Catholic Weddings

Please help me!!!!!!!!

My fiance and I were both raised catholic. We have both made our communions and confirmations. We are both god parents to children within the last 2 years. That being said.....

Neither of us go to church regularly. My mom puts my envelops in the basket every week but I dont even live in that state anymore.

I always said I wanted to get married at the recpeption hall. I have been saying this for years!!!!! My fiance said he wanted nothing to do with the planning. He trusted me and to go ahead and pick whatever I wanted. He just wanted to be in charge of food (menues). So all was good. Until he said he wanted to be married in a catholic church.

I just dont feel right doing this. I dont go to church like I said, and neither does he. I live with him, Im on the pill....there is just so much in my life that I do or have done that is frowned apon by the church. Also the whole covering of the shoulders and no strapless bridesmaids dresses is also making me crazy. I want to walk down the isle to Train's Marry Me, and pick other music as well....all not acceptable by a catholic church.

I said I would absolutely bend and meet him halfway and do a non-denominational church but this doesnt seem to be enough.....

no idea what to do at this point :(

Any comments, thoughts, answers???????

Deanna
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Re: Please help me!!!!!!!!

  • Well, the first thing to know is that a Catholic is bound by canonical form for marriage, which means marrying in the church. If a Catholic doesn't do this, the marriage isn't valid. It actually means something for Catholics to make these promises, and if a Catholic "marries" outside the church, they are no longer in communion with the church, which means they can no longer receive the sacraments. This of course can effect your future children as well, as how you are going to bring them up, in what faith, etc.  

    I appreciate that you want to be honest about it, and not have a wedding with something you don't believe....but perhaps this is a chance to look into why the church teaches what she does, and why you don't believe it. Make sure you know what you are actually rejecting before you say no to it. 

    I suggest "Theology of the Body for Beginners" and "Good news about sex and marriage" by Christopher West

    Regarding the details (shoulders, music, etc). These are really not that important. The church wants people to be dressed modestly. I think that's fair. The mass/liturgy is sacred, and the music should be as well. The church is guarding the sacraments as she should. This is what keeps us united in the Body of Christ...the liturgy.


  • Sort of piggybacking on what Agape said, I think the real issue here is how you want to live your faith life as an individual, and as a couple/family. I think you and your fiance need to have a heart-to-heart (or another one) where you really, honestly open up about the role you feel the Church should play in your lives now and in the future. How do you want to raise your children? Why does he want to get married in the Church? Are there reasons beyond convenience and "vision" that you don't want to get married in the Church?

    If you aren't or can't get on the same page about these issues, I would suggest (and I mean this in the most loving way) that the wedding should be put on hold until you can get to that place. Over on The Bump, I see people all the time who didn't get these things figured out before the wedding, are expecting LOs and are suddendly in heart-wrenching battles about baptisms and such.

    This could be a chance for you to reconnect with your faith and begin living in a way that is closer to God's will. I never recommend that someone walk away from the Church, but I do think that you need to get in touch with 1) What she ACTUALLY teaches (not what the media or your friends or your memory of 3rd grade CCD classes teaches), and 2) what you ACTUALLY believe. Go from there in prayer.

    The ladies here LOVE to help people learn the faith. There are so many committed, passionate women who love to answer questions/talk about the faith/etc. Ask questions, look into the books Agape suggested. Read the catechism. Begin attending Church regularly. Pray. Ash Wednesday is this week. I can't think of a better moment to really give your heart to God in figuring all of this out.

    I know that was long, but I wish you the best. I will hold you in my prayers.
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  • I dont need to read books, I know my reasons for not going to church and trust me they are real and for good reason.

    I am in no way knowing the catholic church at all....to each there own...its just not for me anymore :)

    And actually the music and dress are very important to me. So dont downplay them to make the rules sound better. Its personal choice.

    All I want to know is  "is my fiance being a hypocrite to tell me to lie about my answers to a priest and just do it for him"....
    we live together and i'm on the pill....problem #1 and trust me there are more :)

    just being honest here :)

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  • edited February 2012
    Anyone could have told you that your FI is not correct in telling you to "just lie" to the priest.  When you come to a Catholic board you get Catholic advice.

