1. AHewlett
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    AHewlett Member

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    Catholic Wedding

    Discussion in 'Research' started by AHewlett, May 2, 2016.

    Hi everyone

    I should probably be posting this on a wedding website but I thought I would try here first. I'm not Catholic so I don't know anything about what goes on at a Catholic wedding and I've got one Catholic ceremony in my story. I've had a look on the internet but it just gets a bit confusing especially as the groom in the story isn't Catholic.

    So can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    I have been to two Catholic weddings where either the groom or bride was not Roman Catholic, and here were my impressions:

    First of all the Roman Catholic service assumes usually that all present know what they are doing and know all responses by heart. In contrast to that in the Episcopal church we have the Book of Common Prayer or bulletin which lists the order of service and appropriate responses. Neither of the two weddings that I attended made any effort to facilitate for the non Roman Catolics present what the responses were and what was going on and why.

    Both of these weddings I attended included Communion, and the priest made a point of stressing that "unfortunately" non Roman Catholics were not allowed to partake. In these weddings were the bride's side of the family present was about equal to the groom's side, and only one side was Roman Catholic, this resulted in half of the people going to communion, while the other half did not. I found that to be really awkward.

    I am a former Roman Catholic myself btw, currently Episcopalian.
     
  3. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    Marrying a non Catholic isn’t a problem. The only requirement is that their offspring will be raised as Catholics. The priest will ask for that assurance when the happy couple contact him to arrange the big day. For practical reasons he’ll ask if a full Mass is desired, as a wedding incorporating a full mass needs a bigger time slot. This is entirely optional. There’s no hell fire and brimstone if a full Mass is not required.

    A Catholic wedding (in England) is pretty much the same as a C of E wedding; best man, ushers, Here Comes the Bride, exchange of rings etc. Hymns are optional. If hymns are desired and non Catholic guests are to be present then it’s advisable to book the church choir too, as they’ll drown out the mumbling of those that aren’t familiar with the tune the organist is playing. (A list of popular Catholic hymns is easy to find on the internet, many of which are popular in other denominations.)

    I can’t imagine you’d want to go too deeply into prayers but if you do, The Lord’s Prayer has a trip wire at the end. The Catholic version ends with ‘deliver us from evil. Amen.’

    Any of these things would suggest ‘Catholic’ to your reader...

    At the church entrance, patrons will dip their fingers in holy bacteria (water that everyone else has had their fingers in) then bless themselves by making the sign of the cross.

    Upon walking down the aisle and reaching the end of a pew, patrons will kneel and bow to the altar, and bless themselves once more before taking a seat on the pew.

    At regular intervals the congregation may bless themselves yet again, taking their lead from the priest.

    Other Catholic giveaways… A statue of Our Lady (The Virgin Mary) is usually prominent on the altar. And on the walls there are ‘The Stations of the Cross.’ (Artworks depicting Christ’s walk through the streets and crucifixion.)
     
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  4. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    this is strange. Any wedding I have been to, and there have been some where one of the bride groom were not catholic, always has an order of service. In fact any chapel I have been to for mass has something similar, be it printed in the bulletin or the mass book. Also, I find it strange the priest saying that as any wedding I have been to, and plenty of ordinary masses, non catholics are invited to come up and receive a blessing at communion
     
  5. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    It could be that the two weddings I went to were not representative of most. At least one of them was unusually formal and probably quite conservative, so that could explain it.
     
  6. BooksandCoffee
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    BooksandCoffee Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, when a full Roman Catholic Mass is preformed, non-Catholics and anyone with a Mortal Sin that has not been absolved is not supposed to take Communion.
     
  7. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    they can get a blessing though
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't have any idea where you're getting your information.

    For a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic two things are required. That they not be married in any other faith (more on that in a second), and that the non-Catholic must get written permission from the local diocese to marry. I still have the letter I wrote to Bishop Aquila somewhere.

    There is no requirement that the children be raised Catholic. No one asks for that when you go in to arrange the marriage.

