Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Catholic churches?

First off... my boyfriend and I are not yet engaged. We've talked, we've picked a date, etc, but he has not asked me yet (but we will be engaged by April according to him).

This past weekend, we attended the funeral of his great grandmother at a Catholic church here in our city. His great grandfather's funeral was also there, as well as the wedding of his grandparents. Due to the history his family has in this church, he would like to get married there. I am completely OK with this, however, here is my question.

Will a Catholic church marry a couple who a) is not baptised in the reilgion (we were both baptised Episcopalian) b) do not attend the church c)live together prior to the wedding and have a child together?

Thanks in advance, ladies.
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Re: Catholic churches?

  • Wait, so neither of you is Catholic? I'm confused. If neither of you are Catholic, then why on earth would you want to have a Catholic ceremony?

    If neither of you are Catholic, then you can not get married in a Catholic church. One of you needs to be Catholic to get married in a Catholic Church. Plus, the Catholic Church takes marriage ceremonies very seriously, it isn't just a venue. You have to take pre-marital classes, promise to raise your kids Catholic, etc.

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  • edited February 2012
    He wants to get married in the church due to history his family has in the church of his grandparents, his great grandparents, etc. He thought he was baptised as a Catholic until just this past weekend when we were talking about it and his dad goes "Uh, nope, you were baptised at ______ church as an Episcapalian"

    Also, we would have no problem going through with what it entails through the church to get married there, but I wanted to know as far as the child out of wedlock, living together, etc, things.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:090c1e12-140b-4f14-8bdc-93f385d8e2e5">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]He wants to get married in the church due to history his family has in the church of his grandparents, his great grandparents, etc. He thought he was baptised as a Catholic until just this past weekend when we were talking about it and his dad goes "Uh, nope, you were baptised at ______ church as an Episcapalian" <strong>Also, we would have no problem going through with what it entails through the church to get married there</strong>, but I wanted to know as far as the child out of wedlock, living together, etc, things.
    Posted by krptcmschfmkr128[/QUOTE]

    Converting?

    If you convert, do it because you actually want to convert and belong to the Catholic Church, not just for a venue to get married in.

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  • All catholic churches require at least one of you to be catholic.  Some will marry non parishonners, some will not.  All require pre marital counselling, some require counselling and a weekend retreat for engaged couples.  Some care about children out of wedlock, some do not.  All catholic churches,  and it'll come up in the counselling, will require you to intend to raise your children in the catholic fith (from my experience).  Many of these answers depend on the stance of the Father at the church, and someties the dioceise it is part of.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:3da6997b-ed22-4e3d-b733-6cfc89c506f3">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]All catholic churches require at least one of you to be catholic.  Some will marry non parishonners, some will not.  All require pre marital counselling, some require counselling and a weekend retreat for engaged couples.  Some care about children out of wedlock, some do not.  All catholic churches,  and it'll come up in the counselling, will require you to intend to raise your children in the catholic fith (from my experience).  Many of these answers depend on the stance of the Father at the church, and someties the dioceise it is part of.
    Posted by baileysdream[/QUOTE]

    Thank you, Bailey. This is the sort of information I was wondering.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:f86160a4-cc52-4a2f-94e5-b727b153456d">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic churches? : Converting? If you convert, do it because you actually want to convert and belong to the Catholic Church, not just for a venue to get married in.
    Posted by redheadfsu[/QUOTE]

    Actually, I meant the classes and stuff. I've already stated that my boyfriend was under the assumption he WAS baptised Catholic, and therefore, a Catholic, and only just found out this weekend that he is, instead, baptised Episcapalian, which is similar to Catholocism. Does he practice? No, but that is neither here nor there for you to decide and/or judge on. He doesn't want to get married there because he thinks it is a "neat venue" he wants to get married there because he'd like to get married int he same church as his great grandparents and grandparents. Ya know? Tradition?
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:905876d6-c978-45ad-b0a9-a7a259b0a78f">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic churches? : Actually, I meant the classes and stuff. I've already stated that my boyfriend was under the assumption he WAS baptised Catholic, and therefore, a Catholic, and only just found out this weekend that he is, instead, baptised Episcapalian, which is similar to Catholocism. Does he practice? No, but that is neither here nor there for you to decide and/or judge on. He doesn't want to get married there because he thinks it is a "neat venue" he wants to get married there because he'd like to get married int he same church as his great grandparents and grandparents. Ya know? Tradition?
    Posted by krptcmschfmkr128[/QUOTE]

    I get that <span style="font-weight:bold;">but unless one of you is Catholic you can't get married there</span>. So are you asking about classes needed to convert? I'm so confused.