    Bibliophile said it best. This is something you should definitely work out before you walk down the aisle (to whatever of-the-moment song you want) because in the future, things are just going to get difficult.  What if your husband wants a wedding in the church because he is hoping to find his way back?  So then what happens when he does something like ask you to go off the pill because he finds it immoral?  What happens down the road when you have children and go to baptize them?  If you disagree so much with the church, would you even want them baptized?

    I'm speaking in the hypothetical, but the previous posters gave you wonderful advice and you blew them off and that was rude.

    There are so many ways to reconcile your sins if you desire to do so.  You living together or even being on the pill could be small issues if you just brought it up with someone.  So the issue is not really whether your FI is being a hypocrite.  It seems more that neither of you is willing to actually examine what this means to your relationship.
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  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited February 2012
    regarding the "I don't need to read books statement"..

    there's a problem there. If you are so hell bent that you are 100% correct, then your decisions will stand up to arguments. Purposely hiding from those arguments is just purposeful ignorance, and won't help anyone grow. 

    In regard to downplaying...I wasn't downplaying anything. I was stating fact and reason. A dress style is hardly as important as Jesus and His bride. 

    and if you lie to the priest, the marriage will be invalid.
  • I think agapecarrie covered most of it. The only thing I would add is that if you haven't already I would talk to your fiance and try to understand why a Catholic church wedding is so important to him. Does he want to start going back to the church regularly in the future? Do you both plan to have children and raise them Catholic? Is it because he is afraid to disappoint family? Or has he just always imagined a Catholic church wedding? I think the answers to these questions should help you better understand where he is coming from and help make a decision.

    As far as the details. Some churches will allow strapless dresses (mine does), but I am chosing to wear a jacket for church anyway. Also even if you have to you can have plenty of pictures without the shawl/jacket and do not have to wear it for the reception.




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  • Wow I was slow and missed all the responses. Do not lie to the priest about your situation. Priests have married couples who live together and who have been on the pill, the issue is are you willing to change or at least hear what the church teaches with an open heart? I appreciate that you want to be honest. I don't understand why couples want to start their marriage by lying.

    If you have no intention of ever returning to the church then I agree that a Catholic wedding is probably not the way to go. But you also really need to talk to FI what his plans are for the future. Is he ready to walk away from the Church too? Are you sure you are on the same page for the role religion will play in your family?
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  • You need to understand why your FI wants to be married in the Church. If you don't care for the faith, that's your decision, but a marriage is about both of you and his needs should be considered.

    Only one Catholic is needed for a Catholic Wedding. So, even if you don't consider yourself Catholic, it acceptable to be married in the Church based on your FI's faith. He will need to agree to try his best to raise children according to the faith. You will only need to agree not to interfere with his efforts. You don't need to lie to a priest. Priests have heard/seen it all. The priest can turn away a couple that he doesn't feel is eligible for marriage in the Church. If you both sit down with him and honestly answer his questions, he will advise you accordingly.

    I get how people have ideas in their heads about what their perfect wedding would include - from music, to attire, to decor - but these things are not what make a wedding or a marriage. They are nice, sure, but they shouldn't be more important than the actual ceremony itself. We spent a ton of energy on selecting the perfect music and attire and accessories. And now, I can barely remember what music we chose.

    Focus on speaking with your FI about his wishes for a ceremony. As pp have said, it is a pretty grave thing for a Catholic to NOT be married in the Church. I wouldn't push him away from the idea if this is something he is inclined to do.
  • *My FI and I already live together-we told our priest
    *I use to be on the pill-we told our priest
    *I'm wearing a strapless dress-we told our priest
    *My BM are also wearing strapless-we told our priest

    He spoke to us about living together and the churches views on it (I now agree we moved too fast).  I was already off the pill and he just spoke to us again about why we shouldn't go on it again and I have been successful of NFP for a while now.  He asked to see my dress and approved it was still acceptable, same for my BM dresses. 

    The church (not the vision of the church wedding) is important to my FI and myself.  Because it is we were open and honest with our priest and have seen no resistance from the church and have in fact loved the planning process with our deacon and priest.