    A Catholic marriage must be free from coercion. There can be no pre-nup. No dowry. No shotguns. The only reason for the two to get married is because thy love each other. And a Catholic wedding is permanent! Once married in the church you are married for eternity. In this life and the next, for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. The only way to get out of a Catholic wedding is to annul it, there is no divorce. And if you annul the wedding there can be no coercion, so no alimony. An annulled marriage isn't a marriage that didn't work out. The annulment goes back in time, like Van Damme and makes it so the marriage never took place at all.

    THING THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS TALKED TO YOU ABOUT:
    For a year before the wedding the married couple have to take classes once every week to two weeks on marriage. It's basically marriage counseling, but there's a lot of stuff about Jesus Christ in your lives. There's also a ton about setting up financials, raising children, conflict resolution, and gender roles.

    You don't rent the church, but they ask for a donation. The donation is not negotiable.

    Every Catholic wedding is a full mass. Every Catholic wedding has to take place in a consecrated Catholic church (multi denominational is insufficient.) Every Catholic wedding is officiated by a Priest. Normally the part where the people are married is when they take communion together. Even though only one person does this (in this case) it's still a more important symbol than the ring.

    No one will tell you how to Mass either. Your only hope is to find someone who knows what they are doing and copy them. That's now going to help when the priest says something, and everyone is supposed to answer him, but you'll know when to stand up and sit down. When asked how you are supposed to know what to do at Mass, my wife's advice was, "You go to Mass every Sunday since you were born." But I'm pretty sure you can find a youtube tutorial.
     
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  9. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    If I thought it was any business of yours I'd be happy to explain, but it ain't, so I won't. Move on fella and bait someone else. I ain't interested.
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Sure, you offer some advice, someone asks where you got it, and you tell them it's none of their business. This seems like a rational reaction in a community based exclusively on feedback.
     
  11. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    When my parents got married my mum had to convert to Catholicism to marry my dad (she was protestant). If she hadn't converted then they wouldn't have been able to get married in a Catholic church. They had to attend classes with the priest, I actually went to one of them but unfortunately I can't tell you what happened - I was a kid and was too busy playing with my Barbie in the corner to listen to what was going on!

    A few of my aunties were married in a Catholic ceremony but have since been divorced. It's frowned upon generally but the church can't stop you getting a divorce. You can't remarry in a Catholic church though. They remarried, but had to get married in a Church of England church instead.

    As for mass, I cant think of the word for it, but basically we got given a script of sorts. It had all the words the priest would say and our responses so even if you didn't go to mass it was pretty easy to follow. Mass was like a general Sunday Morning mass. Readings, Hymns all that stuff.
     
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  12. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yeah, as mentioned, this is because (according to the Catholic church) they are still married. Divorce doesn't exist.
     
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  13. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    Ahh interesting - didn't realize that!
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yeah, and you're not just married in this life. You're married for all the time in heaven too. That part about "death do you part" is only a short break. You're with your husband or wife for all of eternity.

    It was on hearing that, that my wife started getting cold feet.
     
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  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I married a Catholic back in 1986, here in Scotland.

    There was a strange anomaly at my wedding, though. I had been baptised a Catholic as a baby, although that's where my participation in Catholicism ended. So I was a 'lapsed' Catholic rather than a non-Catholic. My dad was raised Catholic, although he lapsed as soon as he left home. As a child, whenever I went to church at all (for about 2 years) I went to a Methodist church, which was my mother's preferred choice. I am not religious at all. The Methodist church stuff was something my mother made me do, but both my parents lapsed in their religious beliefs, so basically religion wasn't a part of my life, growing up.

    However, I do have Catholic relatives, and one of them, an older cousin, was able to produce certification of my baptism. So that made me different in the eyes of the Catholic church from somebody who was not. (Weird.) I was certainly not required to take any 'instruction.'

    The priest knew my husband's family, and he was very nice to me as well. He actually respected the fact that I wasn't a believer and wouldn't be coming to church. We WERE told that we would need to promise to raise children in the Catholic faith, though. A promise I was happy to make, as I don't consider promises made under duress to be binding—and this felt a bit like duress to me. Whatever whatever was my attitude. As it happens, my husband and I had already decided we wouldn't be having children anyway, so it wasn't an issue. It was a first marriage for both of us, but we were older than the usual newlyweds (in our mid to late 30s.)

