Catholic Weddings

Incorporating Us Both

rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
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So I was raised in a Protestant church (Lutheran), and I still attend weekly services and am very involved in my church. I love my denomination, my church, my community, and everything it's done for me. My FI is an Irish Catholic who very much holds his religion as part of his whole identity (went to Catholic school, family is pretty religious). He hasn't been to church regularly since he was a kid, but the Church is very important to him. 

My church is very much a go-with-the-flow kind of church, and no one would bat an eye at a Catholic wedding (as, whatever, as long as we're married and Christian and inviting everyone), so I've never really considered the implications of marrying someone of a different denomination. However, now, as I'm doing the research about Catholic weddings, dispensations, locations, etc., I'm not sure I'm wholly comfortable marrying inside a Catholic church (as a location, not necessarily a religion). As I said, we don't have a Catholic "church home", and he's not comfortable with my church, so I was planning on forgoing a church altogether.

Now I realize this isn't really an option in the Catholic religion, and to an extent, I get that. But for us, and for our inter-denominational marriage, I feel like not being in a church is more neutral, and we can find ways to incorporate both faiths in a way that reflects us, as a couple, better. However, obviously, FI is worried about not being right in the eyes of the Church.

Thoughts? Advice? 

Re: Incorporating Us Both

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    rcher920 said:

    So I was raised in a Protestant church (Lutheran), and I still attend weekly services and am very involved in my church. I love my denomination, my church, my community, and everything it's done for me. My FI is an Irish Catholic who very much holds his religion as part of his whole identity (went to Catholic school, family is pretty religious). He hasn't been to church regularly since he was a kid, but the Church is very important to him. 


    My church is very much a go-with-the-flow kind of church, and no one would bat an eye at a Catholic wedding (as, whatever, as long as we're married and Christian and inviting everyone), so I've never really considered the implications of marrying someone of a different denomination. However, now, as I'm doing the research about Catholic weddings, dispensations, locations, etc., I'm not sure I'm wholly comfortable marrying inside a Catholic church (as a location, not necessarily a religion). As I said, we don't have a Catholic "church home", and he's not comfortable with my church, so I was planning on forgoing a church altogether.

    Now I realize this isn't really an option in the Catholic religion, and to an extent, I get that. But for us, and for our inter-denominational marriage, I feel like not being in a church is more neutral, and we can find ways to incorporate both faiths in a way that reflects us, as a couple, better. However, obviously, FI is worried about not being right in the eyes of the Church.

    Thoughts? Advice? 
    You and your FI need to have a heart to heart regarding what you both want. If you opt to marry outside of the Catholic church without a dispensation, your FI will not be able to receive Communion. What exactly are your concerns with marrying in the Catholic Church?
  • rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
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    I guess it's just that we don't really know any of the churches in our area, and neither of us has a relationship with a priest, so it feels a little too impersonal to me. I guess I'm just unnerved by it? I'm still struggling with all this stuff, so I'm sorry if I seem totally vapid or wishy-washy, I just don't know what to do.
  • rcher920 said:
    I guess it's just that we don't really know any of the churches in our area, and neither of us has a relationship with a priest, so it feels a little too impersonal to me. I guess I'm just unnerved by it? I'm still struggling with all this stuff, so I'm sorry if I seem totally vapid or wishy-washy, I just don't know what to do.

    Thats not unusual. Neither did my fiancé and I. You just call and ask to talk to their marriage coordinator. We joined a parish after attending services for a few weeks to make sure we liked the priests, talked to the coordinator, and will be doing our wedding next summer. It was easy, but the church does require alot of prep work for marriage.
    MesmrEwe
  • marie2785 said:
    rcher920 said:
    I guess it's just that we don't really know any of the churches in our area, and neither of us has a relationship with a priest, so it feels a little too impersonal to me. I guess I'm just unnerved by it? I'm still struggling with all this stuff, so I'm sorry if I seem totally vapid or wishy-washy, I just don't know what to do.

    Thats not unusual. Neither did my fiancé and I. You just call and ask to talk to their marriage coordinator. We joined a parish after attending services for a few weeks to make sure we liked the priests, talked to the coordinator, and will be doing our wedding next summer. It was easy, but the church does require alot of prep work for marriage.
    Both DH & I are Catholic however we really didn't have a "church home" when we started our search (I was living in the town where I went to college and DH had already purchased a house a year prior but hadn't really set down roots yet) for where we were going to get married so in that sense, very similar to where you currently are.  I hate to call it this, but there's no better term for it, but you need to "church shop" and find a parish that you both feel comfortable with and getting involved in (let's face it, you're likely going to tag along for the church fundraiser meal!)..  Don't look at the building, look at the atmosphere/energy of the parish, is it off the deep end or is it consistent with the teachings of the church, is it a church that YFI feels like he can "come back to".  The church we married and attend is a half-hour drive from our house compared to churches which are MUCH closer, however it's a church that we feel more comfortable being involved with.  The building doesn't matter as much as God's presence.  We could have married at a smaller-cuter church but looking back I wouldn't have had it any other way!  A good resource is mass times .org to find parishes in your area.  Once you've selected a parish together then start the process for getting married in the church. 
    marie2785
  • rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
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    Thanks for the advice, ladies. That does make me feel a little bit better. 
  • rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
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    Just for an update, we're going to be married at a local college, where my brother graduated from, that is a Catholic school which requires you to use their Chapel for the ceremony. We're going to talk to the priest there (although you're encouraged to bring your parish priest) about pre-Cana and whether or not he'd do our wedding (he's a friend of my brother's, as my brother was very involved in Campus Ministry while he was in school).

    I think this makes FI really happy, and I get to feel like there's a bit of connection there, so hopefully this is the best of both worlds!

    (also, we are kind of "church-shopping" right now, although FI has had some poor experiences with a church in our area, so is wary of some of the Catholic community around here. We did get to a really lovely Mass on Christmas Day, though, so hopefully I can get him back there! I really enjoy all of this stuff, actually.)
    MesmrEwe
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @rcher920‌ , make sure you talk to the priest before you put down a deposit. I hope it goes well for you!
  • rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    @holyguacamole79 Thanks for being so adament, and helping me with this. I've emailed the priest (with some of the wording from the other thread - SO helpful), and so I'll definitely touch base with him before I put down a deposit.

    Everyone's out of the office for the holiday weekend, but he responded to say congratulations and that he'd get back to me with a more comprehensive response this week. I'm so excited!!! And nervous.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @rcher920‌ - that's fantastic!! I hope you and your FI enjoy the marriage prep process as much as we did. We learned a lot about ourselves in the process. Let me know if you have other questions! Catholicism can be tricky and I teach RCIA (the program to become Catholic), so I'm happy to answer questions!
    MesmrEwe
  • rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
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    @holyguacamole79 thanks so much! I may just take you up on that. I'm excited for any and all prep stuff, because I just love reflective stuff like that. Catholicism is DEFINITELY a little tricky - just very particular, is all - so it's nice to have some insight, some help, and a little shove in the right direction :)
    holyguacamole79
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