    Good luck with what ever you decide!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_please-help-me?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:8db09c38-8ee3-4ce2-a51b-e9c3d8deecc4Post:45ebef6f-ca43-4253-834a-5f9229e78d70">Re: Please help me!!!!!!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I dont need to read books, I know my reasons for not going to church and trust me they are real and for good reason. I am in no way knowing the catholic church at all....to each there own..<strong>.its just not for me anymore :) And actually the music and dress are very important to me. So dont downplay them to make the rules sound better. Its personal choice</strong>. All I want to know is  "is my fiance being a hypocrite to tell me to lie about my answers to a priest and just do it for him".... we live together and i'm on the pill....problem #1 and trust me there are more :) just being honest here :)
    Posted by deanna5776[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Deanna, I completely understand how you feel.  I'm engaged to be married next year to my fiance, who I've known since 1st grade, and who was a guest at my first wedding.  At one point I had completely turned away from the Church in my heart and was studying for conversion to Judaism.  It wasn't really until after FI and I got engaged that I realized the Catholic Church was still my spiritual home, and I went back shortly after Easter last year.  </div><div>
    </div><div>I'm not trying to say that this will happen for you or that you should try and change your or his mind one way or another, but I do agree with what has been said previously.  I feel you and your fiance should have a real, honest, open discussion on faith and religion and its place in your life together.  Yes, the dress and the song are important for the day of the wedding, but what is more important is the days that follow.  A wedding is one day, a marriage is the rest of them.

    </div>
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    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please help me!!!!!!!! : Deanna, I completely understand how you feel.  I'm engaged to be married next year to my fiance, who I've known since 1st grade, and who was a guest at my first wedding.  At one point I had completely turned away from the Church in my heart and was studying for conversion to Judaism.  It wasn't really until after FI and I got engaged that I realized the Catholic Church was still my spiritual home, and I went back shortly after Easter last year.   I'm not trying to say that this will happen for you or that you should try and change your or his mind one way or another, but I do agree with what has been said previously.  I feel you and your fiance should have a real, honest, open discussion on faith and religion and its place in your life together.  Yes, the dress and the song are important for the day of the wedding, but what is more important is the days that follow.  <strong>A wedding is one day, a marriage is the rest of them.</strong>
    Posted by Kamakanani[/QUOTE]
    I like this.  A lot.
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  • @ Professorscience - thanks.  It's something I've been trying to keep in my mind as we start on the bulk of the wedding planning (especially now that I've gotten word that my lack of form annulment has come back with no issues!)
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  • ditto the others.

    its sounds like you and your FI are not on the same page with religion and its role in your lives.  at all.  you need to straighten that out first, then decide where you want to get married or if you even want to get married.  church will surely come up again when you have kids - im guessing if he wants a catholic wedding, he's going to want his kids baptized and raised in the faith as well.

    my only other question is why on earth did you agree to be a godparent if you dont believe in the faith?  it is your responsibility to guide your godchild and instruct them in the faith, and set an example.   i guess im not sure why you didnt question your faith at that point in time. 

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_please-help-me?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:8db09c38-8ee3-4ce2-a51b-e9c3d8deecc4Post:d52c3d18-310a-4fea-8a60-ebd282375db1">Re: Please help me!!!!!!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE] my only other question is why on earth did you agree to be a godparent if you dont believe in the faith?  it is your responsibility to guide your godchild and instruct them in the faith, and set an example.   i guess im not sure why you didnt question your faith at that point in time. 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    <div>I was thinking this too. How come now is the time you want to be honest about it, and not when children's souls are at stake?</div>
  • I don't think many people these days see the term "Godparent" as the Church sees it. They see it is a legal guardian.
  • ok wow...

    first of all i was not rude to blow off what anyone said...i know were i stand and why i stand for what i do...I dont need to revist my faith...

    He doesnt plan on going to church after we are married.  I have said to him I have no problem with our children (when we are ready for them) to be raised Catholic. I have numerous friends who were married in beach wedding or destination weddings outside of a church who now have children in Catholic schools being raised Catholic without any issues of not being married in a Church

    The only reasons he has giving me for wanting to be married in a Catholic Church are because he was raised Catholic and is Catholic but completely doesnt practise at all.

    Without getting completely personal about my life with strangers, i have done things in life that are completely and totally frowned apon by the church and its nothing I can change and nor will i feel bad for my decisions nor do i regret them.

