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Customs and Traditions

Catholic/Lutheran

Hello All!

Here is the background.  I'm Catholic, and both sides of my family are stout catholics as well.  I have a strong faith in my religion.  My Fiance is Lutherand and he also has strong faith in his religion.  We are getting married at my small town catholic church.  We go to each other's services during the weekend, mine Saturday his Sunday.  We both say faith, not particularly our religion, is the most important thing in our lives.  Here is the thing My mom today had to put her nose into it, she only does this because she cares about me I know, but still he and I can do this together and make choices together.  She is all worried about me switching religions, and about our kids not being raised Catholic, in which I want them to be, just don't know how to convince him yet.  We took our FOCCUS test this past Sunday, and I'm calling the priest tomorrow.  Any tips or suggestions for me?  I had a few tears today after I got back home from talking to my mom about this.  Don't suggest that we should break up because we won't because I feel like God will be the center of our lives but with two different religions.

Ashley

Re: Catholic/Lutheran

  • YOu both have faith in God. The difference is how you practice that faith. This is not a reason to break up. However, I suggest you both get on the same page about how you will practice as a family before you get married. Your mom really shouldn't have anything to do with this decision, so she really needs to butt out.

    She raised you and now you have to be an adult and own your faith, making your own decisions about how you worship.

    She does bring up a valid concern, that it can createfriction in a marriage if one partner feels that their faith practice comes 2nd to the other's. So if you are Catholic, and you want your kids to be raised Catholic, but your H is Lutheran and is not interested in converting, he is odd man out, with no consideration for the validity of his faith practice. I'm sure how you can see how someone with strong beliefs can begin to resent their practice being essentially ignored by their loved ones.

    So my advice is to get on the same page as your FI, decide how each of your faith practices will be incorporated in your lives together. I think it would be a great exercise to talk to your priest and his pastor about the differences in your faiths, and make sure that you know how you each can reconcile those points of contention. Your FI needs to be sure he can support your children in learning a faith practice that he is not on board with (Lutherans have some VERY big belief differences from Catholics). COnversation and compromise with your FI is needed. Your mom really should have nothing to do with this process, though.
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    This needs to be a discussion that you make together. Personally I think this should have been discussed before you got engaged, but that shipped has sailed. I know couples who are faithful to religions that are much more different than Catholic/Lutheran and have managed to make it work. You need to be on the same page though.

    Also Ditto everything the PP said.


  • This is definitely a conversation you need to have sooner rather than later.  You absolutely can make it work.  I am the product of a Catholic/Presbyterian marriage, and, strangely enough, so is my FI (except it's my mother and his father who are the Catholics, and in both cases, the kids chose the religion of the mother).

    One thing you probably already figured out: if you want to marry in the Catholic church, you are supposed to agree to raise your theoretical future children in the church.  If your FI cannot agree to this, then you'll have to marry in another denomination (or go non-denominational).
  • I'm going to agree with pps.  I would have recommended that this conversation happen before you were engaged, but now that you are.....you need to have this conversation tonight  Tonight.

    Because it sure sounds like you've made up your mind, without input from him.  And that's not fair to either of you or to your children.

    The other piece of advice I have is that if you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to say to your mom, "Mom, I understand that this is important to you.  And our faith is important to FI and me too and we're working together through those questions.  I hope you'll support us no matter what our decision is.  And if you can't, I'm sorry, but it will still be OUR decision, made together."

    Where, when and how one worships is a very personal decision.  Your mom raised you in faith.  Now she has to have faith that you'll do what's right for you both.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I will echo all other PPs and say you need to come to an agreement now and really should have already.  The good thing is that you both have faith in common and are both devout.  It's also nice that you attend each other's services.  But if you are going to have children, you have to agree on which faith they will be raised in.  And quite frankly, I understand your mom's viewpoint, but really, if you did decide to become Lutheran because you really felt that was the right fit for you, it's not the end of the world. At least you are still practicing in a weekly faith and raising a family as a faithful couple.  My cousin & her husband were raised Cathoilc (so was I). Dated since high school, went to church together for years. Got married in the Catholic church. Adopted a child. Had her baptized in the Catholic Church.  But always felt something was missing. Went to a Baptist service with a friend, they got more out of one sermon there than they ever had in the Catholic Church. Never looked back.

    Yes, it caused some *gasps* in the family. But I think in the end, her parents and others are still happy that they are attending church and have the kids involved. I'm not saying "leave the church", just that if you ever decided that was best for you, it may be a shock to some at first, but most people would understand if you are happy. Good luck!
    Crosswalk
  • I have been raised Lutheran and have also attended Catholic churches.  The Lutheran religion is VERY similar to Catholicism.  Lutheran's were of the Catholic faith MANY years ago.  I consider Lutheran's "layed back" Catholics.  Maybe this is what is bothering your mom.  We branched off and took part of the faith, just not all of the strictness of the Catholic faith.  When you kneel, we stand, when you repent, we drink (just kidding).  But really, there are many similarities.  I would think that your FI would understand that.  In the discussion of children, Lutherans baptize their babies as children of God just as Catholics do.  My ex-mother-in-law was a devote Southern Baptist.  NOW that was a problem!!
  • My BIL was raised catholic and my sister Presbyterian.  Instead of trying to "convert" each other, they went to different churches until they found one that was comfortable for both of them.  They have been very active and happy in their Episcopalian church, and all of their kids were raised as Episcopalians.

