Catholic Weddings
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Quick Question

Let me first say that I have had a horrible time planning this wedding!

 

I am Catholic. My fiancé is Catholic. We were scheduled to have our wedding in our Catholic church on June 3rd, 2011. We are both new to the Faith and our priest was one of the reasons we found the Faith. We booked/paid for the church six months ago with our priest as the Officiant.

 

 Well my FI saw our Priest today at his work. Father Dan comes up to him and over the course of their conversation, he tells him how there is a Priest Retreat for the entire diocese the week of our wedding and that a deacon (I know no deacons) will have to take over.

 

 I am upset. It is my understanding that without a priest there is no Eucharist and I am upset that if my understanding is correct that will not be a part of our ceremony. I am also upset that Father Dan didn’t tell us sooner or if he just found out why didn’t he call. I consider him a friend and it hurts that not only can he not perform the ceremony; he just casually brought it up with my FI at work! Is my understanding the correct one? Will this no longer a part of my ceremony? If that is the case I will be devastated and it will create a nightmare. I have bucked my family members for a year over this wedding (They are Pentecostals and think I am going straight to hell for “praying to Mary ect. Ect.”) I really wanted to show them my faith. It almost feels not worth it to me. :(

Re: Quick Question

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    mica178mica178 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Gosh, what an unfortunate situation.

    I agree that your priest should have told you as soon as he knew that he could not preside over your wedding.

    Is there a way to find a priest from a nearby diocese to do your wedding?  If you want a full Mass, you'll need a priest.  Not that a ceremony outside of mass is any less valid, but it sounds like having the mass is important to you.  Maybe your priest could help you find someone willing to help out?
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    ring_popring_pop member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    That's really unfortunate. Yes, it is true that a deacon cannot say the Mass. However, if you tell your priest how important it is to have the Eucharist at your wedding, I would hope that he would try very hard to find you a priest.

    Is it really that EVERY single priest in the whole diocese will be away? I mean, some of them still need to be around to say the Sunday masses for that weekend.
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies, I needed a vent.


    From what my FI said, the retreat goes from Monday to Saturday at lunch. So in theory since it is summer and the school is not in session, they would only be missing the daily masses. FI is calling the church today to see exactly what our options are. By the time he got off of work the church office was closed. He isn't happy either. Being new to the Faith he didn't realize what Father Dan was telling him about not having the Eucharist if a Deacon takes over. I am just upset, but I also don't have all of the information yet either. Just coming from a convert's background and having my family disapprove so strongly, I wanted so badly to live my Faith in a setting that at least my closest family who is willing to come would see. And just in general I wanted the full Mass to celebrate my new marriage. But I'll keep you all posted.
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    is this retreat required?  honestly, if he's made a committment to your wedding, he shoudl keep it.  mass vs. no mass is a big deal.  i would be really angry to have not had a nuptial mass at my wedding. you are missing out on extra blessings and graces by not having the mass.  i cant believe a priest will deny you this so he can go on a retreat.
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    agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would recommend getting a priest from either a different diocese or an religious community who might not be required to attend.

    There's a lot going on in the church right now...the new translation of the mass is beginning this coming advent, among other things. It is perfectly reasonable that a Bishop requires his priests to go on a retreat, and there would never be a perfect time when no one has other commitments.
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    newlyseliskinewlyseliski member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm so sorry!!!  That is a tough situation...

    The same thing happened to one of my college friends at the campus Newman Center Parish... all the priests in the Paulist order had a sort of national conference the weekend of their wedding!  Both she and her husband were very involved at the parish, knew their priest well and had to find a substitute priest at the last minute.

    Perhaps check if there are any non-diocesan priests that might be available?  Benedictines? Dominicans? Jesuits?  I think that usually these orders aren't under the same requirements (i.e.... like attending diocesan retreats) as diocesan priests, but it may vary by diocese.

    If that's not feasible, I definitely recommend checking in a nearby diocese as mica suggested.  Ask your priest if he has any good priest friends that might be able to come instead who won't be at the retreat! They all seem to know each other, usually.  I definitely think you're justified in your desire to have a full Mass with the Eucharist at your wedding, especially if you're both catholic!
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    agape, maybe in a different thread, can you go over some of the translation changes?

    ive been struggling to learn all of the prayers and responses to the Novus Ordo (i grew up with the Latin).  i feel like i'm finally getting them down, and my mom mentioned the changes this past weekend. 
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    clearheavensclearheavens member
    First Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'd be in tears, too.  My Catholic faith is my life and the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.  I'm sure many ladies here feel the same way.

    I agree with Calypso, if he made a commitment to celebrate your Mass, he should do his best to keep it or follow through and make sure that there's someone else to take his place.  That's my opinion.