    We do plan to have children when we can afford them and are ready for them. We both want them and i do not, like i said have a problem with them being raised catholic when the time comes. I believe it is there right to decide what religion they want to be a part of.

    and to  to you Jesus is most important because you are a practising catholic which is your choice and you have every right to your opinion as I do mine....i am not trying to get into a religion battle with you but just as your opinion and view on religion is important to you my views are just as important to me...

    i am not the one who wants to lie to a priest my fiance who apparently is all of a suddon a practicing catholic in his mind asked me to lie...which i know is not the right thing to do...i am not the one trying to get married in a church under a bunch of lies...he is....i knoe i do not feel right standing on an alter under complete lies...its wrong which is why I am asking questions about it

    so i was basically asking how to go about figuring out why it is so important to him to lie to a priest just to be married....its just not making sense to me and i was just looking for conversation starters or topics to bring up with him cuz i am completely lost on this new thinking of his. i have no problems with him going to church everyday if he so choses but he doesnt nor does he intend too. so i was looking for some ADVISE from practising catholics on what to do...not looking to go back to church myself and that fact is just not going to change no matter what i read....i have tried to agree with all the rules and regs the church has and i just simple can not do it in my heart it just feels wrong....

    as to being a godmother, i would never not help my godchildren find there way in church. I have no problem with them making there own decisions on religion an would never stand in there way. I would even take them to church, it doesnt mean I need to agree with all of it.....if thats wrong then its wrong....

    but my goodness i dont need to be attacked for my feelings i have not come to this board with mean comments or talked down to anyone here...i am not looking to find my faith again at all...i thought posting on this board would get me some good advise to help start a conversation with my fiance not get attacked for not being a practising catholic...when he himself isnt one either

    i am trying to do the right thing amd talk to my fiance like you have all said but i am not the bad guy here....i am not telling him to not be catholic, i am not telling him to abandon his religion, and i have said to him if its that important to him then maybe we shouldnt be getting married.....this is an unbelieveable hard time we have known each other for 15 years and have been dating for 3, living together for 2, and he has been to church 6 times and that was just to get approved to be a godfather to his new niece.....so if anyone needs to be put down or told they are wrong for there thinking i think its him...not me......geez

    sorry i asked for some good helpful advise....i could have just gone to the priest and gotten yelled at and told my life is completely unacceptable instead of trying this......
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  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited February 2012
    I think you need to read what everyone wrote again...no one called you "wrong" or "the bad guy". You weren't attacked. In being Godparents, there are promises made to bringing the child up catholic, teaching the faith, and living it out. It's not "letting the kid decide". These are serious promises that apparently, your fi went to church just a few times in order to make appearances. That is a problem.

    You keep insisting how you are never going to change your mind....and again, what's the harm in reading? Youll be even more confirmed in what you believe, or you may learn something new.

    Regarding things you've done in your past....we've ALL sinned...I'm betting every single one of us here most likely has even committed some serious mortal sins. There is NOTHING ...NOTHING that can keep us from coming back to the church, and to Jesus. Absolutely nothing except denial of His forgiveness. Jesus is sooo crazy in love with you and he's pouring out HIs graces on you even right now... as you struggle with all the stuff. Even if you deny Him and His forgiveness, he will never ever deny you. His Mother is holding you so closely, even if you fight...she still is there. He loved you so much that he died for you...and I'm almost positive that all the Catholic girls here are praying for you right now as they are reading this (and if you aren't...get to it). Your sins are not bigger than He is, or His mercy. The "rules" we are given are to protect us and our dignity, because 2000 years of unchanged truth has stood because Jesus gave the keys of heaven to Peter and promised the Holy Spirit's protection of truth. THey aren't arbitrary rules...they are for our own good to help us to love each other. I beg you... look into it...know what you are rejecting. I can promise you that your life could be incredibly changed like you would never imagine. 
  • I'm sorry that you are feeling attacked, although I really don't think that anyone yelled at you. We really are trying to help you. Marriage is a really big deal to us, it is a sacrament, and we would never want to encourage someone to walk away from the Church.

    Okay great we all agree that lying to the priest is not the right choice. Stick to your guns on that one and tell FI what you told us, that you don't feel right lying to a priest or "do not feel right standing on an alter under complete lies".

    I'm not sure about conversation starters, I would just outright ask FI why is this is so important to you. If you have to maybe prompt him by asking questions, Would your family be dissapointed if we didn't have a church wedding? Has anyone in your family not had a Catholic wedding? Do you want to start going to church more often? When we have kids how often do you want to take them to church? We will all attend church as a family? How will we teach our children about religion? What does it mean to you to be Catholic?

