Catholic Weddings

How do I change a priest 5 days before the ceremony?

I am getting married on Saturday; everything has been arranged.  However, my priest has been very difficult and lately his emails have been very short and curt.  He has said no to every little thing that I have asked for, and considering we are not having a full mass I was suprised at his inflexibilty.  And regardless, even with all of the answers being no, his emails did not need to be mean. 

In fact - in the latest one, I asked him if we could meet in person (I do not live in the city I am getting married in, but am now in town for the wedding and think this would be better in person).  and he said "I will see you at the rehearsal on Friday if you wish to continue".  If you wish to continue... like I am going to call the whole thing off because I didn't get my way or something.  Or because we aren't getting along.  How judgemental and presumptious.

My question is this - is there a way to get someone else to preside over my mass at the last minute?  How do I go about asking for this? I literally have 3 days to go - but I do not like the thought of always resenting the person that married us!

Please help :)

Re: How do I change a priest 5 days before the ceremony?

  • What type of requests is he denying? This might add some color for us to understand the situation. If you know a priest your family priest for instance you could see if might be available and them ask your current priest if your "family priest" can officiate. We brought our own priest in, and had no problem with that. I hope this gets sorted out for you! If you cannot find a replacement, try not to dwell on the "crabbypriest" situation. Many times they need theist love. Pray for him and for patience in dealing with him .
  • Is it possible you've been overly demanding or "needy"?  (just asking...sometimes we all need a reality check)

    If you do not regularly attend this church, it's also possible you may just be misinterpretting the priest's personality.

    I'd suggest not worrying too much, and enjoy your ceremony!
  • im with Riss. without knowing what you've asked for, we really cant get a good read on this. 

    if youve been asking for stuff for inclusion that is not part of th e catholic liturgy, for example, then he has every right to say no.  if youve asked if you can throw rice and you havent paid for someone to clean it up afterwards, then he has every right ot say no.
  • I had asked for a couple requests that he denied - but no, I do not think I have been overdemanding at all.  In fact, each time he has said no I have been accepting. For example:
     
    1. We are not having a full mass, so I asked if we could start the ceremony half hour later since they make it start at 1:30 in the afternoon - to try to cut down the 3 hour period in between my ceremony and my reception.  Told no.

    2. Asked if we could do something different than a unity candle but with the same representation.  Told no.

    3.  Asked if we could do an exit line where we run through our guests and into the limo after the ceremony.  Told no.  No explanation, just "they dont do that".

    4. Asked for a secular reading - I've heard some priests allow additional readings; my fiance isn't catholic and we wanted to insert a philosophical reading to represent him.  Told no.

    The thing is - even if he is saying no - he should be kind!  I finally wrote him an email yesterday saying "I think we are miscommunicating by email and I'd like to meet with you in person. When are you available?" and all he said was "I sure hope we are miscommunicating".  He is showing no happiness, positivity, compassion or anything - and this is my wedding! The biggest day of my life!

    I don't know what to do as I do not want to get married by someone who obviously does not like us or find this event to be important.  The problem is that he was my childhood priest, and now we don't live here and I don't know any other priests in the area.  Is it weird if I ask him how to go about not having him be a part of it? lol.  ughhhhhhh,
  • Your location says Phoenix, and I don't know if that's where you live now or where the wedding takes place, but if you're getting married here, I really can't imagine it will be easy to find someone to jump in. Priests are just stretched so thin. Honestly, at this point, if you don't have any contacts, your best (only?) bet is to start making phone calls, but most priests aren't going to be in a position to do a wedding at the last minute because you and the original priest aren't getting along.

    From the sound of it, I think you guys probably are miscommunicating. It sounds like he thinks you've been crabby and you think he's been crabby, so....

    Remember that the ceremony will be efficatious whether you love the priest who performs it or not, and that the conflict you experience with the priest will not affect it, if you don't let it.

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  • He may not be able to start later due to other obligations. If it's a Saturday wedding, he may need to be ready for an evening Mass, or to hear confessions. If there is another wedding scheduled after yours, he will also not be able to adjust the times.

    Marriage is a sacrament with a certain form involved. You don't mess with that.

    Secular readings are not usually permitted.

    Running in church isn't really respectful. Where you thinking of doing this in the church or outside of it in the parking lot? 

    It could just be that you are misinterpreting his tone in the emails. Or he may just be holding his ground about keeping things proper. I think there are a lot of "needy" couples that want to do things that are very secular, and he may just be guarding himself in fear that you are trying to do the same. 


