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Catholic Weddings

Non-Catholic with some questions

Hi everyone!  So my boyfriend and I have had some serious discussions about marriage, specifically about the ceremony.  He is Catholic, I am not.  I am not baptized, so from what I understand, our marriage would not be sacramental.  We have discussed me going through the classes to become Catholic, however as of right now we have decided against it because I would be doing it just for him, and not because I want to, and that of course doesn't feel right to either of us because it wouldn't be real and I would essentially be lying.

 My concern is, if the marriage is not sacramental, in the Catholic faith, would he go to hell?  The religion I was raised in, I don't believe in hell, so I don't think he would, but how would it be in the Catholic faith?

Another question - I have no problem having the ceremony in his church and having a full Catholic wedding, but what exactly does a Catholic wedding entail when one person is not Catholic?

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Re: Non-Catholic with some questions

  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Hi there and welcome! To answer your questions - a non-sacramental marriage is not something that would inherently damage someone's soul. Sinful behavior and lack of repentance of that behavior is what would jeopardize someone on the day of judgment. The Catholic Church wouldn't allow a marriage that would be damaging or sinful.

    Having a Catholic ceremony, when one of you is not baptized Catholic would mean the ceremony would occur outside of mass. That is, there would be no communion, just the rite of marriage. This is done because the non-baptized Catholic person would not be able to receive communion anyway, and therefore it would seem dis-unitive to only have half of the married couple participate in that sacrament.

    Other than the ceremony, the Catholic Church requires some marriage prep (as do most churches), which would involve classes or seminars to assist you in getting ready for marriage. Most people find them to be very interesting and productive. Some parishes might ask you to complete a FOCCUS inventory, which is a simple multiple choice test that you complete separately, which is aimed to help the couple and priest determine which areas of their relationship they aren't necessarily on the same page. It is not a test to prevent you from being married, just to ensure everything important has been discussed.

    Also, the Catholic Church requires the Catholic spouse to raise the children in the faith and the non-Catholic spouse not to interfere with that.

    Let us know if you have anymore questions!
  • I'm glad, at this point, you aren't becoming Catholic. Thank you for being honest about that. Of course, I hope you will consider learning more and possibly attending classes to learn what its all about, without any obligation.

    A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Before Christ, there were no sacraments as such, just natural marriages. We don't believe anybody before Christ that wasn't baptized went to hell because of that.

    Since a Catholic is bound to canonical form in his/her marriage, its good that you will be taking the steps to get married through the church. The church would not officially do anything that would send someone to hell. If you get married in the Catholic church, then your marriage will be considered valid. If you were ever to get baptized, it would automatically become a sacrament (graces would be available to you).

    A marriage between a Catholic and non-baptized person is a liturgy of the word (the first half of the mass), the vows/rings, prayers of the faithful, Our Father, and a blessing. 

    [Deleted User]
  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper

    This website is a great resource for planning a Catholic wedding and will give you a detailed overview of what the ceremony will be like. As previous posters mentioned if you are interested in learning about your boyfriends faith even though you have no intention of converting you can still go to RCIA classes. Also feel free to ask us questions!
  • behsco90behsco90 Oregon member
    100 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Thanks! I feel a lot better now!  The sacraments seem pretty important to Catholics, so I was worried he would be "punished" for not having one of them.  
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  • I don't have anything to add, I just wanted to say that I think you are going about this in exactly the right way.

    FWIW, I decided to go through RCIA before my husband proposed to me, mostly because we'd had "talks" about marriage, had agreed to raise our kids Catholic, and I just wanted to find out what I was getting into.  I ended up converting after the classes, but I know it doesn't always happen that way.



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