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Christian Weddings

We're Christian, but my family is Catholic

For the past year, my fiancee and I have been trying to plan our wedding, but we always come to a hault by the fact that my family is Catholic and I am a Christian. My family raised me as a Mexican Catholic (it's somewhat different than other Catholics- so I've been told). When I told them I was a Christian all hell broke loose. My family started to tell me not to let my fiance change who I am (which is not true), and the worst was my mother telling me that I was going to hell for turning my back on "my true religion"...

A year later, my mom and older sister are still trying to tell me to "come back to them," while I'm trying to plan a Christian wedding that will accomadate everyone as much as possible without crossing the line.

Can anyone please offer some suggestions as to how we can accomodate my family so they don't feel offended? There are some customs that my mother needs to have part of the ceremony, and I was going to ask our pastor about it. However, is there anything that I can ask him about? 

Any help and encourangement would help and would be welcome with open arms.

Re: We're Christian, but my family is Catholic

  • I would ask the Pastor if certain traditions from the Catholic service could be done. I'm guessing one of the priests won't perfrom such in a different style church ? Not sure what the lines are there . Use what you feel comfortable using for your service. Good luck. ... My sister in law is going to marry a Catholic .. We kinda have the opposite problem but I kinda understand .
    Love is All You Need
  • Catholics are Christians.
  • I'm a little confused because Catholics ARE Christian, it's just that not all Christians are Catholic.  It's like how squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

    Episcopal traditions seem to be similar to Catholic traditions, so here are a few things DH and I did for our traditional Episcopalian wedding.  We used Shubert's Ave Maria for the grandmother/mothers' processional in our Episcopal wedding, though apparently it's very popular for Catholic weddings.  (My mom just really likes the song and requested it. *shrug*)  Also, one of our readings was from Tobit, which is in the Apocrypha.  Not many Protestant Churches read the Apocryphal books, but the Episcopal churches and Catholic Church recognize them as part of the Bible, so that could be another option for you.  Even if you don't use them for your ceremony, I feel that the Apocrypal books are more read-able than many other Old Testament books.
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  • smartha89smartha89 member
    First Comment
    edited January 2013
    Thank you all for your helpful answers. I will ask the pastor next we see him. (^_^)*

    As for the "Catholics are Christians" comments, I totally agree. However, my situation is a tad bit weird.... When I told my mom that I still believe in the Trinity. It's was as if she didn't hear what I said after the whole, "Mom, I consider myself more Christian than Catholic." 

    I don't want to offend anyone, but growing up, most of the hispanics I knew disliked "Christians." They didn't like how they "pushed their religion on to everyone else" and how "hypocritical" they were. Now that I am older, I understand that the views that were taught to me of "Christians" were wrong and even disrespectful. When I tried to explain to my mom what I truely believe, it was as if she was done listening or even trying to understand. 

    Thankfully, our Pastor gave a sermon that inspired me to do more, talk more, and care more. I was planning the wedding with mom ealier, and I took it upon myself to try to be gentle in the way I approach things about religion. Before I say anything in that regard, I usually try to put myself in her shoes before I say it aloud. Doing so has gotten her excited about the wedding once again and our relationship isn't so tense. 

    Anyway, I'll probably let you guys know what our pastor says when we see him. Just in case someone else has this hiccup later.
  • I think you're going about it the right way, being respectful of your mom's feelings and working towads a compromise. My SO grew up in a Catholic family and is now a Christian after struggling a few years between what he believed. His family and him would debate but as he grew in his faith and brought up verses they stopped wanting to discuss it. This Christmas I invited his mom to our church, which she didn't come but I went to a Christmas mass with his family. I feel like it's a part of who he is.  It's loving the same God but each has a different way of living out that faith.

    Christian cousin married a Catholic woman and it was a lot more awkward for the Christian side of the room. They did a mass and communion which none of the Christian side could take because we were considered unbelievers. But if you could have your pastor talk about the root of why you are even there... God, the meaning of marriage, living out your faith, and both sides should get a lot out of it. 

    I'm almost certain your pastor will have some great ideas. Sometimes they officiate two believers with unbelieving families and your wedding should be about bringing people who love the same God together.. not apart!
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  • Please, if you are going to refer to non-Catholic Christians, use "Protestants" or the specific denomination. It is extremely offensive to imply Catholics are not Christian, even if that's not what you mean.
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  • Thank you, nwwoodsybride. I greatly appreciate your words.