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  • 1. We are not having a full mass, so I asked if we could start the ceremony half hour later since they make it start at 1:30 in the afternoon - to try to cut down the 3 hour period in between my ceremony and my reception. Told no. this is probably due to confessions and the sat. evening mass.  if you didnt want a gap, you should have explored a morning wedding with a lunch time reception or possibly a friday night wedding.  if you read these boards, pretty much every parish has strict times for saturday weddings.

    2. Asked if we could do something different than a unity candle but with the same representation. Told no. unity candle isnt catholic, so any similar ceremony would also not be catholic, therefore it shouldnt be at your catholic wedding.

    3. Asked if we could do an exit line where we run through our guests and into the limo after the ceremony. Told no. No explanation, just "they dont do that". as someone else said, running/clapping/etc in a church is disrespectful.  

    4. Asked for a secular reading - I've heard some priests allow additional readings; my fiance isn't catholic and we wanted to insert a philosophical reading to represent him. Told no. its secular.  you are in a catholic church.  pretty straightforward.

    his answers may have seemed short, but perhaps he is not a strong typer or simply doesnt have time to type out lengthy emails to you and explain his decisions.  as a priest, he is extremely busy with a variety of parish commitments.  they do much more than simply say Mass.

    im sure he will give you a great wedding and ceremony.  i would just relax, go to the rehearsal on friday, meet with him then and just go with the flow.

    and really, your wedding isnt the biggest day of your life.  a very important day, for sure, but its not the biggest or most important.  your priest im sure is happy for you and realizes the importance of this day, but perhaps he thinks you dont realize the religious significance if you are askig so many questions abotu secular traditions, readings, running in a church, etc.  this could be particularly so if he was not the one who met with you for pre-cana. 
  • To be fair, I don't see his responses as being loving or caring in any way. It would likely have been better to speak in person bc tone is so difficult with emails. Try to think of things from his perspective. There are many couples that act like entitled brats when it comes to their wedding. They come off as not caring about the faith or the ceremony an only caring about unimportant details. Have you communicated with him anything besides your requests for the ceremony? Perhaps some pre marital counseling or discussion of the role of your faith in your marriage? If he hasn't been exposed to your commitment to your faith and to marriage, and has only seen the intensity you show towards these little details, he probably feels like you are using the Church as a venue and nothing more. Try to meet with him to discuss faith and marriage, I am sure he will be relieved. Also, most of the requests you made are pretty standard requests that most churches wouldn't allow, so don't take it personally. If you want to do a unity ceremony and secular reading, you could always do that at the reception. Or do it in between, since you have some time to kill anyway! I wish you the best and hope we have helped you out!
  • Have you talked to him? I mean not by email but in person or on the phone? I would call him if he does not have time to meet with you.  Oddly there maybe a miscommunication. I know a freind who had her email hacked and was sending porn stuff to everyone,  including her inlaws.  I think this warrents a phone call to see if there is a problem. If this parish belongs to this priest he can stop anything from happening in his church.  The Candle ceremony was a soap opera thing so it is not a church thing but the church sometimes allows it. 
  • I think you should read the last comments by Riss91 and Calypso1977.  Usually there is an administrative assistant or someone else at the church that can answer those types of moreso logistical questions.  Then they will only contact the priest if it's necessary.  That is the way it is at my church.  Keep in mind that the focus of a priest who has gone through years of training and commitment to their calling is solely on the sacrament.  He might be a bit irritated that you are contacting him about things that seem to not recognize the purpose of his role in representing the catholic church as opposed to a nondenominational officiant.  He wouldn't be trying to sell the church like a banquet hall so he may not feel the need to be friendly if he thinks you are not grasping the significance of the ceremony or why it is not interchangeable.    But with 3 days to go I would just suck it up and perhaps at the rehearsal you two can clear the air and speak more about the meaningfulness of the ceremony.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited September 2012

    zantster, i like you.
    who are you?  introduce yourself!!

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-do-i-change-a-priest-5-days-before-the-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:5aa6a3c8-8430-43ab-af17-508c052abc3bPost:58500b8f-294b-480e-a3a3-b3ecf7fac07f">Re: How do I change a priest 5 days before the ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]zantster, i like you. who are you?  introduce yourself!!
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]
    lol, yup!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-do-i-change-a-priest-5-days-before-the-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:5aa6a3c8-8430-43ab-af17-508c052abc3bPost:58500b8f-294b-480e-a3a3-b3ecf7fac07f">Re: How do I change a priest 5 days before the ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]zantster, i like you. who are you?  introduce yourself!!
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    This!
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