Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions
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Help needed about a wedding ceremony blessed by a priest

I was wondering if any one has any general information about having a marriage blessed by a priest, instead of having a Catholic ceremony.  Some questions I have include: Does the priest do the whole ceremony or do I need to get an officiant as well?  What is the average cost?, etc. Any help is appreciated.  Thanks!

Re: Help needed about a wedding ceremony blessed by a priest

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    Try posting on the Catholic board.

    So you're looking into a Catholic ceremony but not a Nuptial Mass?  Talk to the church.  They will often do this if one member of the couple isn't Catholic and/or if their families are not Catholic.

    But you'll need to talk to your parish to see what requirements they have.
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    If you mean that you want a secular ceremony that's performed/co-officiated by a priest ... then you really can't. Catholic priests will not perform wedding ceremonies outside of a church, except in some rare circumstances. You can hire one of those "rent-a-priests," who might bring Catholic traditions into your ceremony, and the ceremony would be legal with the state if the person is properly certified, but it won't be a true Catholic ceremony because he wouldn't be a real priest (even if he used to be one). But if you just want a Catholic-type ceremony and don't care if the Catholic Church doesn't recognize the marriage or consider it a sacrament, then this might be a good option for you.

    If you mean that you want a Catholic ceremony in a church, with a real priest, but you don't want a Mass ... then call your parish priest and make an appointment to talk about marrying in the Church. And when he asks if you want a Nuptial Mass or just the ceremony, say that you just want the ceremony.

    If you mean that you want a secular wedding, but you want a priest to bless the marriage at a later date ... then that's a convalidation ceremony. But they might not grant you one if your reasoning is, "We wanted to get married outside but now we want the marriage blessed." The intention is supposed to be if you entered or re-connected with Catholicism later in life and you want your marriage blessed as you start making the Church a big part of your life again. Not a case where you never go to church but you want to please your families, or things like that.

    I'm just unclear on exactly what you're looking for here. Your best bet would be to contact a priest (do you regularly attend Mass? If so, talk to the parish priest at the church you attend), make an appointment, and then talk to him about what you want. He can tell you what the process would be, or if what you're asking for cannot be done.
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    Thanks.  Sorry for being unclear.  I was interested in looking into a non-traditional wedding that is blessed by a priest.  I was not sure if I could have a priest perform the ceremony and bless it on our actual wedding date or if we had to wait until a later date to have it blessed by the church.  You see, I was raised Catholic but I am what some people like to call a "Cafeteria Catholic" and my finace was raised a Baptist but he has not practiced since he was young.  I know it would mean a lot to me and my family if I do not have a traditional Catholic wedding, I would at least have it blessed by the church.  My fiance and I have discussed instead of trying to find a religion that we both like before the wedding, we will search for an institution after we are married, that way we do not feel like we have to make a rushed decision in order to book a place to have the ceremony.  Hopefully I made some sense in all of that aha.  Thanks again for your help.
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    OK.

    Unfortunately it just doesn't work that way.  You can't just have the marriage "blessed" after the fact without some work.  It's not just a priest doing a sign of the cross over the two of you and suddenly it's blessed and recognized by the church.

    Definitely talk to your local priest.  He'll explain what you need to do and whether or not this is something that you want to pursue.
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    Sounds like you're talking about a convalidation ceremony, then.

    Talk to your priest. Some may not perform it because it's not intended to be a blessing for a, "We really wanted a secular ceremony but we also want a blessing to make our parents happy" marriage. Especially if you do not intend to practice the religion and attend regular Masses after your marriage, and raise practicing Catholic children. You can't have your cake and eat it too, you know?

    It's totally fine if you don't want to practice the religion, and it's also completely understandable that you don't want to upset your parents. Just be prepared for a priest to possibly refuse your request. If you can't get the convalidation ceremony, then you just have to tell your parents that you've made your decision. They'll get over it. And I would also hope that they'd understand that you and FI don't want to disrespect the Catholic faith by marrying into it (or getting a convalidation) if you don't believe in it. Hopefully they can respect your honesty.


    If you and your FI have decided that you will explore religion together after your wedding, it might be best to put off a blessing ceremony until you find a religion/church that you want to join together. That's actually the purpose behind a convalidation ceremony ... it's supposed to be a blessing for marriages where you weren't married in the Church originally, but you've decided later on in life that you want to practice the religion with a recognized marriage. It shouldn't really be a pre-meditated thing where you say, "I want a secular ceremony but then I'll just get the convalidation and it'll all be good."

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    I wanted to do a similar thing, and it's really difficult to do.  Even my priest at my very liberal church wouldn't bless the marriage (which is outside) because while it didn't upset him, he stands for the whole church and it would upset other members.  As a compromise, we hired someone from rentapriest.com to do our outdoor ceremony, but we're also doing pre-cana and after the wedding may have a small ceremony in a church to have it officially recognized. 
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