Maryland-Baltimore

Majorly bummed... ceremony-related (LONG, sorry)

So FI and I went to meet with our deacon last night to start filling out the paperwork and planning our wedding ceremony.  Come to find out (after we leave the meeting of course), FI was never baptized.  In the Catholic church this is a very big deal, and it means we will not be able to have a sacramental marriage.  To me, this is a very big deal, and something I've looked forward to all my life, and something I've especially looked forward to since getting engaged. 

FI feels very bad and did some research last night when we found out.  I was kind of a mess, although I know it's by no means his fault.  I just can't help being a little disappointed.  Basically, we can still get married IN a Catholic church by a Catholic clergyman, but our marriage is not considered a sacrament.  Not sure if it's recognized by the church or not since it's not sacramental. 

Not only am I sad that it affects marriage ceremony, but it also is affecting a little bit the way I feel about his parents.  Almost everyone I know is baptized, it's just what we who are Christians (and Catholic's especially) do around here.  They are from Georgia/NC, which is a primarily Protestant area.  Fine, nothing wrong with that.  Many Protestant faiths do emphasize baptism.  But I guess  Presbyterians or maybe just his parents don't believe in baptism the way we do.  And so it wouldn't have been right I guess for FI's parents to baptize their child if that wasn't their interest/belief... although I know his grandmother is very upset because he called her to ask and check last night and after she checked her bible and their family records she told him his parents failed in their duty.  But at the same time, I am thinking, "how could you as Christians NOT baptize your child!!!?'" because this is the 'culture' I guess I was raised in... I am trying not to focus on that  and trying not to be just a little upset with them deep down.  You can't change the past.  I want to be upset with the Catholic Church for making this rule, but at the same time I understand why it is the rule, because the sacrament of baptism is pivotal to the Catholic faith.  Ugh... so frustrating.  It's pretty much just a fact of life.

I know it may not seem like a big deal, but to me it is.  I really wish it didn't mean so much to me, and that I wasn't upset about it.  I know many many people don't have religion involved in their ceremony at all, much less have sacramental marriages and they live fine and happy lives with wonderful marriages.  Thus, I am by no means judging this.  But is was something I personally was looking forward to, and to building our marriage upon.  The sacrament of marriage performed between the man and wife is so incredibly special to me and in our faith.  I'm trying to figure out how to break it to our deacon...  and how I'm going to deal with this, as it's something I've looked forward to ever since I can remember. 

I'm just trying to focus on the fact that we have a very strong loving relationship that we have built over the past 8 years.  We are more in love with each other every day, and it just never ceases to amaze me.  And we will still have a beautiful and more than meaningful marriage, despite what happens during our ceremony.

Sorry so long, I think I just need to vent. 
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Re: Majorly bummed... ceremony-related (LONG, sorry)

  • edited December 2011
    I'm sorry to hear that :(

    Can he still get baptized?  In many religions it's not as big of a deal as Catholicism, so you can just do it during the Sunday service.  I don't really know much about how it works with Presbyterians, but maybe he could contact a local church?  In some religions, it's just an altar call during the service, where people come up and get baptized, so there's no real record of it and it's very informal.  Could that possibly be what happened?  Either way, I would try to call around and see if he can get baptized  ASAP.
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  • edited December 2011
    I know, I was thinking that too... the problem is FI is not religious... at all.  He doesn't seem to think any church will let him do that.  Although I was wondering that myself.  We will definitely have to look into this.  Thanks for the input! 
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  • edited December 2011
    Presbyterians do both infant and teen/adult baptisms and my church did them during regular services.  Well, infant baptisms were usually during regular service, teens during services when they were confirmed, and adults during the service when they became church members.  If your FI is not religious though and is just looking for baptism and not to join the church, it might be an issue.  People join churches just for baptisms or weddings and they allow it but it's frowned upon.

    As for why his parents may have opted not to have him baptised, even if they did attend church, some protestant and denominational parents aren't big on infant baptism or leave that decision up to the parents.  Beliefs on original sin are different between Catholic and some protestant faiths, and that makes infant baptisms unnecessary.  To FI and I, it seems like a decision the child should make because they are Christian and not something to be done as an infant when there is no choice by the person being baptised. 
  • edited December 2011
    Tough one...so sorry...would your FI, since he is not really religious, consider converting to Catholocism? If he really has no preference of faiths, then it may be great that you  begin your lives together in the same one. Especially since it is very clear that this is something very important to you...? I do hope this works out for you - I do understand why you feel the way that you do...
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  • dawnmhaydendawnmhayden member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011

    I am actually in a really similar situation.  My FI is not baptized either.  I was born and raised a Catholic in an Italian/Irish family so the sacraments are really important to my family.  FI's family considers themselves "Christian" but do not attend church and are not religious at all, with the exception of his grandma and some aunts and uncles.  This situation has actually caused a ton of stress in our relationship once we got engaged and I actually got in a small argument with his mom about because she still thinks he need not be baptized even though it is important to me.

