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Catholics & non-catholics

My fiance is Irish Catholic and I am attending RCIA to become Catholic so that we can raise our children Catholic. However, my entire family is Protestant. His family would like to have a mass because the Eucharist is very important to them, but I don't want my family to feel awkward or out of place because they cannot participate. What should we do?

Re: Catholics & non-catholics

  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Will you have converted by the time of your wedding?If so, your family is going to have to accept the fact that you are Catholic now and communion is part of it.  I would suggest that everyone go to the alter at communion time and the  priest will just give a blessing of the person who keeps their hands down.  You might explain this in person if the wedding is small or in your program otherwise.If you are not converted by the time of the wedding, I honestly would skip it, if only to make your family more comfortable. Also, priests generally advise that if one party is not Catholic, that communion is skipped.  It makes the wedding seem somewhat unequal.GL!
  • edited December 2011
    I think you need to really think on this one. Like OOT said, if you've converted at that point, you should have the Eucharist and hope your family will understand. If you're not in full communion with the church then, please give it some thought. Before my FI converted, he wanted to still have the Eucharist at our wedding because my entire family is Catholic and we outnumbered his smaller family. It seemed to him like doing it for the greater good.
  • bel138bel138 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Like the others, I think it depends on your status as of the wedding. If you have completed RCIA, I say definitely receive the Eucharist. They need to accept that this is your decision. Also, the priest should be more than willing to do a blessing for those who are not receiving. If you haven't completed it, I would still consider having a full mass. Not so much to appease FI's family. But if you're going through RCIA, you will have a better understanding of the meaning of the Eucharist and how important it is. Of course, this is coming from a Catholic, though, so take that statement with a grain of salt.Above all, you must do what YOU are comfortable with. While it may sound selfish, this is your faith, and the opinions of your family and his do not matter on that day. It is your ceremony that the two of you are sharing and whether or not you decide to have a full mass will not hurt anyone either way.
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  • edited December 2011
    Have you actually asked your family if they will feel awkward? DH family is not Catholic. We talked to them about it before hand and they said they didn't mind and that it doesn't make them feel excluded. It's just a Catholic thing. On another note, I really dislike it when everyone says that it isn't equal when one party is Catholic and the other is not. DH is not Catholic. He feels that he would like to become Catholic someday, but isn't sure when. He does recieve a blessing during communion and he says that it always fills him with great joy and love and does not feel that he is "missing out". So please quite saying it is unequal. Now, I do understand that it is different if your FI has no interest in becoming Catholic and does not participate in communion during Sunday mass.
    My Grandparents on their wedding day.
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    Repeat this to your self: My Wedding Party is made of my family and friends and I should treat them as such.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    IMO, two Catholics should have Mass.  Communion itself is a sacrament.  As Catholics, we should strive to receive sacraments as often as possible as we believe that the sacraments help us be strong in our faith and beliefs. Also, the nutpial mass gives extra blessings and graces to the couple that you dont receive when you have just the ceremony (although both do still give you the sacrament).your family can still go up for a blessing at communion time, even if they can't receive.  its a way to include them.  FWIW, i have never heard a non-catholic complain at a wedding about being left out.  most folks i know respect other faiths and traditions, and attend weddings knowing that the ceremony is what the bride and groom want for their day.as a PP said, once you've completed RCIA, a lot of this shoudl become a lot clearer to you as you continue to grow in the faith.GL!
  • edited December 2011
    not every guest will be catholic.  you cannot worry about who might feel uncomforatble, and honestly, why would/should they?  i have been to many different religious ceremonies and never felt uncomfortable.  i embraced their culture and liked learning about their traditions and sat down and shut up so to speak when it didn't concern me or my beliefs.  you should have the mass because it means something to you & fi and stop worrying about your family.
  • edited December 2011
    Please don't overthink this.  People go to weddings outside their faith all the time. It should be no different because it's a family wedding instead of a friend's.
  • jfarr6jfarr6 member
    edited December 2011
    Are you also becoming Catholic because you believe in the Catholic church and Its teachings?  At least half the guests at our wedding were not Catholic. Our priest invited anyone who was not Catholic to come up for a blessing.  No one ever said anything about being uncomfortable and I don't think that this is something you should worry yourself with.  You are choosing to become Catholic and, as a Catholic, I would think that receiving Communion would be important to both you and your soon-to-be husband as you are married.  If it is important to you, then your family should be supportive of your choice.  I suggest talking to your family members in advance and explaining what will take place.  This may help them to feel more comfortable during this part of the mass.Oh, and my husband is not Catholic and also received a blessing from the priest.  I do not feel that our wedding ceremony was unequal at all.  He also stood next to me, as my equal, as I administered the cup to the congregation.
  • procowarner15procowarner15 member
    edited December 2011
    I really feel this is a personal choice that needs to be made by you and your FI. My DH is not catholic and we did not want a full mass, not because it would be unequal. But for other reasons and it was our choice to make, and I am very happy with how our ceremony turned out. We were told by many people how beautiful it was!My suggestion though would be to continue on with the RCIA process and see how you feel when you finish (if that is before the wedding). Ultimately you and your FI are the ones that need to feel comfortable with your decision.
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