    I am an atheist (but my Aunt is a nun & family is Catholic), so I'm not judging

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  • As pp's have mentioned you can't get married there unless at least one of you are baptized Catholic and the other one some form of Christianity.  My FI is Catholic and I am not, we went to a retreat weekend instead of the multiple sessions of counseling.

    I am not judging here but I would highly recommend not converting just for purposes of the wedding, I am not doing that and that is okay with the priest and everyone else involved.  Getting married in a Catholic church is different in that you have the sacrement of marriage and the ceremony is a lot more about God and the church and not so much about the couple.  There are also a lot less options you have in terms of customizing the ceremony for your day.  Some churches will nto allow the use of unity candles and the like as it is not part of the traditional ceremony.  If you choose to have a mass you are able to pick the prayers and scriptures that will be said, but even the music has less options.  For example, at most Catholic churches you can not use here comes the bride and instead you usually use Pechebel canon (SP?).

    There are a lot of things to consider before converrting and even to consider when getting married in a Catholic church.

    The whole living together thing shouldn't be a big deal, my FI and I live together, the church has or is trying to evolve to welcome more people and types of marriages.  You also have to vow that for the Catholic person they will do everything in their power to raise the children Catholic and for the non-Catholic person they will not stand in the way of this.

    Best of Luck!!
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  • I think you are going to run into the most trouble getting someone to marry you in that church if neither of you is officially Catholic.  FI was born and raised Catholic and I was not.  It was really hard to find a church to marry us because all of the churches either wanted you to be a member or wanted your parents/grandparents to be members.  We ended up with his grandma's church in the end.  

    Regardless of what your intentions are, I think you're going to have a hard time converting for the sake of getting married in a particular church.  I have a feeling something like that is going to come out during the RCIA classes because there aren't a lot of adults that just wake up and decide to convert to Catholicism. 
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  • edited February 2012
    He has no problem converting, as he thought all along he was a Catholic. It wasn't until this past weekend that it came out that he isn't. The topic had never been approached before because it was just assumed. He knew he was baptised, knew his family was of the Catholic faith, and just assumed that was what he had been baptised as. Apparently, he was baptised otherwise because that was what his father and step mother wanted to be baptised as, and they had him baptised at the same time. Thanks for the help, though, ladies.

    I also understand that the Catholic ceremony is much more religious based and formal. That's what the reception is for.. to have fun and celebrate afterward.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:864ec04f-0b36-4118-83c1-87ddc7f1d9db">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic churches? : I get that but unless one of you is Catholic you can't get married there . So are you asking about classes needed to convert? I'm so confused. I am an atheist (but my Aunt is a nun & family is Catholic), so I'm not judging
    Posted by redheadfsu[/QUOTE]

    I was asking what needed to be done to be married by the Catholic church and if a church would marry us without being members (his grandparents are members of the church), and with us living together unwed and with a child out of wedlock.

    Obviously, being Catholic is a requirement, and he would convert, since that's what he's assumed he was for the past 20 years after he was baptised at 7.
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  • redheadfsuredheadfsu member
    2500 Comments
    edited February 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:550c1932-dc89-4866-b4bf-05aaa6b1dfc8">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic churches? : I was asking what needed to be done to be married by the Catholic church and if a church would marry us without being members (his grandparents are members of the church), and with us living together unwed and with a child out of wedlock. Obviously, being Catholic is a requirement, and he would convert, since that's what he's assumed he was for the past 20 years after he was baptised at 7.
    Posted by krptcmschfmkr128[/QUOTE]

    Ok. You never said he was going to convert. I only know what you type.

    But your concerns depend on the local parish/priest. Converting is a process, so he will be able to discuss all the rest of your concerns with his local Church during that process if he wants to.

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  • He thought he was Catholic?  Did he attend church school in the Catholic church?  Did he receive communion and confirmation as a Catholic?  If so, he might have converted as a child.

