Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Catholic vs. Anti-Religion

My Catholic fiance is well aware of the fact that I don't hold any religious beliefs, and it's never been a problem. We're not getting married in the Catholic church (or any church for that matter), and this was not an issue with him either. I've made an appointment with a regular old officiant since I'm not converting to Catholicism. My fiance and I have had a talk about how the ceremony might go, and the subject matter of "God" is getting in the way. How can we support both of our beliefs without one of us feeling left out or upset? I don't want to tell him there can't be any religious matter included in the ceremony, but I also feel very uncomfortable being married "under" something I don't believe in at all. HELP!

Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion

  • edited March 2012
    As for the ceremony, perhaps you could have a secular ceremony, but include a prayer at the beginning or end? Then there isn't anything religious in your vows, but it still includes an acknowledgement of god.  I don't know if that would be enough for your FI though. 

    However, I think that's only the tip of the ice berg.  You and your FI need to have a long talk about this, I think I've heard that a catholic being married outside of a church is actually a pretty big deal.  I think another knottie said something about it leading to excommunication, but I could be wrong about that.  Have you two discussed how you will raise your kids in regards to religion? How you'll handle holidays? Will you do mass every other Sunday and no church on the others? Will just he attend church and be fine going alone? I know those may seem like silly questions, but they are important things to answer before two people of very different religions form a family.
  • Thanks for the advice! I would really prefer no prayer at all, but I can be bothered for a few short minutes if it will make him happy as well. :)

    We have discussed the whole Catholic being married outside of the church being a big deal thing before and he doesn't seem worried about it at all. His mother is actually Catholic and his father is Protestant, and he never converted before they were married. To my knowledge, your partner must convert to Catholicism in order to be married in the Catholic church, so I'm assuming that they must have been married in the Protestant church? Which, if what they say it true, their marriage wouldn't be recognized by the Catholic church. It's all so confusing!!

    As for the children aspect, I've already told him that I will not be attending mass or any other church functions with him, but he is welcome to take our child(ren) with him. Nothing is more frustrating than someone pushing their beliefs on me, so I don't want to do that with my own children. If they decide that they want to be avide church-goers, so be it. If they decide they aren't into it, hooray! I want them to make their own decisions, like I did.

    I honestly think that the only reason he does attend church on a regular basis is because his parents do (he still lives at home). His mother is a very intimidating woman (reminds me a heap of the mom on Everybody Loves Raymond!) and I really think that he wouldn't hear the end of it if he missed a Sunday. So, I think that he's just afraid of disappointing her, which is also why he wants to make sure there is a religious aspect of our wedding.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_catholic-vs-anti-religion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:fe26bc0d-997c-4d78-8201-176ec2540546Post:850b7eb0-682c-4850-a8ae-b8707ee3fc34">Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion : No, your partner does not have to be Catholic to marry in the Catholic church. Only one of you needs to be. To the PP, <strong>a Catholic is not excommunicated when they marry outside of the Church, but they are barred from the Sacraments. This is a pretty big deal for most Catholics</strong>. One thing you would have to agree to to be married in the Church (even as a non-Catholic) is promise to raise your children Catholic. Though it looks like the OP already said that she would let her FI take the kids to Mass.
    Posted by cfaszews25[/QUOTE]
    Thanks for clearning that up.  I remembered CMGr talking about serious stuff happening for catholics who aren't married in the church, but I didn't 100% remember what exactly it was. 
  • MiksChick23MiksChick23 member
    First Comment
    edited March 2012
    I grew up Catholic and attend mass when I can. I am not being married in the church and I still plan on taking communion and attending as if I am a perfectly legit Catholic. I think it depends how serious you are about specific beliefs and whether or not you will stop taking the sacraments when you're in a non Catholic marriage. If we decide to regularily attend a Catholic church down the road, I will probably get my marriage blessed there, just for peace of mind.

