I am a confirmed Catholic. While I may not be the most
religious person, I do view the church as a large part of my childhood and
family tradition. FI was never baptized and would check none or leave
blank if he had to choose a religion. He also told me that he believes you
cannot prove that there is or isn't a higher power and leans towards
atheism. His family background is mainline Protestant (they are no longer
affiliated with any particular denomination or congregation) and it sounds
like he only attended church with his mother at Christmastime.
We did meet with a priest at my family parish
last year and was told to get back in contact about a year before the
wedding. We postponed until Spring 2022 and I haven't attended Mass since
the pandemic began. FI has expressed discontent with having to do marriage
preparation classes and/or workshops – even if we had the option to do them
online. He also doesn't like how his mother would have to be interviewed. I
assume this is just to prove that he's never been married before and is ready
for a lifetime commitment, but am not sure what she would be asked. One
aspect he did not have a problem with is meeting with the priest a few times
before we were married and showing that we are a compatible couple. He was
also relieved that he did not have to be baptized as an adult, convert or join
We also considered having a Protestant minister
officiate, but it feels impersonal and if we are not going to have a
Catholic wedding, I would rather just have a civil ceremony and ask his close
family member to officiate. She was an influential part of his childhood and it
was important that we received her blessing when we announced our engagement.
Whether or not we marry in the church, I would still like to have any
future child(ren) we may have baptized and FI has agreed to this. If he is
unwilling to have a Catholic wedding, I doubt he would be open to a
convalidation after a civil marriage.
I have a few questions for any Catholic brides
(or non-Catholic brides who may have dealt with similar interfaith or
intercultural issues) who would like to chime in. If you did marry in the
church and your FI was unbaptized and/or nonreligious, how did you explain to
him why you wanted a religious wedding? I know that in some families, parents
put a lot of pressure on their children to marry in the church, so was that
also a factor? Aside from Pre-Cana, what else was required? One on one
interviews with the priest, character witnesses, etc. How did your FI handle
prayers and other participatory parts of the ceremony (or even marriage
preparation) that he does not believe in? My FI refuses to bow or kneel in
a church and I hope this wouldn't be a hindrance in a wedding outside of Mass.
I also am worried that he may put in his two cents when it comes to the
church's teachings on birth control, etc. and is there a way for us to do
Pre-Cana without him feeling left out or offended as someone not raised
Catholic? Does he just have to sit quietly?
If you are Catholic and did not marry in the
church, were there any Christian traditions that you still included in your
ceremony? How did you explain to family your decision not to have a Catholic
wedding? Was there a way to compromise? What were the religious repercussions?
Are you not allowed to take communion if you attend Mass? I know that those who
remarry without an annulment are not supposed to take communion, but am unsure
when a Catholic is only married once and civilly. If you did have your marriage
convalidated, did you have to attend Pre-Cana style classes or was it a simpler
process with the understanding that you two have already been legally married
for a while? Are you still able to have your child(ren) baptized (even if the
church views them as illegitimate) and belong to a parish? And, if you did do
this, did the non-Catholic parent have to attend meetings for the child(ren) to
be baptized? Would I have more autonomy as a future Catholic parent if the
church considers me unmarried (ex: FI could simply attend his future son or
daughter’s baptism without having to do any parental preparation)?