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Catholic Weddings

New to board and having church difficulty! -long sorry!

Hey all!  Just introducing myself as I haven't posted before.
 Fiance and I are getting married in december.  Venue is set.  Here is our problem.  I am a vet and work crazy hours.  Fiance lives 5 states away finishing degree.  We both basically live in 2 different states, half time in each.  We are not currently members of a parish because my schedule frequently doesnt allow me to go to church (emergencies and regular work is scheduled on sunday) and the weekends that either of us has off are spent traveling to the other state to visit.   Both of us are from religious families, fiance's family is STRONGLY religious (grandparents walked to church every day until 93 yrs old!!). 

However, we have inquired at a few different parishes near where I live and where the venue is (have only lived here a year).  We have been scorned and rejected flat out and told that we couldnt even think about "talking" about scheduling a ceremony until we were members for at least 6 mos.  WTH!?  I understand their side of things but cmon! we are obviously in extenuating circumstances???  We only have one church left to talk to but I don't know what we are going to do if we are rejected again.  And we can't risk being members without talking about scheduling for 6 mos only to find out "whoops!" someone else already getting married on your date @ your time. Honestly, I know full well I should have scheduled the ceremony first but I personally have not had good luck with the church before and was very hesitant to deal with exactly what I am having to deal with now.   What to do????

Re: New to board and having church difficulty! -long sorry!

  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to New to board and having church difficulty! -long sorry!:
    [QUOTE]Hey all!  Just introducing myself as I haven't posted before.  Fiance and I are getting married in december.  Venue is set.  Here is our problem.  I am a vet and work crazy hours.  Fiance lives 5 states away finishing degree.  We both basically live in 2 different states, half time in each.  We are not currently members of a parish because my schedule frequently doesnt allow me to go to church (emergencies and regular work is scheduled on sunday) and the weekends that either of us has off are spent traveling to the other state to visit.   Both of us are from religious families, fiance's family is STRONGLY religious (grandparents walked to church every day until 93 yrs old!!).  However, we have inquired at a few different parishes near where I live and where the venue is (have only lived here a year).  We have been scorned and rejected flat out and told that we couldnt even think about "talking" about scheduling a ceremony until we were members for at least 6 mos.  WTH!?  I understand their side of things but cmon! we are obviously in extenuating circumstances???  We only have one church left to talk to but I don't know what we are going to do if we are rejected again.  And we can't risk being members without talking about scheduling for 6 mos only to find out "whoops!" someone else already getting married on your date @ your time. Honestly, I know full well I should have scheduled the ceremony first but I personally have not had good luck with the church before and was very hesitant to deal with exactly what I am having to deal with now.   What to do????
    Posted by shanghai'd[/QUOTE]

    Well, to start off, WELCOME!

    I'm sorry that you're having so much trouble finding a church particularily with your reception venue alreay set.  I'm assuming tha the reception venue is near you in Philly, right?

    Have you tried going to the Philadelphia board to ask around?  I live in NYC so I don't know any Catholic churches there but your local board would.  I have a friend on another forum who lives on the Jersey side of Philly and I will email her tonight to see if she has any bright ideas.

    Don't panic, you have almost 10 months to find a church.  Perhaps the local will give you some suggestions or my friend may.  I'll get back to you in the morning or when I hear back from her.  I do have a friend of my dad's who is an Episcopalian minister there, he may or may not have ideas.

    It's quite late and few knotties are on this late.  I'm recovering from surgery and rested too much today so now I'm sleepless :(

    Relax, go to sleep and tomorrow post on the Philadelphia board.  There is a drop down menu for the local boards.

    <---------------

    Night!


    ETA:  My friend suggested that you try St. Timothy's in Philly
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    P.S.  There is a private message feature here if you have any further questions for me.  or my email is [email protected]

    GL
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Have you tried talking to just the parish secretaries of each church to find out if even your proposed date is available?  That might help you figure out which church to spend your time (not that I'm suggesting that you join a church just because it's available on your prespecified date).  

    When H and I decided to get married, we had an idea that we wanted to marry at our parish, but we consulted with the parish secretary before bugging th pastor about our date.  It made it easier for us to approach him, knowing that the day was free and avaialble.

