Catholic Weddings

Non-practicing Catholic marrying into a very religious Catholic family... Can I marry in the Church?

I was baptized and raised Roman Catholic however I never made my confirmation (I stopped attending religious classes after my first communion), and no longer attend or belong to a church.  My fiance's family is Catholic and VERY religious.  No offense meant to anyone that is Catholic, but I have no desire to attend church or take any religious classes.  

I am open to getting married in a church, however I'm unsure of the requirements I'll have to meet and/or the "donations' I'll need to make for being a non-practicing Catholic.

If anyone's been in a similar situation and could share your experience, that would be great. Thanks!!

Re: Non-practicing Catholic marrying into a very religious Catholic family... Can I marry in the Church?

  • I haven't personally been in that situation, but I know a bit about how it works.  There's no donation you'd need to make because of being a non-practicing Catholic.  Most churches have a donation for the church/priest to do weddings, but this is to cover the church's expenses.  And if this was truly too much of a financial hardship, the Church doesn't charge for sacraments.  

    With classes, I don't think there would be a requirement for classes apart from Pre-Cana (marriage preparation) classes.  Every couple (at least in the US) has to take some sort of pre-marriage classes together to get married in the Church.  We found these to be very beneficial to our relationship.  

    One question though:  is your fiance a practicing Catholic himself?  Even if his family wants it, at least one of you has to be a practicing Catholic for the Church to marry you.  The marriage prep classes will also be of use to you to discuss how you'll raise your children since your faith beliefs might differ.  

    My advice, if your fiance is a practicing Catholic would be to schedule a meeting with the priest at the church where you'd want to get married.  He'll know the requirements and details better than anyone.  And just in case, do this before booking anything else.  You don't want to book a hall and then find out the church doesn't have that date available.

    TLDR:  No extra donations or classes are needed on account of being non-Catholic.  Your FI needs to be a practicing Catholic, and you two should talk to a priest ASAP.
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    I agree with pp.

    Just wanted to add that the vows/declarations require you to be: (a) open to life/children (b) allowing your children to be raised according to the faith.

    Make sure you discuss these with your fiance if you haven't done so already. It's best to lay everything out and be in agreement beforehand, so there isn't any problems later.
  • Thanks for the advice!
    My fiance is a practicing Catholic (sort of..). I'm not sure how they define 'practicing'. He considers himself a Roman Catholic, he just does not attend Church on a regular basis.  We'll schedule a sit-down with an area Church to discuss.

    Thanks again.
  • I'm just wondering. If you have zero interest in returning to the Church or attending "classes", why are you open to being married in a church?
  • Um, at minimum, I'd say a practicing Catholic is a registered member of a Church and attends Mass.  If he's just showing up periodically to services without being a registered member, this may be a moot point, because the Church doesn't allow itself to be just a venue.  Without being a registered parishioner at a Catholic Church somewhere, they almost certainly wouldn't host the ceremony anyway.

  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Not in all cases... neither of us were registered, though we attended mass regularly. We didn't have any difficulty because we knew priests in the area. Many couples are able to use their families' contacts/registration at their parish in order to "get in".

    Though, I would agree that you should register and should attend regularly. There is no guarantee that a priest will agree to perform your ceremony if he doesn't know you and can't confirm your background.
  • I think as long as you can have a priest vouch for you, you can sometimes get around being formally registered (although it doesn't sound, OP, as though your fiance is in a position to get that recommendation?). In our case, I am registered at a parish and my fiance is not, because he spends weekends with and attends Mass with me, where he does not actually live. But we knew many priests who could vouch that he was practicing and is not registered as a matter of practicality (apparently for our specific chapel there would have been some additional complicated step if we could not prove we are both practicing Catholics. I'm not sure what this would have been. But we got around it). 

    I would definitely talk about the religious implications and what you're willing to agree to with your fiance before pursuing a Catholic marriage. You will probably have to take the FOCCUS inventory, which asks you to answer different questions about what the two of you have discussed, how you see roles, childrearing, etc. playing out, etc. Afterwards the priest marrying you will compare your answers and use this as a jumping off point to discuss any key issues before your wedding. There is a lot of stuff on the FOCCUS about building your faith together, raising children in the faith, etc., and if that's something you really have no interest in it might be better to discuss with your fiance ahead of time. 

  • I am kind of in the same situation only my fiance is not catholic. I would like a Catholic priest for our wedding but she has never had any sacraments with the Catholic Church. She has her views on religion and and does not feel she can commit to one religion i am supportive of her views as she is with mine. Is it possible to still have a Catholic priest conduct our wedding? I heard that's its possible but more of a blessing ceremony an not much more than that is this true?
  • You can have a wedding in a Liturgy of the Word and it will be a valid marriage.

    She will still have to make the promises for a valid marriage. 
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