    OP - I think this is a pretty big deal, and wedding asside, religion is always going to be there. If your FI is strong in his beliefs,  he probably wants God involved in his wedding and marriage. I think this is something you need to discuss outside the context of the wedding itself. But if he is agreeing to get married outside his church, the least you can do is let someone say a prayer before or after the ceremony, which it seems like you are willing to do. =)
    Anniversary
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_catholic-vs-anti-religion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:fe26bc0d-997c-4d78-8201-176ec2540546Post:fb4d7779-1e63-45e4-94c6-952679861d63">Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion</a>:
    [QUOTE]I grew up Catholic and attend mass when I can.<strong> I am not being married in the church and I still plan on taking communion and attending as if I am a perfectly legit Catholic. I think it depends how serious you are about specific beliefs and whether or not you will stop taking the sacraments when you're in a non Catholic marriage. If we decide to regularily attend a Catholic church down the road, I will probably get my marriage blessed there, just for peace of mind.</strong> OP - I think this is a pretty big deal, and wedding asside, religion is always going to be there. If your FI is strong in his beliefs,  he probably wants God involved in his wedding and marriage. I think this is something you need to discuss outside the context of the wedding itself. But if he is agreeing to get married outside his church, the least you can do is let someone say a prayer before or after the ceremony, which it seems like you are willing to do. =)
    Posted by MiksChick23[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Wow. Just wow. That's incredibly disrespectful and ballsy. I'm not the world's best Catholic, and I know that's wrong wrong wrong. So wrong. My mom is an incredibly involved woman of faith, and she has not taken Communion in almost 5 years because she remarried without an annulment. She stopped for a year after my parents' divorce, and she stopped completely after she remarried. She still attends Mass, and is the head of the church women's society where she is. Do I think she would like to receive? Of course, but she doesn't because that would be putting her soul in a state of peril. Could she have lied when she moved a thousand miles away from anyone who knew about her divorce or the circumstances of her remarriage? Yup, but she didn't, because she's not a liar. While Communion is important, I think it's still totally possible to be a wonderful member of your church community without receiving, especially when you would be receiving through a falsehood. </div><div>
    </div><div>Also, getting your marriage blessed, known as a convalidation, isn't just that you go to a priest and he does it. You generally have to go through some of the same counseling that you would have had to go through to get married in the church in the first place. I have a friend that went though it last summer, and it wasn't easy. They don't always get approved, either, and if the priest at that church has seen you taking Communion and then you go to him about a convalidation, there could be a dust-up. And if it's not approved, you'd probably have to switch churches to continue your charade, not that it sounds like it'd be a big deal to you. </div><div>
    </div><div>OP- While you definitely don't have to be Catholic to get married in a Catholic church (my FI isn't, I am), and you don't have to promise to raise the kids Catholic (you used to, now you just have to promise to not interfere with him raising the kids Catholic, and it doesn't sound like you would), it still sounds like you guys have a good bit to work out. What if it turns out that after you guys get married and he's away from his mother, that he really does receive something from going to Mass and being involved in his church? What if that really is his choice? He may, at some point, want to get your marriage convalidated, if he can, would you be up for that? Those are some good questions to ask yourself, What if he wants to get your children baptized? </div><div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_catholic-vs-anti-religion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:fe26bc0d-997c-4d78-8201-176ec2540546Post:ed7f8d57-11c9-47b7-873f-95b4bc51612b">Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion : Wow. Just wow. That's incredibly disrespectful and ballsy. I'm not the world's best Catholic, and I know that's wrong wrong wrong. So wrong. My mom is an incredibly involved woman of faith, and she has not taken Communion in almost 5 years because she remarried without an annulment. She stopped for a year after my parents' divorce, and she stopped completely after she remarried. She still attends Mass, and is the head of the church women's society where she is. Do I think she would like to receive? Of course, but she doesn't because that would be putting her soul in a state of peril. Could she have lied when she moved a thousand miles away from anyone who knew about her divorce or the circumstances of her remarriage? Yup, but she didn't, because she's not a liar. While Communion is important, I think it's still totally possible to be a wonderful member of your church community without receiving, especially when you would be receiving through a falsehood.  Also, getting your marriage blessed, known as a convalidation, isn't just that you go to a priest and he does it. You generally have to go through some of the same counseling that you would have had to go through to get married in the church in the first place. I have a friend that went though it last summer, and it wasn't easy. They don't always get approved, either, and if the priest at that church has seen you taking Communion and then you go to him about a convalidation, there could be a dust-up. And if it's not approved, you'd probably have to switch churches to continue your charade, not that it sounds like it'd be a big deal to you.  OP- While you definitely don't have to be Catholic to get married in a Catholic church (my FI isn't, I am), and you don't have to promise to raise the kids Catholic (you used to, now you just have to promise to not interfere with him raising the kids Catholic, and it doesn't sound like you would), it still sounds like you guys have a good bit to work out. What if it turns out that after you guys get married and he's away from his mother, that he really does receive something from going to Mass and being involved in his church? What if that really is his choice? He may, at some point, want to get your marriage convalidated, if he can, would you be up for that? Those are some good questions to ask yourself, What if he wants to get your children baptized? 
    Posted by divinemsbee[/QUOTE]