    But don't fret.  I am very sure you will be able to secure a priest to have a Nuptial Mass.  Even if it may not be that priest, there are other non-diocesan priests or retired priests who can be there for you, as newlyseliski said.  You may have some extra work to call around even outside of your city.  But it can and will be done.  I'm sorry you have to go through this stress only 2 months until your day but I'm thinking and praying for you.

    Kuddos to you for loving your faith and wanting to celebrate the Eucharist together on your wedding day.
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks for all of the support. I needed the vent. If everything else had been smooth sailing think I could have taken this in stride. But with our families being so Anti-Catholic everything has been a battle, and Father Dan has been so encouraging. It was difficult news to hear. We still haven't heard anything back from the church. They confirmed the retreat, and that a Deacon would be available. My FI said he tried to explain how important it was to us to have the full Mass, but he said they didn't sound as though they were hearing him. I might have to put on my big girl pants and try again on Monday. I just don't want to cry to the secretary and I wish Father Dan had been available himself to discuss our options. I'm from Georgia and priests are few and far between. In my hometown the priest has three parishes he is responsible for and as far as I know we do not have any kind of religious communities. So far it looks as though we may have to beg and plead for an out of diocese priest to come pay us a visit. I'm hoping and praying for the best.  
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_quick-question-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:20e06254-e409-4146-a3b8-95aec97b2bacPost:b6807c1c-2e57-49cc-a090-d17ad88b36c3">Re: Quick Question</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for all of the support. I needed the vent. If everything else had been smooth sailing think I could have taken this in stride. But with our families being so Anti-Catholic everything has been a battle, and Father Dan has been so encouraging. It was difficult news to hear. We still haven't heard anything back from the church. They confirmed the retreat, and that a Deacon would be available. My FI said he tried to explain how important it was to us to have the full Mass, but he said they didn't sound as though they were hearing him. I might have to put on my big girl pants and try again on Monday. I just don't want to cry to the secretary and I wish Father Dan had been available himself to discuss our options. <strong>I'm from Georgia and priests are few and far between.</strong> In my hometown the priest has three parishes he is responsible for and as far as I know we do not have any kind of religious communities. So far it looks as though we may have to beg and plead for an out of diocese priest to come pay us a visit. I'm hoping and praying for the best.  
    Posted by GeorgiaPeachMarie[/QUOTE]

    We live in the Augusta GA area and we have 3 priests at our church. Not kidding. In the north (where H and I are from) there has been an ongoing shortage of priests, even though it has gotten better in recent years.

    And I definitely feel you about being a Catholic in the South where the Baptists reign supreme. And their churches are on every street corner and can be seen from miles away they are so huge.
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    edited December 2011
    Oh no!

    You have every right to be upset. I'm sure it must be very frustrating to have a priest you are so close to not be able to officiate your wedding.

    It's hard to imagine priests being so far apart - I'm from NC and both my hometown and FI's hometown churchs have 3-6 priests each. If you are having trouble finding priests from nearby, have you tried contacting Catholic priests at newman centers/colleges near your hometown? I'm not sure how close you are to any colleges, but many of them, even small ones, have newman centers or other campus catholic communities. With school out in the summer, the priests there will probably have less going on (I know our newman center, where I'm getting married, doesn't have the 7:00 Student Mass sunday nights, etc, during summer), and there may be someone who can help. I know it's not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but if you have your heart set on receiving the Eucharist that may be a good avenue to explore.
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    edited December 2011
    The church we attend now has two Priests on staff although one primarily speaks Spanish and is here to serve our large Hispanic community. He services a Hispanic mission we have in the next county. It is one of the largest churches in our area, but even so we have about 1700 families. We do have a school attached. It is literally the only Catholic school in a 2 1/2 hour radius. We do live in a university town, but our Pastor/Priest volunteers at the Newman Center. That's how we met actually. We live about an hour from the Diocese of Pensacola so we are thinking that is going to be our best option, but until we actually talk to the church and speak to someone I feel knows what they are talking about we're going to wait to call them. 


    I was also hoping Father Dan would help us in our search.
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    clearheavensclearheavens member
    First Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_quick-question-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:20e06254-e409-4146-a3b8-95aec97b2bacPost:4b0caa86-9ed7-41cf-b89e-041249e8563b">Re: Quick Question</a>:
    [QUOTE]The church we attend now has two Priests on staff although one primarily speaks Spanish and is here to serve our large Hispanic community. He services a Hispanic mission we have in the next county. It is one of the largest churches in our area, but even so we have about 1700 families. We do have a school attached. It is literally the only Catholic school in a 2 1/2 hour radius. We do live in a university town, but our Pastor/Priest volunteers at the Newman Center. That's how we met actually. We live about an hour from the Diocese of Pensacola so we are thinking that is going to be our best option, but until we actually talk to the church and speak to someone I feel knows what they are talking about we're going to wait to call them.  <strong>I was also hoping Father Dan would help us in our search.</strong>
    Posted by GeorgiaPeachMarie[/QUOTE]

    <div>I really think he should.  Especially having newly entered the Church, you may not have made acquaintances with many priests.  I would totally ask him.</div><div>
    </div><div>Keep us up to date in another post how it goes. We're supporting you!</div>
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    lalaith50lalaith50 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    wow, I am so sorry to hear that! That is not a very nice situation to encounter when you've been planning so long!