    Long story short, we have looked into this, and even though he is not religious either, he is willing to go to church and keep an open mind.  I think to him though, the Catholic Church is just a bit too strict and set in their ways, so as a compromise we have been going to different churches, all of which do adult baptisms.  Methodist, Lutheran, Church of Christ  and Baptist Churches will all do adult baptisms.  Originally I really wanted him to get baptized prior to our wedding but now with everything going on, that seems to be pushed back till immediately after our wedding, but definitely before we have children.
    Hang in there and remember that it was not his choice not to be baptized. Like you said, you will have a beautiful wedding, you will say your vows and connect in many other ways.  However, if you guys have time, I would look into it-as long as you are both willing. 
    Definitely keep us updated on the situtaion.  Chin up. 

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  • ajerome21ajerome21 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    awwww, i am sorry caroline, it seems that this is very important to you.  I agree with other posts that maybe he should consider getting baptized.  Hope all works out for you!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks girls... RCIA is the how you convert to Catholicism, and it's quite a long process.  You need to be really interested and dedicated to converting in order to get accepted, you need a sponsor, etc. etc.  Neither of which apply to FI so it would not be right for him to do RCIA if he's not 100% invested.  And even if he were invested, we would not have time.  It usually takes a year to finish the process. 

    I am not angry with his parents necessarily because I understand it is just a difference in beliefs, which is fine.  It's just frustrating that's all.  I know he would get baptized for me if that's what I wanted him to do.  But I want him to do it for the right reasons, not just for thw wedding.  My FI isn't too too interested in religion, although he's probably more familiar with Catholicism than Presbyterian since we went to a Catholic high school.  But since our PreCana Catholic marriage prep classes we took last weekend, he actually seems like he might be turning a corner on spiritualty so who knows.  A friend of my family was our high school campus minister, so she's trying to help me figure some things out. 

    Thanks for the support and kind words.  I am sure everything will be fine, just needed a freakout moment to those who understand :)


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  • iamstephiamsteph member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am in the opposite shoes - My fiance is from the Italian/raised Catholic/deeply religious family, while I, on the other hand, have a few religious family members (the rest do consider themselves 'Christians"), and was not baptized.(I am from NC as well, so maybe it is more a cultural thing).  I went with my grandmother to church every Sunday when I was younger, but never really considered myself spiritual, and never considered getting baptized. As I got older, I stopped going to church. 

    Fast forward to college, where I met my fiance, he who went to a Catholic high school AND college, and was active in the church. Religion was never an issue for us (we were long distance the first couple years of our relationship), and after I moved up here, I went to church every Sunday with him.  I still wasn't interested though (and unless the homily was good, I spent the time day-dreaming), but I supported him.

    My lack of Catholicism was frowned upon by his parents, and after fiance stopped going to church (more and more often, the homily turned into "MONEY MONEY MONEY give money to the church, to this and that cause, etc and he didn't like it), his parents really frowned upon it (they thought it was my fault, even though I went to church with him). After we got engaged, we considered doing a church wedding, but decided not to. Talk about making his parents ANGRY! They kept pushing and pushing for the marriage mass, and he finally told them 'No. It isn't happening. It isn't going to happen. Not that it's your business, but she's not baptized, and I'm not making her'. 

    If he decided to start going back to church every Sunday, then I would support him, but it was nice of him to support me in my non-religiousness. I know the sacraments are important to you, and I'm sure you've discussed this with him so that he knows it too, but try to be understanding if he decides not to get baptized. If you keep bringing it up, he'll start to feel guilty and possibly do it for the wrong reasons.

    Good luck!
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  • vjcjenn1vjcjenn1 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My sister's husband had to go through RCIA so they could marry Catholic...and he went to Catholic school his entire life....how f'd up crazy is that!

    I wanted to say I understand how you feel, it's something that would be important to me to, and I think it's a touching sign that you are just considering this wedding a chance to wear a pretty dress and have a big party, but that it is a commitment that you want to be witnessed by God and that you are bringing your faith in it.

    So my advice to you is just to pray, that if you can't change it, that God can help you accept it
  • strawberrycrzstrawberrycrz member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Really? I never heard of that rule before.  I am catholic and my FI is not.  He is nothing.  His dad is jewish, his mom is luthern and they never took FI to any religious services of any kind ever.  I wanted to get married in the catholic church and I talked to my deacon and he said that we were able too, but never mentioned that it wouldn't be considered a sacrament.  I'm pretty bummed right now with you.  I completely understand!
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  • edited December 2011
    *hug*  I can tell you're really disappointed.  I'm sorry that you found out about this so close to the wedding and it's causing you stress.

    Have you thought about asking the Deacon as to what you 2 should do?  He might be able to guide you in the right direction.

    I wish I had more answers...please keep us posted and vent anytime you want to!
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