Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?

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KatieBrennan26 Posts : 1 Registered: 11/10/09
Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 4:21 PM

Hello, I am just recently engaged and hope some of you can give me pointers on an issue I've already come across. I was raised Catholic, and much of my family follows the religion VERY traditionally. However, since I've been an adult, I've made the decision to leave the Catholic church. I am so happy with the Christian church that I have attended for a few years since college, and feel strongly that I've FINALLY built a relationship with God. My fiancee goes to church with me as well, and we have truly built our relationship on a Christian foundation. I have informed my family that we would like our minister to perform the ceremony, and many of them have said that they cannot attend the wedding unless a Catholic priest is there to bless the union. Now, I really don't mind this at all, but has anyone been in this situation before? And have you found a priest who would bless the union of a non-Catholic couple with Catholic relatives. This is all so confusing. Thanks for the help.

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Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 4:40 PM Go to message in response to: KatieBrennan26

DH and I are both Catholic. As far as I know, there aren't many priest who would be willing to bless a couple who is not of that faith. However, rules and policies about this can vary from place to place depending on the diocese. I would call the local diocese office and see what their rules are. If they allow that sort of thing, they should be able to put you in touch with a priest who can help you.

That being said, I find it very unfair for religious relatives to refuse to come unless there is a Catholic blessing. I know you don't mind now, but this is the best places to stand your ground regarding religion. If you don't, you may have more issues down the line if you plan to have children and not raise them as Catholics.


 

 

P.O.O.P.E.R. - People Offended by Offended People Executive Recruiter

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SoontobeMrsGlover Posts : 79 Registered: 9/14/09
Re: Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 5:29 PM Go to message in response to: Bride2008

I totally understand the fact that you want to make your family happy, but why would you agree to perfom a ritual or be blessed by a faith that you don't believe in, especially on your wedding day? I think your wedding is one of the most important days to embrace YOUR beliefs and your spouse's, and no one elses.

I agree, its very unfair for your family to ask this of you.

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nearlymrsn Posts : 25 Registered: 11/7/08
Re: Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 6:32 PM Go to message in response to: KatieBrennan26

I was in a very similar situation. I was raised Lutheran, DH was raised Catholic. He left the Catholic church, but his mom and grandmother are still practicing Catholics. They insisted that we have a priest bless our marriage. I refused to get married in the Catholic church, mainly because I am very close to my pastor. We did find a priest who would bless our ceremony, but it took quite a bit of work. We went to the Newman Center at the local college for a priest, because our Newman center is run by a group of monks that are more liberal. The priest agreed to bless our marriage on the following conditions: we had to go through their marriage counseling as well as the Lutheran marriage counseling, DH had to join the Newman Center, and he had to sign paperwork saying that he would do everything in his power to raise our children Catholic (the caveat being that I didn't have to sign that, so it's kind of a way out - a Catholic priest told us that). My pastor performed the ceremony, the priest did the readings. It actually worked out a lot better than I thought it would. Now, by no means are we considered married by the Catholic Church. To the best of my understanding, you have to be married in a Catholic Church by a priest in order for that to occur. However, his mother's desires were met, as were ours, so it all worked out. You will want to check with your minister to see if he/she would even be willing to have a priest be part of the ceremony. My pastor had presided over several weddings like this before, so she was fine with it, but not all ministers are ok with it.

Good luck!


Nearly Mrs. N.

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 7:55 PM Go to message in response to: KatieBrennan26

Dear Katie,

What Mrs N told you is correct. I am not Catholic, but I am involved with interfaith issues and know a lot about the Catholic Church's requirements.

You may be able to find a Catholic priest who would be willing to co-officiate at a Protestant ceremony, but that will be difficult. Besides that, the wedding would not be a sacramental marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church. In my opinion, it's rather pointless since neither you nor FH are Catholic, and your solidly Catholic relatives similarly won't see it as legitimate.

In my humble opinion, I think it would be better to tell the relatives who threaten not to attend "Sorry to hear that, we will miss seeing you there", then go and get married according to your personal religious beliefs. After all, you will eventually have to answer to Your Maker, not Aunt Mary Margaret.

There is another alternative. I know of a reputable outfit of ex-priests. They were legitimate Catholic priests, but have left the church in order to marry. These folks conduct Catholic-like liturgies. The name is weird, but trust me, it's legit. Rent a priest.

Have a look at their website: www.rentapriest.com


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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 8:05 PM Go to message in response to: KatieBrennan26

You're an adult and have the right to choose your own religion, just as your relatives have the right to their own beliefs. Especially with something as personal as your relationship with God, why play games just to please other people? Aunt has given you some good alternatives. But, if it were me and relatives tried to manipulate me as yours are doing to you, I would follow Aunt's suggestion and just say, "Oh, that's too bad. We'll miss you." Usually, when you take this stand, your manipulative relatives will get the point and end up coming to the wedding.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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nearlymrsn Posts : 25 Registered: 11/7/08
Re: Catholic Priest Blessing a Non-Catholic Wedding?
Posted: Nov 11, 2009 10:53 AM Go to message in response to: nearlymrsn

I realized that I misspoke (mistyped?) yesterday. I talked with DH about this. He says that according to the priest we used, he is considered married in the Catholic Church, that he would still be able to recieve last rites and all that. The first priest we talked to was also a lawyer in the Catholic Church, so I would imagine he knew what he was talking about. He wasn't the priest at our wedding because he was transferred to a different church, but the new priest that came in was fine with continuing what had been started. But, as someone else mentioned, each diocese is different, and what they require for wedding counseling is different. The one where we were married doesn't require you to attend one of their Engaged Encounter weekends, but the one where we live does (we didn't go).

In the end, you have to decide what is important to you. I didn't really want the priest there, but it wasn't as important to me to not have him there as it was important to my MIL to have him there. She understands that our children won't be raised Catholic, mainly because she and DH have had a lot of conversations as to why he left the church. IF, as you said, you don't mind having a priest, and IF your family understands that you won't be raising your children Catholic, then go for it.

Nearly Mrs. N.

 

 

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