    You have probably already considered this, so I hope I'm not being to presumptuous by suggesting this (and I'm really sorry if I am!), but are you absolutely sure that you DO want a full Mass? I totally understand how important it is to you and your fiance, but I've often seen in situations where the families aren't Catholic, that a Mass is actually discouraged. Keep in mind that since, as you've said, your families are having a hard time with you being Catholic; having them attend a Mass where they can't fully participate (by understanding what's going on, and receiving Communion,) might be even more difficult for them. The non-Mass version of the Catholic wedding ceremony looks a lot more like a Protestant wedding!

    I hope you don't mind my pointing this out...I was just sort of wondering if you were being given a chance to really reconsider whether a Mass was really the best option?
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    the mass adn ceremony is for the couple, not the families.

    IMO, 2 catholics should have a mass if possible.  they should not be discouraged from doing so.
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    edited December 2011
    It ran through my mind, but I didn't really consider it. For us, we're Catholic. I don't care what is the "popular" choice with our families, ultimately it is our lives and we live our lives in accordance to the Faith as well as we can. I'm sure my parents would be thrilled to "get out of the hassle" but as I have compromised on EVERYTHING else in this wedding, the religious end of it I'm not going to compromise on. 


    I do have some kind of an update. My FI said that the Deacon offered to have what is called a Communion Service. Apparently, we have these all the time in our parish when priests are out of town. The Priest "pre-blesses" the Host, and the Eucharist is available, but none of those prayers are included. I have NEVER heard of this before. We are meeting with the church on Friday to settle everything, but has anyone ever heard of this?
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    Riss91Riss91 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_quick-question-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:20e06254-e409-4146-a3b8-95aec97b2bacPost:0c6bb6df-2bc5-46f2-b5ff-9f2834e06472">Re: Quick Question</a>:
    [QUOTE]For us, we're Catholic. I don't care what is the "popular" choice with our families, ultimately it is our lives and we live our lives in accordance to the Faith as well as we can. I'm sure my parents would be thrilled to "get out of the hassle" but as I have compromised on EVERYTHING else in this wedding, the religious end of it I'm not going to compromise on.
    Posted by GeorgiaPeachMarie[/QUOTE]
    Just wanted to applaud you for not giving in to the convenience/comfort level of your family on such an important occasion.

    We had a ceremony in Latin, and other than those that could remember the mass from pre-Vatican II, no one knew the order of things. We certainly didn't give in and have the ordinary-form mass to make them feel less awkward. We're both very glad we did it that way, even if we were teased a bit.
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    agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_quick-question-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:20e06254-e409-4146-a3b8-95aec97b2bacPost:0c6bb6df-2bc5-46f2-b5ff-9f2834e06472">Re: Quick Question</a>:
    [QUOTE]It ran through my mind, but I didn't really consider it. For us, we're Catholic. I don't care what is the "popular" choice with our families, ultimately it is our lives and we live our lives in accordance to the Faith as well as we can. I'm sure my parents would be thrilled to "get out of the hassle" but as I have compromised on EVERYTHING else in this wedding, the religious end of it I'm not going to compromise on.  I do have some kind of an update. My FI said that the Deacon offered to have what is called a Communion Service. Apparently, we have these all the time in our parish when priests are out of town. The Priest "pre-blesses" the Host, and the Eucharist is available, but none of those prayers are included. I have NEVER heard of this before. We are meeting with the church on Friday to settle everything, but has anyone ever heard of this?
    Posted by GeorgiaPeachMarie[/QUOTE]

    A communion service is generally what is used on Sundays when a priest cannot celebrate the mass.  It is an approved "thing", however, its use has been abused and overused.

    While infinite grace is always available in the Eucharist, the highest part of the mass is the Eucharistic prayer, where we offer ourselves, not in the reception of communion.  The mass being celebrated as an offering for your marriage would not happen at a communion service. Don't give up on trying to find a priest yet.
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    We had a ceremony in Latin, and other than those that could remember the mass from pre-Vatican II, no one knew the order of things. We certainly didn't give in and have the ordinary-form mass to make them feel less awkward. We're both very glad we did it that way, even if we were teased a bit.

    same here, except no one teased us. 

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