    Chloeagh, I apologize if I offended anyone. I was not, in any way, implying that that Catholics are not Christians. (I do not believe that at all.) I was just trying to express my situation with words that have been used by my family. My parents don't have a problem with a specifc denomination of Christianity; thus I generalized. I know there are multiple denominations of Christ loving people, but to my parents and family (yet, not all my family) not being a Catholic means that you don't believe in the divine Trinity. Even if you repeatedly state that you wholeheartedly do. 

    As I mentioned in my initial post, my family are Mexican Catholics, which is different than other Catholics I know. (No idea why they are, but they just are.) At least my family, as well as the countless Hispanics in my life, can be a bit judgemental when it comes to Christians that aren't Catholics. (Not saying that all Hispanics are like this, just the majority of Hispanics I know) It might be the culture or perhaps it's the (older) generation that they are from. Nevertheless, I have come to the realization that if I continually try to explain to them my beliefs in different ways, they will eventually understand. I am trying to stay calm and constantly ask myself, WWJD? What actions/words would align with His way?  What will honor Him?
  • Okay, I see what you are saying. I'm sorry your family is like that.
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  • Besides the music and the readings, there isn't much more "Catholic" stuff you can include - it would be pagentry which is more disrespectful than not participating in Catholic practices, KWIM? You'd be pretending and that's more sinful - to pretend to believe - than going forward with your own religion. Can you keep the service short rather than have a full mass service? Catholics have non-mass services which are shorter, and keeping it short will give an excuse to "skip" communion.

    I'm what I call an open semi- Catholic - I was raised Catholic, believe in much of their teachings, but there are several core beliefs of the Catholic faith that do not align with my personal morals and values (I'm still struggling to categorize myself and find a religion that encompasses my beliefs). Faith is a personal choice and as an adult, it's your choice to make. You are being more respectful by acknowledging your differences and not pretending than by proclaiming one belief but following another.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_were-christian-but-my-family-is-catholic?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:aecd0c98-6b98-4ed4-aeda-26d64a0b2e59Post:7f7113f4-491c-4284-ac79-f79166c3e990">Re: We're Christian, but my family is Catholic</a>:
    [QUOTE]Catholics are Christians.
    Posted by tiny speck[/QUOTE]

    My thoughts exactly.
    Praying for a miracle!
  • honstly, unless you are getting married in a catholic church (which it sounds like you are not) your family will not be happy with any catholic "touches" or elements being added becuase the bottom line is, as a baptized catholic, your marriage will not be valid in the eyes of the catholic church. 

    you may run the risk of offending them by trying to make teh ceremony appear catholic - trust me, they will know its not.

    i say identify with the faith you have chosen to identify with, and plan your ceremony based on that faith.

    and ditto others.  Catholics ARE Christians. 
  • OP:  I come from a family of Catholics as well, and as an adult was the one who decided to seek a closer, more personal relationship than what was encouraged by all the Catholic churches I'd gone to.  Growing up as a Catholic was more about the rituals, and the religious "rules" than it ever was about a relationship to God.  

    We looked at people who called themselves Christians as a different group.  Fanatics and "Jesus Freaks" if you will (a title I relish), and while we realized that they believed in the same general principals we did, they did so in a different way.  Catholics, at least most of them, don't really interact with their religion, so when I began going to my Penecostal church last March, and gave my self to the Lord, my family immediately started treating me differently. 

    I can sympathize with you in so many ways.  I am a very active church member, and they don't understand that part of how I give back to the one who gave it all for us is by serving on Sundays, and during the week.  They think church is a building that they can spend 45 minutes in, and then go out and do whatever they feel like.  They, as Catholics ( and ones who haven't been to mass in about two years) are upset that I'm not having a Catholic ceremony, and it's one of the reasons they are withholding any financial help from the wedding. 

    I love my family, and pray for them every single day, and hope that one day my mother and father will understand that the bible isn't just something written by "some men" that isn't meant to be read.   It saddens me to think that my parents, mostly my mother, have had so many miracles in their lives that they ignore.  My 20 year sister is so spirtually lost, and so broken and when she tried to go to a different church, she was ridiculed and chose not to go back.  Of course, as soon as I encourage it, they call me a Jesus Freak.  

    My advise to you is to pray, and ask God for his advice.  Listen for that still small voice, and let him be your guide.  If your family doesn't want to come to the wedding to witness you and your union before God, then that is ultimately their loss.  The enemy has all sorts of tricks he uses to lure you back to his path. And usually, right when the enemy is launching this sort of attack, if you will, that's when God is about to do something HUGE.  

    I ask that God be with you and guide you the way He wants you to go, and that He grant you the strength you need to be true to your beliefs.  


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  • Lindsay, very well said!!
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