    Its not a charade, FYI. Its my choice and my beliefs. I believe all God's children are welcome at His table. I grew up Catholic, yes, but I have my own set of beliefs and I am entitled to them. I do not BELIEVE that my soul is in peril for taking communion! PLENTY of people skip a Sunday at church and take it the next week, and that's not any worse. Its all in how you embrace your own belief system.And its between me and my God, and you really don't get to judge me, sorry.
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  • OP: I agree with the others that this could come up as a huge issue in the future.  You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, so I hope that you and your FI will really take the time to discuss what this means for your future.  As PPs have said, your religious differences will not go away once you are married, and I have seen it strain even the best relationships if both parties to not enter completely honestly.

    As for incorporating something to help include your FI, could you maybe do a reading from scripture?  Even if you don't believe it, there is a lot of beautiful writing in the Bible.  I'm not talking about "Love is patient, etc," but something that really speaks to both of you with regards to your views on marriage.
    Anniversary

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  • Make him make concrete suggestions. Because it's women who daydream about their weddings all their lives, we do come into wedding planning with more knowledge and ideas, usually. But if a future husband has requests we're not sure about, it shouldn't be on us to look up "Catholic wedding readings" or whatever. Just as he can't react to "What about a rustic, elegant theme?" without pictures or something, so you don't have to react to "some Catholic element in the ceremony" without something more concrete. So make him use Google and the library and talks with his parents and a Priest so you have some idea what you're both thinking/talking about.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_catholic-vs-anti-religion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:fe26bc0d-997c-4d78-8201-176ec2540546Post:854c4bbc-09a9-4a1d-846d-33a440e6d9b8">Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion : Its not a charade, FYI. Its my choice and my beliefs. I believe all God's children are welcome at His table. I grew up Catholic, yes, but I have my own set of beliefs and I am entitled to them. I do not BELIEVE that my soul is in peril for taking communion! <strong>PLENTY of people skip a Sunday at church and take it the next week, and that's not any worse.</strong> Its all in how you embrace your own belief system.And its between me and my God, and you really don't get to judge me, sorry.
    Posted by MiksChick23[/QUOTE]

    <div>Chick's got a point.  You're really not supposed to receive communion when you're not in a state of grace (aka; haven't gone to confession since committing a sin).  I'd imagine that a great many congregants receive communion when they technically shouldn't.   Is it proper?  No.  Does it mean they're going straight to hell? I certainly hope not.</div>
  • I don't think it's ever okay to receive communion when not in a state of grace, so I don't like the whole "Well, but other people do it ...." rationale.

    I think it's just disrespectful to purposefully go against the requests of a religious group.  No one is perfect... we all make mistakes... but if you're not at least attempting to practice the Catholic faith, it's hypocritcal to receive communion.  Cafeteria Catholicism at its best.

    Maybe Miks is trying to practice the Catholic faith, but just makes mistakes sometimes.  That's completely understandable.  But her post made it sound that she's no longer practicing (married outside the church, doesn't attend mass regularly at all).

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  • edited March 2012
    True point, monkey. I guess I just think you might be surprised at the number of people who receive communion that shouldn't according to the letter of the law. But you're right; the fact that "everyone does it" shouldn't matter.
  • edited March 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_catholic-vs-anti-religion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:fe26bc0d-997c-4d78-8201-176ec2540546Post:854c4bbc-09a9-4a1d-846d-33a440e6d9b8">Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: <strong>Catholic vs. Anti-Religion : Its not a charade, FYI. Its my choice and my beliefs. I believe all God's children are welcome at His table. I grew up Catholic, yes, but I have my own set of beliefs and I am entitled to them. I do not BELIEVE that my soul is in peril for taking communion! PLENTY of people skip a Sunday at church and take it the next week, and that's not any worse. Its all in how you embrace your own belief system.And its between me and my God, and you really don't get to judge me, sorry.</strong>
    Posted by MiksChick23[/QUOTE]

    Your BELIEF system isn't what the Catholic Church teaches. And if you don't believe in what the Catholic Church teaches, why are you continuing to attend a Catholic Church???!  I think what <a href="http://community.theknot.com/cs/ks/user/default.aspx?membershipid=6366459904633351&plckUserId=6366459904633351" target="_blank" class="username_knot">divinemsbee was well put. </a>The reason you cannot take communoin is because the Church doesn't recognize your marriage as valid you are not within a state of grace, and therefore unable to receive. The good news is that you are able to get your marriage blessed in the Church and return to the Sacrement again.
  • OP you definitely should have a serious discussion with your FI about religion.  Even if you have had this talk before, another one won't hurt.  You sound like a reasonable person so I would enter the conversation with an open mind.  Keep in mind that the ceremony unites the 2 of you, so there should be a little bit of both of you present during it. 