  • He has received commnunion in the past, but he's not sure about confirmation. And he says he went to Sunday school, but I told him I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing. Church school is the equivalent of Hebrew school for the Jewish faith, right?

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  • I am not sure how other programs work for converting but I know that the RCIA program usually starts in the fall and ends right before easter.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:6cffdff7-dd7d-4d16-a8be-ffa0ef8c66b8">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]He has received commnunion in the past, but he's not sure about confirmation. And he says he went to Sunday school, but I told him I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing. Church school is the equivalent of Hebrew school for the Jewish faith, right?
    Posted by krptcmschfmkr128[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>Generally, you're in middle school/high school when you do confermation, so you are conciously aware that it happened. If he didn't get up and say "I am becoming confirmed" or something to that effect, he didn't get confirmed. Confirmation involves a lot of stuff, lessons, sponsers, and in my church, had to be done by the bishop, which is a big deal when he actually came around. I am Episcopalian, my FI is Catholic, and yes there are a lot of similarities in terms of SOME docterine and traditions, but the Catholic church is much stricter about a lot of these things. </div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:745ff757-ee83-4a91-b4ad-296afca9ec18">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic churches? : Generally, you're in middle school/high school when you do confermation, so you are conciously aware that it happened. If he didn't get up and say "I am becoming confirmed" or something to that effect, he didn't get confirmed. Confirmation involves a lot of stuff, lessons, sponsers, and in my church, had to be done by the bishop, which is a big deal when he actually came around. I am Episcopalian, my FI is Catholic, and yes there are a lot of similarities in terms of SOME docterine and traditions, but the Catholic church is much stricter about a lot of these things. 
    Posted by saacjw[/QUOTE]



    Yeah, that is what we told him when he asked what Episcopalian was, a less strict form of Catholicism. And no, he hasn't been confirmed then.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:77233644-e290-49a3-adff-26d785d682be">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have played the organ at many weddings, including both Episcopalian and Catholic.  If you are concerned about a formal religious ceremony, either church will provide this.  (Remember the Royal wedding?) On the other hand, if your FI wants to convert to Catholicism, then he should investigate this with a Catholic priest.
    Posted by CMGr[/QUOTE]



    Do you mean a Catholic church would perform the ceremony without one of us converting to Catholicism?
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  • Hebrew schools vary. At mine, we went for about 7 years, 3 days a week. We learned history, Hebrew, prayers, culture, etc. We're required to attend services a certain amount of times a year, sometimes several times a week. When we turn 12 we begin to prepare for our bar or bat mitzvah ceremony. Optional classes for further learning goes on for another 4 years, 1 day a week. Is that similar to Catholic school?
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited February 2012
    One of you must be Catholic to be married in the Catholic church.

    There are some priests who will not marry couples who are living together prior to marriage. You may be asked to live apart or abstain from sex until you are married. Other priests will marry the couple in order to make things right.

    I have never heard of a priest refusing to marry anyone because they have a child out of wedlock.

    If you and/or your fi to be think you may be interested in converting, start attending mass every Sunday to get familiar with the church. You will not be able to receive communion until you have converted, but you are welcome at mass. If you feel comfortable at the church, make an appointment with the priest to discuss RCIA (rite of Christian initiation for adults). In addition to those classes, you will be required to complete a marriage preparation program before you are married.









                       
  • This all seems so odd to me.  Your husband is going to convert just so you can be married in his family's church?  Forgive me, but that is the same as thinking of the church as "just a venue."  I whole heartedly understand the reasoning behind his choice, but I feel like there should be some calling from Catholicism and a desire from him to be apart of that community.  If that isn't there, then he really is going to go through a lot of hoops to simply be married in a pretty building.