    Also you should think about if you are absolutely against a Catholic church wedding. Would you be willing to get married in the church if you do not have to lie to a priest to do so? Talk to FI about what makes you uncomfortable about a Catholic wedding. Also it wouldn't b e a bad idea to look into doing some premarital counseling (can be secular). I think there are issues every couple needs to talk about before the get maried and an outside party can be a great help!




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  • i actually agree with you in that i dont understand your FI's reasons for wanting to get married in a church if he has no intention on practicing.  and it is difficult, IMO, to raise kids catholic if you yourself cannot participate in the sacraments.  the catholic school part doesnt mean much, since many of other denominations send kids to catholic school simply because the quality of eduation is often better than most public schools, especially in certain geographic locations.

    i think that the problem is that his family is pushing him to marry in the church.  if that is the case, then he neeeds to be upfront and honest with his family abotu where he stands with his faith.  to marry in the church to appease someone else and for the wrong reasons is a worse sin (IMO) than to simply not marry in the church.
  • thanks tami

    i apprieciate your words....

    i have asked him tons of questions but he is being stand offish...he likes to win trust me...

    i asked if it was his mother prompting this...his response was both our mothers would rather us get married in a catholic church....i have spoken endlessly to my mother about my beliefs and reasons and it just not feeling right to me personally and she completely understands and was ok with a non-demon church or even a JP....i dont know where his mom stands...she is on her second marriage the second being done at a non-denom cuz her church wouldnt marry her a second time....

    and no matter what question i ask he just says its because he is catholic...which he is....but really are you if you never practise nor go to church????

     
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_please-help-me?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:8db09c38-8ee3-4ce2-a51b-e9c3d8deecc4Post:4fba34ae-4d99-4184-aed0-f7bb65ebc011">Re: Please help me!!!!!!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]i actually agree with you in that i dont understand your FI's reasons for wanting to get married in a church if he has no intention on practicing.  and it is difficult, IMO, to raise kids catholic if you yourself cannot participate in the sacraments.  the catholic school part doesnt mean much, since many of other denominations send kids to catholic school simply because the quality of eduation is often better than most public schools, especially in certain geographic locations. i think that the problem is that his family is pushing him to marry in the church.  if that is the case, then he neeeds to be upfront and honest with his family abotu where he stands with his faith.  to marry in the church to appease someone else and for the wrong reasons is a worse sin (IMO) than to simply not marry in the church.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    <div>This. I would not get married in a church of a faith in which I did not believe, and I honestly don't understand why someone would get married in a faith they never intended to practice.</div><div>
    </div><div>We're not trying to attack you; we are truly puzzled why either of you wants to get married in the Church when neither of you has any intention of being a part of it afterward. </div><div>
    </div><div>I agree with PP's suggestions to have a long talk with your FI and your families, and try to find something that will make your day truly joyous and not a compromise on what you really want. For us, our wedding day was a symbol for our marriage, and to do anything that was less than honest would've cast an awful shadow.</div><div>
    </div><div>Wish you the very best...</div><div>
    </div><div>Linda</div>
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  • Deanna, 

    Once baptized, a Catholic is a Catholic until and unless they officially reject the Church (not common and hard to really do).  As I said, in my previous marriage (which was outside the Church) I was studying to become Jewish and was fairly well on my way.  

    Based on what you're saying, I really think the two of you just need to sit down and discuss not just the wedding, but the marriage that will follow.  I also think that, whether you choose to marry in the Church outside the Church, any marriage and any couple can use some form of marriage preparation or premarital counseling.  Having been through a failed marriage and the process to legally dissolve it, I am convinced that I never would have married my ex had we gone through some sort of premarital counseling or marriage prep. So many potential roadblocks and issues can be sorted out or found ahead of time.

    I really suggest taking some time both together and separately and think on this.  Pray on it if you feel compelled to.  Contemplate and meditate on all the different aspects of what this one conflict really can mean in your lives and your futures.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_please-help-me?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:8db09c38-8ee3-4ce2-a51b-e9c3d8deecc4Post:d6d1197b-cd94-4dd2-a0b6-426416afc547">Re: Please help me!!!!!!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]thanks tami i apprieciate your words.... i have asked him tons of questions but he is being stand offish...he likes to win trust me... i asked if it was his mother prompting this...his response was both our mothers would rather us get married in a catholic church....i have spoken endlessly to my mother about my beliefs and reasons and it just not feeling right to me personally and she completely understands and was ok with a non-demon church or even a JP....i dont know where his mom stands...she is on her second marriage the second being done at a non-denom cuz her church wouldnt marry her a second time.... <strong>and no matter what question i ask he just says its because he is catholic...which he is....but really are you if you never practise nor go to church????  
    </strong>Posted by deanna5776[/QUOTE]

    This is something you should bring up with a priest.  If your FI is insistent, then I would insist on doing it right.  Tell him to arrange an initial meeting with a priest, and then discuss your fears right then and there.  A good priest would probably still want you to get married in the church, but would probably not agree to do it until you do a lot more discerning.