    It depends on how devout he is as a Catholic to determine how important some issues will be for him.  I was raised Catholic but don't necessarily consider myself to be a Catholic anymore.  I disagree with too many of the Church's teachings to truly call myself a Catholic.  I am a Christian and I do believe in God.  I'm just not necessarily a Catholic.  Therefore being banned from the Sacraments (which my grandmother most definitely did mention) really doesn't bother me.   
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_catholic-vs-anti-religion?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:fe26bc0d-997c-4d78-8201-176ec2540546Post:5e7a1c7a-86cc-4bc8-a7cd-ab28662fbec0">Re: Catholic vs. Anti-Religion</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't think it's ever okay to receive communion when not in a state of grace, so I don't like the whole "Well, but other people do it ...." rationale. <strong>I think it's just disrespectful to purposefully go against the requests of a religious group.  No one is perfect... we all make mistakes... but if you're not at least attempting to practice the Catholic faith, it's hypocritcal to receive communion.</strong>  Cafeteria Catholicism at its best. Maybe Miks is trying to practice the Catholic faith, but just makes mistakes sometimes.  That's completely understandable.  But her post made it sound that she's no longer practicing (married outside the church, doesn't attend mass regularly at all).
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is pretty much what I was trying to say. I'll admit, when I was younger I probably received on more than one occasion when I shouldn't have; I will wager that many, maybe not most, but many, Catholics have done this at one point or another. However, most of these are people who still go to Church and maybe try to live in the Church, they just don't always make it to Confession, or maybe they're just not as informed as they should be. I don't think anyone's going to hell, the "state of grace" "state of peril" wording is more of a Church thing, not me trying to be all holier-than-thou. I am not. </div><div>
    </div><div>My problem with what Miks said was that what she's planning on doing is a pretty big no-no; it's always discussed, and if she was attending a Catholic church right now, and her priest knew about her plans, he would probably refuse her Communion, or at least offer her some counseling. I just hate the idea that by receiving you are automatically a good Catholic and if you don't, you aren't being a good Catholic, even when not receiving would be more in line with teachings.</div>
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  • You two are going to have to learn to compromise on your religious practices sooner or later, so it might as well be now.  I think not including any religious tones in your actual vows is reasonable since you don't believe in it, but I think you should allow him to have a prayer or a bible reading included in the ceremony somehow. 

    Anniversary
  • My fiance is Catholic and I am like you, not religious at all. I understand, however, that religion and a belief in God is very significant for some and that my belief is not significant to me, it just is. Therefore, my fiance asked that "God" be mentioned, his dad be allowed to say a prayer and on bible verse reading be included. That is all something I can definitely agree to. It doesn't mean I will "believe" any of it..but its special to him and he is special to me. :)

    Hope you and your fiance work this out!
  • I think quite a few of you are getting involved in something that is no business of your own. She asked for advice about the ceremony, not relationship advice. 

    As a Catholic, it is just as much of a sin to pass judgement on someone as it is to take communion when you are not "recognized." This sort of thinking will send us back to the dark ages. 

    Kaylynn, I can identify with you because my fiance and I are both agnositc-"ish" (I am more of a Pantheist), but all of my family is deeply religious and I was raised non-denominational Christian. He was completely against the idea of mentioning "God" or a "Higher Power" initially, but  I felt like it was something worth mentioning because 1.I don't believe that your wedding is 100% about you - to some extent it's a celebration of the two of you FOR the people around you to acknowledge and 2. I do have a belief in some sort of higher power. So being a little bit flexible on this one issue is probably not such a bad thing, especially if it makes your fiance happy. 

    Not all who wander are lost
  • I would definitely ask your FI as to what he thinks would be the best way to incorporate a bit of his faith into the ceremony. It is true that since the wedding will be outside of the church there might be an issue of needing to get the wedding "blessed" at some point. It is up to you and your FI if you want the blessing though and if he wants to continue in the faith. 

    To those saying that you need to go to reconcilation after sinning then i'm guessing that you are in the confessional almost everyday. But when actuallity as long as you dont have any mortal sins then going to mass and saying the prayer before communion "I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed" will suffice. (I teach PSR and have for almost 10 years now as have my parents). 
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