    Obviously you are free to do as you wish, but Catholicism is not Protestantism.  I'm a confirmed Lutheran and my husband is a confirmed Catholic.  Catholics have many more sacrements (of which marriage is one) and in many ways their religion is far more strict than Protestantism.  I'd really look into this deeper, talk with a priest, and fully understand this decision further than the wedding ceremony.
  • He's not converting just to get married there. He would also be converting because he's believed his entire life he was baptised as a Catholic, and finding out he had been instead baptised as Episcapalian upset him. He is not a practicing Catholic by any means, but he is of the mind that he IS a Catholic and wants to set it right that he is not. He follows the religion to an extent because of his family history and his upbringing with his grandparents, and it was what he learned as a child. The Episcapalian baptism was a kink thrown in by his father's second wife, and at the time, he was too young to know the difference. After the baptism, he continued to practice as a Catholic when he was with his grandparents, and feels that is his faith, but because of the lack of devotion as he got older, he has no clue what to do or how to go about anything. It's a long drawn out story involving some screwed up family history, but he DOES want to be Catholic, and not just because of the church. He wanted some Catholic traditions in our ceremony to begin with when we got married, as we were looking at an actual wedding venue, but finding out everyone from his family who has gotten married in this church, he wants to get married there to keep with tradition.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-churches?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:52dc9ae5-abf5-4c49-a4e3-e61b7461620aPost:6b958464-416b-4556-86df-4b856b008cdb">Re: Catholic churches?</a>:
    [QUOTE]He is not a practicing Catholic by any means, but he is of the mind that he IS a Catholic and wants to set it right that he is not.
    Posted by krptcmschfmkr128[/QUOTE]

    So if he converts to Catholocism, does he plan to actively practice the faith after the wedding?  I think that's what people are taking issue with here.  If he is going to use this as an opportunity to re-commit himself to the Church, then there's no problem.  If he only wants to convert so he can get married in this particular building and then go back to not practicing at all, it's insulting to the Church and the devout adherents of the faith.  "Tradition" alone is not a good reason to convert.
  • edited February 2012
    He would like to start practicing again. He enjoyed going to church with his grandparents as a child but when the falling out in his family happened, he lost touch with the faith. Now that things are coming back together again, he'd like to also get back in touch with the faith. Our biggest concerns were the living together, having a child, and not belonging to the church. We knew he'd have to be to Catholicism.
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  • @ renegade gaucho, very well said and absolutely right on. @ OP, going through the formalities of receiving the sacraments just so you can become what you've always thought you were doesn't make you a catholic. When a person converts to any religion as an adult it's supposed to be a reflection of that persons intentions to practice the faith, not just call themselves a member. And no offense, but if you don't want people to judge, don't post.
  • Ok, thanks for clearing up the practicing/nonpracticing issue.  As for your other questions, your best option is to go right to the source- your fiance should contact the church where you want to be married and find out what is involved in the conversion process and what their policies are regarding marriage for non-members and couples who have had children and cohabited.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I would suggest that your boyfriend make an appointment with the priest of the Catholic church. I'm wondering if he was actually baptized there. They will have a record of any sacraments he received there. He stepmother may have had him baptized a second time. Either way, the first baptism is valid. The priest will give him advice on how to return to the church. Don't feel discouraged. The priest will be pleased if he is sincere in his desire to return to the church.

    One question for you. Have you had your daughter baptized in the Catholic church? The church will expect your fi to make his best effort to bring the children up as Catholics and they will expect you to cooperate with that.
                       
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Being baptised catholic is not the same thing as being catholic.  If he wants to convert, the first place to start is by going to mass every Sunday and making an appointment to talk to the priest.  Once he converts, he would be able to join the parish and get married there.  

    They won't prevent anyone from converting based on children, pre-marital sex, whatever.  But they also aren't going to go along with an insincere attempt to convert so that you can use the church for a marriage.  
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited February 2012
    Please excuse me if this gets posted twice. The original disappeared.

    Your fi should make an appointment with the Catholic priest. I'm wondering if he was baptized twice. The church will have a record of any sacraments he received there. Either way, the first baptism will be considered valid. Do not feel discouraged. The priest will be pleased if your fi is sincere in his desire to return or convert to the Catholic faith. Just be truthful of the situation so the priest can help.

    I have a question for you. Was your beautiful daughter baptized in the Catholic church? The church will expect the Catholic spouse to bring the children up as Catholics and you will be expected to support that. Just something for you to think about.

    Good luck to you both.
                       
  • He couldn't have gone through Confirmation without having been baptized (they require seeing the actual papers). That's great that he wants to make it official!

    It's just like what another answerer said - they may or may not care about y'all living together & having a child. Some do and some don't.

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