Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Choosing a priest or pastor

I attended a Catholic ceremony last night via zoom (because the wedding was overseas and we could not be there personally). The videographer was good. They showed everything from the beginning, groom and entourage walking up and later the bride. It was nicely presented until the priest gave his sermon. He started talking about himself, his family and his alcoholic father. I found the topic negative and inappropriate for a wedding. It got uncomfortable to listen to. Lesson learned here? Choose a priest who knows the bride and groom. If this is not possible, at least ask the them what they plan to talk about. Suggest that it should be about the bride and groom, how they met, etc. How will a priest know what to talk about? Easy. Meet and "interview" the couple or have a write-up about the couple that they can hand over to the priest. There should not be any surprises about this event. If the priest disagrees, find another priest. This is your day and you want everything to turn out nice.

Re: Choosing a priest or pastor

  • I attended a Catholic ceremony last night via zoom (because the wedding was overseas and we could not be there personally). The videographer was good. They showed everything from the beginning, groom and entourage walking up and later the bride. It was nicely presented until the priest gave his sermon. He started talking about himself, his family and his alcoholic father. I found the topic negative and inappropriate for a wedding. It got uncomfortable to listen to. Lesson learned here? Choose a priest who knows the bride and groom. If this is not possible, at least ask the them what they plan to talk about. Suggest that it should be about the bride and groom, how they met, etc. How will a priest know what to talk about? Easy. Meet and "interview" the couple or have a write-up about the couple that they can hand over to the priest. There should not be any surprises about this event. If the priest disagrees, find another priest. This is your day and you want everything to turn out nice.
    This is somewhat easier said than done.  A Catholic marriage is a Sacrament and it has to be done in a house of worship.  While it's possible to ask a priest to be the officiant when that's not his parish, it's rare.  I did it because the priest was a family member and had permission from the pastor of the church, but the concept of bringing in your own priest to the parish is relatively rare.

    Truly, the best way to address this is to start by being regular parishioners of the parish in which you're getting married and get to know the priest.  Your wedding ceremony if in a Catholic church is not curated by the couple but according to the rules of the Catholic faith.  And a priest who is not knowing the couple may start to use a homily that does not address who they are but instead addresses topics on the theme of marriage and a family.  
    MobKazMesmrEweei34
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So, I grew up Catholic, grew up with a lot of friends that were as well. I've attended more Catholic weddings than I can count (of course along with baptisms, communions, confirmations and funeral masses). And if I had a dollar for every time the priest at one of these ceremonies said something inappropriate that made people's eyes widen during the homily, I could retire now in my 40s. Most of these ceremonies, it seems that the priest is not at all familiar with the people participating in these sacraments. So, what you're talking about IME is common. And the priest truly can say whatever he wants during the homily. You have zero control over that. 

    And even if you do belong to a parish, and attend mass every week, it doesn't necessarily mean that the priest will know you well. Some parishes are quite large. I also know that for people that live in my area, you do pre cana with a different parish. It also depends on which priests will be available when you plan on getting married. 

    So, it's great advice, but there are a lot of moving parts that I don't think you're taking into account.  
    MyNameIsNotMesmrEwe
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 23
    So, I grew up Catholic, grew up with a lot of friends that were as well. I've attended more Catholic weddings than I can count (of course along with baptisms, communions, confirmations and funeral masses). And if I had a dollar for every time the priest at one of these ceremonies said something inappropriate that made people's eyes widen during the homily, I could retire now in my 40s. Most of these ceremonies, it seems that the priest is not at all familiar with the people participating in these sacraments. So, what you're talking about IME is common. And the priest truly can say whatever he wants during the homily. You have zero control over that. 

    And even if you do belong to a parish, and attend mass every week, it doesn't necessarily mean that the priest will know you well. Some parishes are quite large. I also know that for people that live in my area, you do pre cana with a different parish. It also depends on which priests will be available when you plan on getting married. 

    So, it's great advice, but there are a lot of moving parts that I don't think you're taking into account.  
    Exactly.  And I should have actually emphasized that you'd need to be regular parishioners who get to know the pastor of the church.  Otherwise you'd just be "faithful regular attendees".

    Eta, and even then you can't control what the person says.  


    climbingsingleMesmrEweei34
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This happened at DD's wedding. Not being Catholic, I was not happy with the homily. The priest that they had wanted to preside wasn't available so they had to find a priest from outside the parish. They used the priest that SIL had when he was in middle school and high school. The priest hadn't had any contact with SIL since that time - 20 years prior. They had met with him to go over the ceremony so he only met DD once. His homily was mostly about the historic church where the ceremony was taking place. I would have been fine had it been about marriage in general. My non-catholic family even commented to me about the homily and how strange it was.
  • Catholic here - Yep - what others have said is true, you don't get a say often in who presides/receives the vows during a Catholic Wedding nor in what the Priest/Deacon talks about during their homily but getting to know the priest who will be there ahead of time through pre-cana can save a lot of strange looks and facepalm worthy moments.  I'd MUCH rather have a priest give a homily about the significance of the stained glass window design than some homilies I've heard over the years regardless of the Denomination at religious weddings!

    We had both the parish priest and a friend of ours who is a Deacon/Canon Lawyer in our Diocese receive the vows.  A few weeks before our wedding the priest we had been doing our classes with was reassigned to a new parish and the new one came in.  Disappointing, but he did okay...
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