Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth

Catholic/Protestant Wedding Predicament

Ladies,

I'm protestant and my fiance is Catholic.  We just found out over the weekend from the priest he had hoped would marry us at the Filter Building that not only is he not allowed to perform a marriage outside of church walls, but if my fiance gets married outside of the church he will no longer be allowed to take communion.

Without going into too many details let me just say that our desire to get married outside of the church had nothing to do with snubbing the church and we still want a religious ceremony.  Do any of you know if there is any wiggle room?  My fiance' is too furious at the moment to do any further investigating.  I'm not a Catholic and so I really don't know much about how all of this works, but I don't want my future husband to not be able to take part in communion.

Any help or advice would be MUCH appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: Catholic/Protestant Wedding Predicament

  • edited December 2011
    Can I suggest searching for this very question on the Catholic Weddings board?  It's under culture on the menu on the left of this page.

    THAT SAID, here is my understanding:
    For a Catholic, marriage is a sacrament.  For it to be a sacrament, it needs to take place in the church.  There are rare (like, never happens) instances where a Catholic priest can receive a dispensation to perform a mass outside of the church (I know my FI's family has a family reunion mass in a barn every year), but like I said -- it's rare.

    What you and your FI need to do now is determine what is really important to you about this wedding.  Is it important to your FI that he receive the sacrament of marriage and continue to receive communion?  Is it important to you that you strengthen and support his faith as his wife?  Many couples go through what you are going through right now, and you just have to make these decisions and talk with your FI's priest with open hearts and minds to reach a decision.

    If you want the outdoor feel, there are a few parishes in DFW with beautiful big windows that could give you the appearance of being outside, while remaining in a church.  I'm getting married in a Catholic church and then just moving my reception.  It's not a huge deal.  From a practical standpoint, we won't have to deal with the movement of any furniture, and we certainly won't have to worry about any nasty weather incidents.  You could get married in the church and just move your reception elsewhere.

    I can't explain it nearly as well as the ladies on the Catholic board can, but I hope that you and your FI make the best decision for the two of you.  It should be more important that you are getting married, not where it happens.

    Out of curiosity, what parish are you considering getting married at?  I ask because our parish has been a DREAM to work with (not saying they'd marry you outside), so they might be good for you to talk to.
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  • KHollyTXKHollyTX member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you so much for your advice.  Oh and I did post on both the Catholic page and the interfaith one as well. 

    He's a member at St. Joseph's in Richardson, but he spoke to a priest that he really likes outside of that Parish.  We haven't spoken to anyone currently at St. Joseph's.

    Because I'm protestant and he is Catholic and because White Rock Lake is special to us we decided (albeit naively) that getting married there would be a compromise.  I'm happy to get married in a Catholic church for his sake, but I think he's just so upset at the moment that he's digging in his heels.  We'll definitely need a little more of a cooling off period.  Hopefully then we can reconsider our plans.  His anger at the moment is really out of heartbreak and that breaks my heart.

    What Parish are you getting married at, and who is your priest?  Would you mind if I PM'd you some other questions?

    Thanks so much!
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  • edited December 2011
    Butting in... Father Alfonse at St. Joseph is great!
    He could give you some guidance.
  • KHollyTXKHollyTX member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh thanks!  I'll write down his name. 
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_texas-dallas-ft-worth_catholicprotestant-wedding-predicament?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:102Discussion:7819e8ca-643e-4ac9-b4fb-61b9e8abe78bPost:45269dd9-4e73-4edb-81a9-3139c18a97bf">Re: Catholic/Protestant Wedding Predicament</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you so much for your advice.  Oh and I did post on both the Catholic page and the interfaith one as well.  He's a member at St. Joseph's in Richardson, but he spoke to a priest that he really likes outside of that Parish.  We haven't spoken to anyone currently at St. Joseph's. Because I'm protestant and he is Catholic and because White Rock Lake is special to us we decided (albeit naively) that getting married there would be a compromise.  I'm happy to get married in a Catholic church for his sake, but I think he's just so upset at the moment that he's digging in his heels.  We'll definitely need a little more of a cooling off period.  Hopefully then we can reconsider our plans.  <strong>His anger at the moment is really out of heartbreak and that breaks my heart.</strong> What Parish are you getting married at, and who is your priest?  Would you mind if I PM'd you some other questions? Thanks so much!
    Posted by KHollyTX[/QUOTE]

    I think it's important to remember that you can still have your reception there!  And if your ceremony is early enough, you'll get beautiful views (plus the comfort of air conditioning the entire time) of the lake in the afternoon, at sunset, and in the evening.

    And yes, I'll PM you some info.
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  • courtski2004courtski2004 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    There are circumstances where you can have a priest present at your ceremony to bless your marriage so that it is recognized in the eyes of the Catholic Church. This was an option for us since I am Catholic and my husband is not, but since I am not a practicing Catholic (Christmas and Easter only), it wasn't a must-have. It seems that this is something that would be important to him, so I would definitely call other parishes in the area to see if there is a priest that is willing to be present with the other officiant. Some Catholic Churches are more strict than others, but our priest ( Fr. Bob at St. Rita's in Dallas) was willing to do this.