    Of course I wasn't allowed up at the altar, so the ceremony was performed at the end of the aisle. I remember rather dancing my way through it in good humour and paying little or no attention to anything that was said. I'm not a ceremony-lover at the best of times. We're still married, nearly 30 years later. My husband chose to not attend church ever again, which was his own decision, not mine. I wouldn't have stood in his way if he had decided to go. Religion is a personal thing. You either believe or you don't. You can be forced into an outward show of piety, under certain circumstances, but you can't be forced to believe. Or not to believe. I fully support anyone's right to a religion, as long as they allow me the freedom to not have one.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    This is especially interesting, because I asked our priest about it and was told specifically that it wouldn't be required.

    It's possible that this is a policy adopted at the diocese level?
     
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  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Very possibly. And I have no idea what would have happened if I had said 'no.' My policy was just to nod and smile and agree to anything, so I don't know if he was just trying it on, or what. But I do remember deliberately lying my head off over that one. I am a pragmatist. It meant a lot to my husband's mother, who was a devout Catholic, to see her son 'properly married,' so I didn't want to rock the boat. Myself, I didn't give a damn. I had every intention of getting married and staying married and not playing away, and as far as I'm concerned that's enough of a vow to make.
     
  18. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a Catholic who married an Anglican. Here in England.

    We didn't need a letter from a bishop because I was marrying a baptised Christian - albeit from another denomination.
    He implied if she hadn't been baptised we would have needed a letter. Had to show him a copy of my wife's baptism certificate as proof. (And mine to prove I was a Catholic)

    We did need to agree to raise our children as Catholics. I suspect that might be standard across the UK.

    Wouldn't have been able to have a Catholic wedding if either of us were divorced of course.

    We only had to attend one class (which was a day long). Though my brother had to attend several classes. -seems to be somewhat at the discretion of individual priests how this works.

    (Though had to have about 3 other short meetings with the priest that didn't count as classes.- during which the priest's dog liked to lick my ankles)

    We got the option for a full mass or not. We went for the shorter ceremony, which does cut out the communion.
    It still has to be in the church, still had hymns and had to select family members to do some bible readings.
     
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  19. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yeah, I had to "apply" because I'm neither baptized, nor a christian. But the Bishop didn't give me any problems with it, just hoped that I'd "join my life with Christ."

    Whatever that means.
     
  20. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    Another detail that may be of interest: the Roman Catholic may be expected to go to Communion before wedding. I don't know whether this is standard practice everywhere in the Catholic Church, but I know in Poland confession and absolution was a must. I knew someone who did not get absolution from the priest because she confessed that she had been intimate with another man and the priest asked whether she regretted it, and she refused to regret it, and the priest refused to absolve her of her sins since she did not regret. So she went to confession in a different Catholic church to a different priest, omitted the intimacy part from confession entirely, and got the absolution that was required for her to get married.
     
  21. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure that's not how sin works.
     
  22. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    Do you mean in actuality or in the Roman Catholic Church? As I said this example is from Poland a real example of something that happened to someone I know. And the thing about confession is that regret is a prerequisite for any forgiveness of sins, so if one has no regret then one cannot be forgiven - I am pretty sure that is true in the Roman Catholic Church no matter what country one lives in. Now what one chooses to say in confession is up to the person confessing. I am fairly sure the priest in this story must have been pretty conservative to make a big deal of this particular sin though, plus this story was told to me by someone who was married 40 years ago, so it could be that in those times this was considered a worse deal than would be nowadays.
     
  23. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    No I mean, from what I understand, not reporting your sin doesn't keep you out of hell.
     
  24. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You're right, though she wouldn't be the first person to want a Catholic marriage without believing everything the Catholic Church has to say on certain subjects.
     
  25. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    I am pretty sure this is not universal. I know a couple of people who had catholic weddings and are divorced


    edit: nevermind, I guess my uncle is technically still married according to our church
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016

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