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Options for an agnostic marrying a Catholic?

My fiance's family is Catholic (he doesn't really practice anymore) and my family and I are pretty liberal and not religious.  (In fact, I am not even baptized.)  We decided together that we were going to get married at our reception site, and I am trying to figure out a way to very lightly incorporate some Catholic elements into our ceremony.  Any suggestions?  Is it possible that we could have a Catholic priest conduct our ceremony even if it is not in a church and it is not a mass, and I am not baptized? 

Re: Options for an agnostic marrying a Catholic?

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    An active priest won't conduct a marriage outside of the church. He may not even marry you in a church if you are not baptized - this may depend on the parish. In mine, only one of the couple has to be baptized, but in my cousin's, they both have to be. Doesn't really matter here though - you maybe (the Catholic girls may know) be able to get a retired priest, but if you aren't religious, I think that's a longshot.

    I think your best bet to incorporate something that your Catholic guests will recognize is use the Biblical readings that are traditional to Catholic ceremonies. I can't remember them off the top of my head, but readings from Genesis, Colossians, Ephesians, the Song of Solomon, Tobit, and the gospels are common choices. I am a practicing Episcopalian nowadays so I don't have the specific info anymore.
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    Actually in my church only the clergy reads the gospels, so I'm not sure I would use those. There's a Catholic weddings board as well if you want to ask there.
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    I'm a practiciing Catholic with a devotion to our Blessed Mother and would not be in favor of playing sacred music ("Ave Maria" means "Hail Mary" in Latin) if the couple didn't view Mary in the great esteem the song suggests.  Some traditional Catholic elements that could be more appropriate are readings from Scripture (though not the Gospels, as in the Catholic Church only priests can proclaim those) or incorporating portions of the Prayer of St. Francis, either as a reading or in song:
    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.Where there is hatred, let me sow love.Where there is injury, pardon.Where there is doubt, faith.Where there is despair, hope.Where there is darkness, light.Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive.
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
    Amen.
    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
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    We are in a very similar situation.   I think your best bet is to have a minister of a different denomination perform your ceremony, incorportating Christian traditions that are common to Catholics as well.
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    We were in the same situation. My family and I are Catholic and H is not religious at all nor even baptized. We had a retired deacon perform our ceremony and it was a mix(non denominational and Filipino Catholic). We had a reading from the Corinthians and the blessing of the rings among other Catholic traditions and the rest was non denominational.
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    Yes.  I am a Catholic and my fiance is not baptized.  So, we are getting married in an interfaith church (Church of Christ) in Hawaii.

    I was surprised by a sample of the marriage ceremony sent by the church.  I am going to rewrite it a bit to make it more about love.

    Hope this helps.
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    You could also keep the same traditional vows you would say as part of a Catholic ceremony.

    Whoever said it was supposed to be happily ever after is a big fat liar.
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    Similar situation...I am Catholic.  He is not and is not baptized.  However, we are able to get married in the Catholic church I attend.  The main difference between our wedding and a traditional Catholic wedding is that we cannot serve communion.  Also, our parish does not practice the "traditional Catholic" things either such as a Unity candle nor honoring the Virgin Mary which is good in terms of us feeling that we are doing this together - not just concentrating on one person's viewpoint. 

    In all, I feel that my parish is very open to me and my fiance and they are working to make sure everyone is comfortable knowing that many of our guests are not Catholic.  So it is possible to marry in the Catholic church if you all want, you just have to ask.  Just be prepared that some places are more strict on policies than others.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_options-agnostic-marrying-catholic?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d94656c-2985-4ec6-9a04-ba1a098ccd28Post:03516376-d040-4daa-ac41-e20336b1ab61">Re: Options for an agnostic marrying a Catholic?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Similar situation...I am Catholic.  He is not and is not baptized.  However, we are able to get married in the Catholic church I attend.  The main difference between our wedding and a traditional Catholic wedding is that we cannot serve communion.  Also, our parish does not practice the "traditional Catholic" things either such as a Unity candle nor honoring the Virgin Mary which is good in terms of us feeling that we are doing this together - not just concentrating on one person's viewpoint.  In all, I feel that my parish is very open to me and my fiance and they are working to make sure everyone is comfortable knowing that many of our guests are not Catholic.  So it is possible to marry in the Catholic church if you all want, you just have to ask.  Just be prepared that some places are more strict on policies than others.
    Posted by tammythetiger[/QUOTE]

