Interfaith Weddings

Christian/Atheist Wedding

I'm a Christian, my finacee is an atheist. Both of us are quite strong in our faith (or lack there of). Until recently, I was planning on becoming a pastor (realized that wasn't the path for me, faith is still as strong as ever, but that's a totally different story).

My fiancee and I are already planning on having two weddings. One will be the traditional(ish) church wedding with a traditional(ish) reception. The other will be at the science fiction convention we both go to. The church wedding is more for me, while the convention wedding is more for him (though, really, I would say it's for him and me equally). Given that we're already planning on doing two weddings, how much do I have to cater to his atheism at the church wedding? My main issue is scripture. The vows are not very negotiable, since there are certain things that have to be said for it to count as a United Methodist wedding. I don't really want to read something like 1 Corinthians 13, which is a scripture he would "agree" with. I'd rather something like the end of Romans 8, or the conversation between Ruth and Naomi, but those are both heavily religious scriptures, as opposed to expressing a more generic sentiment like "hey, love's a great thing!"

Thoughts?

Re: Christian/Atheist Wedding

  • crash2729crash2729 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Have you asked the person performing the ceremony if they will do a christian/atheist wedding? 
    It'd be a shame for them to refuse after you've already made plans.
    image
  • edited December 2011
    Yes. My pastor is willing to perform the ceremony.
  • edited December 2011
    I'm going to say something, and it's ok if you don't agree. 

    I have a serious problem with you having 2 weddings. You don't need 2 weddings, you only get married to the same person once. Unless you are planning on getting a divorce and then having your second "wedding".  If you can't get on the same page planning a party, then you should really think twice about getting married. I am Christian, and my Fi is very agnostic. Our compromise is a pastor of my faith, and he gets to choose the readings. 

    Why not have your ONE wedding at the convention, which you said is for both of you, see if your pastor will still do the ceremony there, do a mix of writing your own vows like your Fi would like, have 2 or 3 readings including 1 Corinthians since he actually chose that one, whether you like it or not. Compromise.
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    You're second ceremony does not seem necessary as you will already be married. Will you have guests attending, or is it merely you guys reciting some additional vows privately?

    I think the first wedding ceremony you are having is the actual moment at which you two are married, so it likely should be a reflection of the two of you. If your FI is okay with the ceremony leaning more closely towards your faith, then that is fine. I think it would be tricky to have a ceremony that is 50% Christian and 50% atheist. They're such opposites it would seem disjoined. You can find readings that aren't as overtly religious, but they're all derived from religion at the end of the day.

    Here are some reading options:
    First Reading
    Ruth 1:16-17
    Sirach 26: 1-4, 13-16
    Song of Songs 2:8-10,14,16a; 8:6-7a (Very descript physical reading talking about the bride and groom, "Stern as Death is Love")
    Tobit 8:4B-8
    Genesis 1:26-28, 31

    Second Reading

    1 John 4:7-12
    1 John 4:7-21
    Colossian 3: 12-17
    Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b ("Let marriage be held in honor by all")
    1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8
    Ephesians 4:1-6

    Gospel
    Matthew 13:31-33
    John 15: 9-12
    Matthew 7:21, 24-29 ("A wise man built his house on rock")
    Matthew 5:1-12
    Matthew 19:3-6
  • dinnamingdinnaming member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am Catholic and FI is Atheist.  I am not as strong in my faith but feel very connected to it as a reflection of my culture.  FI was born and raised by two very atheist parents.

    And we're having two ceremonies as well.  I don't see a problem with it since lots of cultures/beliefs have multiple "ceremonies."

    We're having a civil ceremony on a Saturday with a friend of mine officiating.  The reception will follow.

    Then we're having a Catholic ceremony the next afternoon... I consider it more of a blessing of the marriage.  It WAS difficult to find a priest to do this but once we did, it was no problem at all.

    Picking the readings was challenging for ME mostly because I want to respect my FI's beliefs as well.  I picked readings with a minimum amount of God or Jesus in it.  And psalms that were more like poems and/or just told an interesting story, in my opinion.  

    Here they are:

    Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a
    Psalm 145:8-9, 10 and 15, 17-18
    1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a
    John 2:1-11
    Photobucket
    kaseylyn16
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Christian/Atheist Wedding:
    I am Catholic and FI is Atheist.  I am not as strong in my faith but feel very connected to it as a reflection of my culture.  FI was born and raised by two very atheist parents. And we're having two ceremonies as well.  I don't see a problem with it since lots of cultures/beliefs have multiple "ceremonies." We're having a civil ceremony on a Saturday with a friend of mine officiating.  The reception will follow. Then we're having a Catholic ceremony the next afternoon... I consider it more of a blessing of the marriage.  It WAS difficult to find a priest to do this but once we did, it was no problem at all. Picking the readings was challenging for ME mostly because I want to respect my FI's beliefs as well.  I picked readings with a minimum amount of God or Jesus in it.  And psalms that were more like poems and/or just told an interesting story, in my opinion.   Here they are: Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a Psalm 145:8-9, 10 and 15, 17-18 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a John 2:1-11
    Posted by dinnaming
    Haha I'm doing a Catholic/atheist wedding as well and I picked the exact same readings. Good for you to respect his beliefs too - I'm not getting a lot of understanding from my relatives in that department.
  • Mandy:imaMandy:ima member
    Seventh Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm Protestant and He's an agnostic.  He's kind of open to whatever readings I want, so long as we can have Led Zepllin music at some point...
    kaseylyn16
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