    That being said, I do recommend that you and your FI find a parish that you love and become members.  I don't know why, but I feel that if you are a known parishioner at one church, other churches in the area might be more receptive to you getting married there.
  • lisa89760lisa89760 member
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I second talking to the parish secrataries.  My church allowed us to become members and secure our date at the same time (not sure if this is normal practice, my uncles my priest so I think I got some special treatment) but I know some other people have done the same thing. 
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  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Welcome!  I would definitely join a parish to start with.  You can belong to a parish without being at Mass every weekend - it's really okay.  But don't join one just cause your date is open - join one that speaks to you :).  I would do what others suggested - if you find a church that you like and it happens to have your date open, maybe see if they can hold the date for you as long as you join the parish.

    I also just thought of something else that I'm not 100% sure on.  Did you go to school in the Philly area?  If so, did your school have a Newman Center?  Maybe someone else would know if this is actually allowed, but you could get married there.
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  • edited December 2011
    Sorry you are having so much trouble.  I know different churches have a lot of different policies.  We are getting married at the church I am registered at, and we still had to meet with a priest and do a few other things before we were allowed to schedule a date.

    I definitely second the PPs who recommended joining a parish.  Any church that sees you are not involved in a parish is going to be a bit skeptical of your commitment to a Catholic marriage.  Joining a parish sends a clear message of your intensions.  FI and I also live apart and travel a lot on weekends, but are both registered in a local parish so that we have a community we belong to when we are in town.

    It sounds like your parents/grandparents don't live near where you are getting married, but if they do, their churches may be a bit more understanding than others since many parishes will allow you to marry there if your parents attend.  Ditto the suggestion about the Newman center where you went to college, if that is an option.

    Finally, and this is an unpleasant option, is your reception at all flexible.  I.e, can it be pushed back to a later date, so you can get the church set?  Or, can you cancel your venue with minimal loss of money to get married near one of your homes in one of your parents' churches?
  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    That is another option, Meg.  Our wedding is in my hometown, which is not where we live now, so we're actually getting married at my parents' church....... which used to be my church too, so it's not that far of a stretch.
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  • edited December 2011
    I second the Newman center or other campus ministry idea.  Talk to the campus ministry at your FIs school; talk to the campus ministry at your alma mater;  find a parish and at least register and go when you can.  

    We lived in cities 6 hours apart, and got married in a third city.  The logistics were crazy!!   We traveled all over the place for those last 8 months or so.  We also threw in the mix of getting married by a visiting priest instead of one of the priests at the parish :)  

    I know you probably want to set the date ASAP with the church-  but the priest will want to make sure he knows you first.   The sacrament is what is important and what they will emphasize. 
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  • lalaith50lalaith50 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Try putting yourself in the "shoes" of the church. While you may think that you have "extenuating circumstances," they actually have people come in all the time who want to have a church wedding for some reason, and yet it has never occurred to them that maybe they should be trying to attend the church or making some sort of committement to that church until the moment that they realize they want to get married there! It really does take a lot of work for a church to host a wedding, and by doing exactly what you're doing (calling around and "shopping" for a church that will marry you,) you are proving their worry that even if you do become members for 6 months...they will most likely never see you again after they marry you! (so ask yourself, why *should* they make any exceptions for you?)

    A Church is more than just a building to get married in...
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies.  Speaking to secretaries is mainly what I have been doing.  But they seem to not like the idea of you calling to find out if they are available, which is understandable, as lalaith mentioned.  I totally understand their side.  What I don't understand is how rude they can be.  I mean, even if we are  not crazy religious-we still want our marriage recongnized by the church and our kids brought up with the faith.  We are good people.  We just have insane living circumstances and unfortunately job descriptions!  I just looked in my work planner and there has only been 1 sunday in the past 3 months, and 2 saturday nights that I even could have gone to mass b/c i was working.  I know many people work long crazy hours and still manage to go, but honestly after I work 3 or 4 weekends in a row and 80 hr weeks, going to church is really the last thing i want to do!   I guess someone needs to start live streaming mass! 

    I think the questions/concernsthat i have are reasonable for them.  And we have every intention of continuing on with the parish we eventually join.  I just feel like we aren't even being given a chance :(
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    well, you CAN be a member even if you cant attend regularly.  i would go ahead and get registered at the church you would attend if you could get there.

    i would then maybe take your next free weekend, and rather than travel, skip a weekend together and go to mass.  tehn, id try to grab the priest afterwards and see if you can talk to him.  a priest is more likely to be more open that listening to you and your circusmtances or at least open to scheduling a time to meet with you.

    our priest was very understanding.  my H is a police officer so he often works and cant get to mass.