    You obviously have some kind of faith in God.  You've made up your mind about how to practice that faith (although I agree with Agape that there's no harm in researching).  Tell your FI that for the two of you to get married in the church, and to <strong>lie in your vows</strong> is hugely disconcerting to you, and you do not want to make promises to God, to your FI, and to all those witnesses that you don't think you can keep.

    I still think/hope there's a lot more to it than that.  You are absolutely right that you can't just get married in the church because "That's what you do."  You have to take those vows seriously and not just use the church as a front.

    And you are getting good, helpful advice.  Just not necessarily the advice you were expecting.
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  • I was going to send this as a PM but decided I was just going to share with everyone.  I am not in the same boat as you, but I did have similar concerns.  Originally I had NO intention of getting married in a Church.  I was excited to wear what I wanted, walking to the music I wanted, in an area decorated how I wanted.  I had a falling out with the Catholic church many, many years ago and never had any intention of looking back.  When I got engaged I made it clear I didn't want a church wedding and my fiance respected it.  He didn't agree entirely, but he understood where I was coming from and neither of us were practicing.  Our moms were very unhappy but supported it, mostly because they didn't have a choice.

    Then my niece was born and my sister asked me to be her Godmother.  Being present for the birth was such a miraculous experience that when she asked me to be the Godmother, I began thinking about church again.  Part of me wanted to be a part of it, to assure that my niece would get out of being Catholic what I believe it truly means.  My biggest issue with the Catholic church is I believe they have lost sight of that.  Years of man recreating what they think the message should be.  People hiding behind a book that has been translated so many times by so many people.  My faith in God has never wavered, no matter what my stance of the church has been, my faith has been strong.

    I suggested that we get married in a non-denominational church.  I wanted God to be a part of it, but I just couldn't get myself to forgive what I have seen in the Catholic church.  My fiance wouldn't budge.  If it was going to be a church (and that was clearly his preference) then it was going to be Catholic, because that is how we were raised and how we intended to raise our children.

    Somewhat by accident we ended up booking a church.  We had called many, they were either booked or just weren't interested in marrying us because we were not members and we live together.  This church we found we only knew of because my fiance's mom had been a member for a short time and it is where they held his father's memorial when he passed away.  That was before we were together and I had never even seen it.

    After many meetings with the priest I feel like this was the church I was supposed to belong to.  I have been VERY honest with my priest about my feelings about the church, it's teachings and frankly the things they preach that I simply do not believe in.  I haven't felt judged or looked down on at any point.  We still do not go every Sunday, but we try to go at least every few weeks.  I still don't believe it everything and that will never change and for that reason we have decided not to do a full mass.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make by sharing this with you is, if you're planning to raise your children Catholic, maybe it's time you revisit it.  Not necessarily joining a church and going every Sunday, but maybe meet with some priests from different churches.  Discuss your concerns and beliefs.  You might be surprised and find one that supports you, and your different ideas.  To me the overall message of Catholicism is love, faith and acceptance.  I don't believe the church necessarily always shares that, but some do.  If you choose not to get married in a church, that's ok.  Don't let anyone force you into something you really don't believe in.  But if it's that important to your fiance and you plan on raising your kids Catholic, maybe it wouldn't hurt to do a little research into the parishes around you.  It is an intensely personal decision and there is no wrong answer.
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  • Holy cow I didn't realize I wrote a book there, and it probably won't even help, but I wanted you to know you're really not alone.
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  • Being present for the birth was such a miraculous experience that when she asked me to be the Godmother, I began thinking about church again. Part of me wanted to be a part of it, to assure that my niece would get out of being Catholic what I believe it truly means. 

    caitlin, what a blessing... i was really moved by what you wrote here.  it shows you never know when something or someone will lead you back.
  • You're absolutely right.  It's amazing how life surprises you sometimes.  :)
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