    I'm glad you're having a good experience. Just for the record, neither the Unity Candle nor the dedication/presentation to the Virgin Mary are in the official Rite of Marriage . Both are sometimes allowed according to local custom, but frankly the presentation to Mary has much deeper Catholic roots than the unity candle.

    There is also nothing against Catholic policy in marrying an unbaptized person, though there may be some pastoral concerns (more paperwork, perhaps more assurance that both parties are going into it with the appropriate mindset).
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    Has anyone had a retired Catholic priest marry you outside of the Church?  I am Catholic and my FI is agnostic with his extended family half Catholic (mom's side) and the other half Hindu (dad's side).  I'm trying to find a way to appease my family without making his uncomfortable.  I am looking to contact a retired priest that performed the ceremony for my cousin and brother's weddings, as well as having baptized their children, and was hoping we could find a happy medium since he is very laid back.  My mother is concerned about my marriage not being recognized by the Church...any suggestions??
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    If he marries you outside of the church and without the proper form (including paper work and marriage preparation classes), it will not be recognized by the church.

    I would really encourage you to think about and discuss with your FI the following questions (if you haven't already): What do you believe (not your parents or their expectations, but what do you believe/want to practice)? What does your FI believe (again, not his parents or his family)? How are you going to practice religion in your marriage (if at all)? How are you going to raise your children?

    If the answers to those questions leads you back to a Catholicism, I would sit down with your priest ASAP to discuss your options and to move forward accordingly. Some priests are more willing than others to offer convalidations (ceremony validating an invalid marriage). You can almost certainly have a ceremony without mass (no Eucharist, which is the part that most non-Catholics would likely be most uncomfortable with).

    If the answers don't point to Catholicism, now is the time to sit down with your parents and tell them that you made another decision about your ceremony and how it will reflect your married life and that you hope they will support you.

    Good Luck.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_options-agnostic-marrying-catholic?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d94656c-2985-4ec6-9a04-ba1a098ccd28Post:c39bfd32-5af2-4243-a150-05d540b59e0f">Re: Options for an agnostic marrying a Catholic?</a>:
    [QUOTE]An active priest won't conduct a marriage outside of the church. He may not even marry you in a church if you are not baptized - this may depend on the parish. In mine, only one of the couple has to be baptized, but in my cousin's, they both have to be. Doesn't really matter here though - you maybe (the Catholic girls may know) be able to get a retired priest, but if you aren't religious, I think that's a longshot. I think your best bet to incorporate something that your Catholic guests will recognize is use the Biblical readings that are traditional to Catholic ceremonies. I can't remember them off the top of my head, but readings from Genesis, Colossians, Ephesians, the Song of Solomon, Tobit, and the gospels are common choices. I am a practicing Episcopalian nowadays so I don't have the specific info anymore.
    Posted by GeauxTigers17[/QUOTE]

    No Catholic priest will marry anyone outside of the church, active or retired. If you are married outside of the church, it is not considered a true marriage within the church. Legally, you will be but the church community won't see it as legitimate. I had this same discussion with the priest marrying my fiance and me, because I always wanted an outdoor wedding. The priest that is performing our ceremony is retired and he said he wouldn't do it if we were to have the ceremony outside, even though there is a very nice gazebo in the yard of the church. He still said no. So we compromised. I too am agnostic, so I ran into the same issues. Our priest gave us a book to choose our readings from and we are not including the traditional mass or the Eucharist but we are including readings from the Bible and a Couples Prayer.
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