    My DIL was catholic, and my son Presbyterian.  They were married in a catholic church, but DIL really wasn't comfortable in a catholic church for many reasons.  They did the same thing that my sister and BIL did, and they found a Methodist church that they loved.

    Perhaps, OP, you and your FI could do the same.  Find a church that speaks to you both.  Think less abour specific denomination, and more about what it is in a church that's important to you.  Then find THAT church in your area.

    And I just have to say that I'm sure you meant to say STAUNCH Catholics, and not STOUT catholics.  Because they have two completely different meanings, and I giggled thinking about stout catholics.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I agree with Trix as well. As an adult, your faith is no longer about what other people tell you. You need to discern what YOU believe based on what YOU read and interpret from scripture. To grow your faith, you need to own it.

    Not to create a debate here, but you may want to look at those differences between Catholicism and Lutheranism and their worship practices, and ask yourself if you think God really cares if you sit or stand, if you confess to a priest or directly to God through silent prayer, if you sprinkle or dunk (baptismal), or if you think that communion wafer is a symbol or actually the flesh of Christ (transsubstantiation?). These are all practices that are meant to worship God, but only you can know your relationship with God and only you can decide how you worship. At this point, you and your FI need to be on the same page so you can worship together and get the same meaning out of those worship practices. AND it doesn't have to fit into an organized religion. Its all about your personal relationship with God, and you should be free to explore and develop that relationship outside the confines of a certain denomination if you choose.
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  • Sarah- very well put!
  • SarahP put it better than I ever could.

    Own your beliefs.  Talk to your FI and get on the same page with "Here is what I believe about such-and-such."  You don't have to agree, but you have to understand each other.  And make the decision of how you're going to raise your kids.  I've known plenty of people who grew up in mixed-denominational households and went to two different churches before making their own faith decisions.  Also, at this point, your mother needs to let go and let the two of you work this out on your own, no matter how difficult it might be for her to do that. 

    Good luck. 
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  • You need to do what's best for you as a couple and Sarah put it best. Don't worry about what others think, they'll get over it. My fiance is Catholic and I'm Lutheran and I told him from the git go I'm not converting and I would choose not to raise our children Catholic. And even though that bugs his "conservative" parents, they'll be our kids and it's our faith.
    We did the two churches thing too for a while till my fiance and I found out that if we baptised our children in the Catholic church, it alienates all our non-Catholic friends and family from being sponsors for our kids so that's how we've made our decision not to raise our future children Catholic. You need to look at what matters most to the both of you. This is the best time to do it. Good luck!!

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  • I think it depends in part on how conservative (one could say rigid or legalistic) each of you is in your faith.  I come from a progrssive/liberal Catholic background and in our pre-marital work interfaith marriages were discussed as having some special blessings, actually.  Furthermore, they discourage conversions by partners at the time of the marriage, in order to ensure that any conversion is happening for the right reasons.  But really, almost EVERY marriage is an interfaith marriage as even the same faith has different meanings and interpretations to the individuals.  My fiance is South American and is a bit more conservative than I, for example.  And if you compare the Catholicism that I grew up with to the Catholicism practiced by a lot of the ladies (no offense to them) on the Catholic weddings board...well, I actually can't even identify with it as the same religion, actually!  I think how successful you may be may partially depend on the faith community that you chose (regardless of whether it is Lutheran or Catholic.)

    But if the 2 of you can dialogue as a couple and talk about what your spirituality means to you as individuals, then you can create some sort of spiritual life in your home that feels right to you both, even if you don't even agree.  Be flexible!  As to where you practice, you may both feel more comfortable in a more open/liberal community of either faith, where you won't get the hard line "we're right and the rest of them are either to be pitiied or going to hell" sort of dialogue.  Both faiths have widely varying communities in terms of openness when it comes to people from other faiths.  Find somewhere that is comfortable for BOTH of you.  And for your kids...  Find out what the 2 of you agree on.  (God is neither Catholic nor Lutheran, you know.)  Build from your shared foundations and you can have faithful, spiritually rich children, who will have far more appreciation for the complexity and sometimes ambiguity of spiritual life.
  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    edited June 2010
    In Response to Re: Catholic/Lutheran:
     And if you compare the Catholicism that I grew up with to the Catholicism practiced by a lot of the ladies (no offense to them) on the Catholic weddings board...well, I actually can't even identify with it as the same religion, actually! [/QUOTE]


    I am so glad I'm not the only Catholic who feels this way.  I have a theory that the avid posters there are 80 year old nuns.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholiclutheran?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:aae5e504-4990-46e6-bd30-910959e2df0cPost:4b9e33b1-5644-4833-a82e-df3f315f33c3">Re: Catholic/Lutheran</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have been raised Lutheran and have also attended Catholic churches.  The Lutheran religion is VERY similar to Catholicism.  Lutheran's were of the Catholic faith MANY years ago.  I consider Lutheran's "layed back" Catholics.  Maybe this is what is bothering your mom.  We branched off and took part of the faith, just not all of the strictness of the Catholic faith.  When you kneel, we stand, when you repent, we drink (just kidding).  But really, there are many similarities.  I would think that your FI would understand that.  In the discussion of children, Lutherans baptize their babies as children of God just as Catholics do. 
    Posted by suzieharris[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Ditto this.  

    </div>
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