    I know many people work long crazy hours and still manage to go, but honestly after I work 3 or 4 weekends in a row and 80 hr weeks, going to church is really the last thing i want to do! 

    i can understand being tired, i can.  i work usually 60 hour weeks and its hard.  i am the first to admit we do not go every single week.  but mass, especially if you go to the early one (i love the 730am!) is often only 45 minutes.  daily weekday masses can be even quicker. 
  • edited December 2011
    I think the first thing you need to do is find a parish ASAP in which you are comfortable. Register. Then talk to the priest about what your options are. What flexibility he is willing to demonstrate is not something that any of us on the message board can judge. For example, he may be willing to push you through if you are already a registered member. You need to very seriously consider that you might have to change the date. Being a registered member of another parish might make other parish see you as more committed to the faith. Otherwise, they have nothing but your word to go on when you tell them as much.

    Also, FYI, there are places that stream mass online, but it does not fulfill your Sunday obligation. However, work schedules that truly keep you out of church are automatic dispensations. If I was in your shoes, I would look for a church community that has very early or late masses (or both). That would give you more options on masses to attend, even with your busy schedule.
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  • adedricksonadedrickson member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I agree that you need to be a member somewhere... we live in WA and are getting married in my hometown in MD. Knowing that we are members here in WA, they had no problem with us being married in MD. We are doing all our prep out here and then they will speak for us :) Good luck!
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  • edited December 2011

    I am getting married in a town which is not where my fiance and me live.  We did have some issues at first finding a church, as many parishes do require that you are a member.  However, we found that the churches near downtown and the city center were more open to non-parishoner weddings (they have dwindling membership and use weddings as a way to earn revenue).  We did find one downtown. 

    Also, when we first started planning, we did not belong to a parish, but then we realized we needed to belong to a parish near where we live so that we could facilitate the paperwork and pre cana requirements.  It'll be easier in the long run if you join a parish near where you live (or most often live) even if you can't attend regularly.


    One of my good friends got married at a lovely church in city center Philly - Old St. Joseph's, 321 Willings Alley.  She was not a parishoner.   Try reaching out them.

    P.S. As an anecdote, there was one church we really wanted to get married in, but they never returned our phone calls and emails.  We're getting married this weekend, and started calling churches last April 2010.  Just two days ago (11 months later) that church finally returned my emails!  Good thing we didn't wait for them!

  • HandBananaHandBanana member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: New to board and having church difficulty! -long sorry!:
    [QUOTE]Try putting yourself in the "shoes" of the church. While you may think that you have "extenuating circumstances," they actually have people come in all the time who want to have a church wedding for some reason, and yet it has never occurred to them that maybe they should be trying to attend the church or making some sort of committement to that church until the moment that they realize they want to get married there! It really does take a lot of work for a church to host a wedding, and by doing exactly what you're doing (calling around and "shopping" for a church that will marry you,) you are proving their worry that even if you do become members for 6 months...they will most likely never see you again after they marry you! (so ask yourself, why *should* they make any exceptions for you?) A Church is more than just a building to get married in...
    Posted by lalaith50[/QUOTE]

    Yeah I kind of agree with this.  i have said this before but our church is a historical landmark and I would hate to think that someone who randomly just wanted to get married there would get a date over myself and my fh because they called before us.

    I do have sympathy for your situation.I agree with the poster before that said you should talk to posters on a local board or maybe use a parent's church or grandparent's church.

    Your best luck though is registering and becoming active church members.
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  • chrissyinatlchrissyinatl member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Our church told us from the very beginning that we were NOT to set a date or pick out a venue until we had been through quite a bit of pre-counseling.  In fact, we were engaged for 5 months before we were allowed to set a date.

    I do understand, because they can only have so many weddings and the process is very time consuming for the priest.  They want a committment from you....
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  • ktanddevangktanddevang member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hi, I don't usually post on this board and I am not sure where in Philly you are from but when I went to school in Philly I used to attend St. John the Evangelist. It is a beautiful church and the church community was fabulous. They were extremely welcoming to me and I found going there to be a very comforting experience, especially for a homesick college student far from home! Good luck!
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    OP,

    My friend emailed me back and suggested that you try St. Timothy's

    I hope that helps some
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