    ETA: If you do have a priest co-officiate, there may be a requirement for you and your FI to go through a series of counseling sessions.
  • KHollyTXKHollyTX member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks courtski!  That might be a great option for us.  I'll look into it.  :)
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  • edited December 2011
    KHolly, ygpm.
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  • juliebug1997juliebug1997 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    There is a Catholic church very near where you are planning to have your reception--St. Bernard's.  It's off of Old Town. 

    When we started the process of planning our wedding, I looked into what was required to get married outside (as in just outside the church) and was really not surprised to discover that the Catholic church doesn't allow it.  The only time I could find where you could be married outside of a church is like a death bed marriage.  I know your FI is upset now but try to get him to understand that it's nothing against him, it's just Catholic tradition. 

    Good luck as you guys press on with this!
  • edited December 2011
    There's also St. Michael the Archangel (I think) in Garland that will marry you on a Friday and doesn't require membership.  Pretty close to WRL.
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  • juliebug1997juliebug1997 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_texas-dallas-ft-worth_catholicprotestant-wedding-predicament?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:102Discussion:7819e8ca-643e-4ac9-b4fb-61b9e8abe78bPost:d8617cd5-73c2-47df-b3b1-aa957d9ec5cd">Re: Catholic/Protestant Wedding Predicament</a>:
    [QUOTE]There's also St. Michael the Archangel (I think) in Garland that will marry you on a Friday and doesn't require membership.  Pretty close to WRL.
    Posted by professorscience[/QUOTE]

    St. B's is literally across Garland Rd.
  • KHollyTXKHollyTX member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I contacted St. B's and am waiting to hear back.  Do any of you know if it would be possible to have just a private ceremony with a priest in the church...and then even though you're married go and do the big ceremony the next day or whatever?
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_texas-dallas-ft-worth_catholicprotestant-wedding-predicament?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:102Discussion:7819e8ca-643e-4ac9-b4fb-61b9e8abe78bPost:76e2c610-2ae6-44cd-8db8-2fc047879b32">Re: Catholic/Protestant Wedding Predicament</a>:
    [QUOTE]I contacted St. B's and am waiting to hear back.  Do any of you know if it would be possible to have just a private ceremony with a priest in the church...and then even though you're married go and do the big ceremony the next day or whatever?
    Posted by KHollyTX[/QUOTE]

    You can be married during daily mass, so sure you could have a private ceremony. I'm not sure why you would want two wedding ceremonies...  I think you'd run into the same problem with the church.  It sounds like saying, "Well, this religious service is not good enough for me, so I'm going to go around your rules to get my outside ceremony."
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  • Jen6862Jen6862 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Just an FYI that I had a Catholic ceremony this past Saturday at 2 p.m. in Dallas and my reception in Grapevine at 6 p.m. and it worked out perfectly. If you can find a church nearby you might be able to see if your preferred priest can officiate your wedding there. But to have Catholic ceremony you must be married in a church or land that is sacred/consecrated or something to that effect.

    Also, check with your parents. I know it was very important to both of our mothers that we get married in a church and it did make the day very special for us. We even did a blessing where we gave each of our mother's a rose and they loved it!
  • KHollyTXKHollyTX member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Professor- Yeah I can see where that could be seen as or actually be disrespectful.  I'm just tring to find compromises and things that may work for everyone.  Lots of variables...

    Jen - Thankfully, my Mom doesn't care where we hold the ceremony.  The situation with his Mom is a little more complicated.  I do like your idea of the blessing wtih the rose.  That's really sweet.
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  • edited December 2011
    It's a really important decision for you to make.  I love that you're looking for compromises to make sure that your fiance is able to continue to receive the sacraments.  You seem to have a very level head about this, so I'm sure you'll come to a decision that is good for you and your FI.
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  • edited December 2011

    Maybe give your FI some time to cool off and see what he thinks. It sounds like logistically, if it's possible, a Catholic ceremony as your only wedding ceremony makes the most sense, then a reception at your chosen venue.

    H and I ran a bunch of scenarios to try and make my dream of having my OOT family (from the midwest and without a ton of extra $$$ for plane fare) at our wedding, plus his dream of being married in his home church here. We thought about getting married there and then having the marriage blessed here. But, I knew I wanted my family there for any kind of wedding ceremony I was having -- whether it was a civil ceremony, religious ceremony, blessing, etc., so that wouldn't work.

    So we chose to get married in the church, and pay any costs we could manage for my family members who came in (hotel, food, transportation, and some entertainment -- everything but the plane fare).

    And honestly, I'm so glad we chose to get married in his (now our) church. We get to go back to the place we were married every Sunday (if we're being good) which is a perk I hadn't thought about beforehand, but it's so nice!

  • edited December 2011
    Have you thought about trying an Episcopal/Anglican church? The simple description of that denomination is that it's both Catholic and Protestant (not Roman Catholic), and the only requirement for taking Communion is being baptized (not necessarily in that church) and recognizing the Presence of Christ in Communion. So in other words you can get married wherever you want, then go to an Episcopal or Anglican church and take Communion every week if you want. If you become members you might want to be Confirmed at some point, but that's not a requirement for taking Communion. Episcopal=Anglican, just find the parish you like that has your values. I've grown up in the Episcopal church because my dad was raised Catholic and Mom was Presbyterian, and Episcopal was a good compromise. I probably won't get married at my church because we don't have a good building for the reception. They won't mind. ;-)
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