Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Trying to figure out the Catholic Church?

I have never been a religious person, I was never baptized or confirmed. And I do not have a church that I attend, or really even know of for that matter. 

FI has been baptized, attended a Catholic Church with his family for most of his life, was confirmed in that church as well.

Now, do I have to be baptized and confirmed to get married in the church, or bc FI is, is that good enough? I have been reading tons of different things on the subject, but everything is different. I am assuming that different churches have different rules. So, does anyone have any personal experience with this? And if so, how did you handle it?

Thank you in advance!!Smile

Re: Trying to figure out the Catholic Church?

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    It depends on the church.  In general, I've read that most churches will marry you if one person is confirmed catholic and the other is baptized any sort of Christian and require special permission if the other party is non-Christian.  Some ask for both parties to be catholic, or won't do a full mass if one party isn't catholic.  If you want to get married in his church, you'll want to talk to his priest ASAP and find out exactly what their requirements are for your situation. 

    Keep in mind that getting married in the church is a project.  They require a more extensive pre-marital counselling process than pretty much anywhere else, and require you to sign up anywhere from 6-12 months before your date.  Also, some won't marry you at all if you aren't a member of their parish.  They also ask you to promise to raise your children Catholic.  Also, some parishes have pretty conservative restrictions on things like attire and music. 

    You and your FI should call his church and schedule an appointment with his priest ASAP to discuss his church's policies and your questions.
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    From what I remember you both have to be Catholic to marry in the church. Why don't you just have FI call his church to find out if they will perform ceremony if one person is non-catholic?
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    Hahahahhha.......did anyone else just think of that movie with Mandy Moore and Robin Williams??

    I think that we are going to go for a service with his mom next weekend. hmmmm....
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    good luck. Also, if religion is important enough to FI for him to want to get married in the church, then you need to figure out what role religion will play in your marriage, and how you will raise your children.
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    ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2009
    The Catholic church will marry a non-baptized person and a confirmed Catholic.  A dispensation will be required for permission, however.  The church will take care of that on your behalf, so don't worry.

    You will still be required to fulfill the pre-marital classes...  Why don't you talk to someone at your local Catholic church?  Don't be scared to ask ;)

    EDIT:  Everything I just wrote applies to the American Catholic church...  In many countries - such as Mexico and Spain, for example - the church will only marry two confirmed Catholics.
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    You do not have to both be Catholic, but as PP said, since you are not baptized, you will have to get special dispensation. FI is not Catholic, but was baptized, and we have chosen not to do the full Catholic mass since he & most of his family are not Catholic.  However, if we had wanted to do the full Mass, my priest would have been ok with that. Every parish is different.  As a PP suggested, you & FI should sit down with his parish priest ASAP to figure out what all needs to be done in your situation.

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    My FI is Catholic and we are not having a Catholic ceremony, as I am not Catholic and it isn't important to him.

    If having a full nuptials mass is important to your FI, talk to his priest about it. You will have to do pre-cana (pre-marital) classes.

    There's also a Catholic Weddings board, under "cultural boards" to the left over there.  <---
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    Thank you ladies!! 

    Hahaha.....and I am actually a little scared, it's kind of intimidating. Well maybe not scared, just a weird kind of nervous?! :)
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    Don't freak.  I just wanted to let you know what it was about.  We went through pre-cana, and it was incredibly rewarding, even for my DH who isn't really connected with the church at all anymore. 

    The rules and paperwork can be intimidating, but the priest can explain exactly what you need and walk you through it. 
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    For my personal situation - I was raised Catholic and still am one, the FI isn't.  All he has to do is go through RCIA classes which is kind of similar to sunday school for adults - teaches about the church and their ways.  Now after that he can choose whether he wishes to become Catholic or not, but either way we can be wed once he's finished the classes, regardless of his decision.

    Go for a meeting with the deacon or priest and i wish you all the best.  My FI and I live together as well as share a six year old son so I didn't think it'd be possible for us to get married in the church.  I had the initial meeting with the deacon and he was VERY friendly and open and not once did I feel like I was being "looked down on" because of our situation.  I thought we might face some complications but it wasn't the case!  Best of luck to you and yours!

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    Like others have said, special dispensation may be required.  But it depends on the Archdiocese and the parish.
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    I am in a similar situation.  My FI is Catholic, and I am not (although I am baptized).  The Catholic church will marry you as long as ONE of you is Catholic.  It doesn't matter if the other is Methodist, Baptist, Jewish, or even non-religious.  The only catch is that you have to get a special dispensation (ie: permission) from the Catholic party's parish (wherever they are registered) for the Catholic to marry the non-Catholic.  It's not as hard as it sounds -- it's just a form.  The Catholic party also has to promise to do everything in their power to have the children raised Catholic, but the non-Catholic party (and this is new in the last 20 or so years) does NOT need to promise this.

    It was important to my FI  to at least have a Catholic priest or deacon present at our wedding to CO-preside over the ceremony with my Methodist minister.  We looked at both Catholic and Methodist churches, however we were not able to find a priest or deacon who would do anything more than come to a non-Catholic ceremony and give a short blessing at the end.  FI wanted a 50/50 ceremony.  So we ended up going with a Catholic church.  BTW, most Catholic churches are very aware of these situations, and try to accomodate them.

    Our ceremony in the Catholic church will be 50/50 between the deacon and my minister, and we are not doing a full mass (since I, my family, and most of our guests are not Catholic and therefore could not receive the communion during the mass portion).  No mass = no communion.  We are having to follow the Catholic outline for a wedding in the Catholic church, though (ie: responsorial psalm, NT and OT readings, gospel reading, homily, and prayer of the faithful).  None of that is required in a Methodist wedding, but I compromised.  Wink  My minister is even doing some of those parts (some of the readings, etc).

    Instead of pre-cana, some diocese offer an Engaged Encounter weekend, where you stay for the entire weekend (same-sex roommates, of course).  This is the option we chose (we could have picked either this or the pre-cana), and we both found it REALLY rewarding.  We also had to have a couple meetings with the priest at the parish where he is registered (to fill out forms and get the dispensation for FI  to marry a non-Catholic), a meeting with the deacon who is marrying us, and then attend an "informational session" on natural family planning.  And that was pretty much it!

    Good luck to you!
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