't get our "Reverend" designation from an internet site, it's been 2 year Seminary training and working on our own spirituality.

    www.joyfuljourneyministry.com
    Rev. Barbara
    I am in NY but have Seminary friends who live in the New England area.

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