Just got invited to a wedding, and found out that the ceremony will be held in a Catholic church with a Catholic priest presiding, but there will be no Mass! Is this a legit Catholic wedding? I have never been to a Catholic wedding that didn’t contain a Mass. The groom is Catholic and the brides family are Apostolics.
Sure, it’s perfectly legitimate. This is even the preferred option if one of the spouses is not Catholic (which might or might not be the case here).
Since the bride’s family are non-Catholic that means that they are not able to fully participate in the Mass (especially that they can’t receive Communion), and so this may be (at least part of) the reason for not having a Mass.
But be assured that as long as everything else is in-order, it’s a perfectly valid and licit marriage ceremony, in spite of not being within the context of the Mass.
Thanks, I’m looking forward to it as the brides father is an old friend, and they want my wife to do the music.
This is pretty much the norm when only one party to the marriage is Catholic. It is even recommended since having a nuptial Mass will highlight the lack of full unity of belief between the couple since one party will be unable to receive communion.
Makes sense. I never really thought much about it, but you are right if one isn’t Catholic that could be awkward. My grandfather wasn’t Catholic and my Grandmother told me that the Church made grandpa sign documents stating that any children in the marriage would be raisd Catholic…I don’t suppose the Chuch insists on that any more?
Nothing is required of the non-Catholic, however the Catholic party promises to do their best to see that any children of the marriage are raised Catholic.
I have heard many priests say that they prefer a wedding that’s not in the context of the Mass if one of the party is not Catholic (or even if one party is a convert and all of their family are non-Catholics). It is certainly just as valid and is easier pastorally speaking.
I know this is off topic, but I see you spell your name the same way we spell our daughters with the Irish spelling. nice to see that
The non-Catholic spouse-to-be has to be made aware of this promise, too.
Your daughter has a good name!
Many validations are done this way. A priest or deacon witnesses the marriage between a couple that only was married in a civil ceremony. I did one recently and the couples’ children carried the flowers and the ring. They were required to go to confession prior to the ceremony. The couple received a certificate of a Catholic marriage and that was all as they already had the civil paperwork. The simple ceremony from the marriage ritual was used.
I am a convert. My family are all still Southern Baptist. (Honestly, I was thrilled that some of them even wanted to come to a Catholic wedding.) Since half of the people attending the wedding wouldn’t have understood we opted not to have a mass and instead only my husband and I received communion during the ceremony. We still had the readings and Father still gave a short homily. It was a beautiful ceremony and very much in legit.
Enjoy the wedding!
The Catholic party promises to 1) not be swayed away from Catholicism and 2) to raise any children from the marriage in the Catholic Faith. This promise has to be made in front of the non-Catholic, though the non-Catholic does not have to agree. The priest in our case also validated that the Catholic party was sufficiently knowledgeable and practicing as to not be easily swayed (i.e. validate that promise #1 had a reasonable chance to occur).
We were told that for a mixed-marriage (Catholic and protestant), that a ceremony (without Mass) is preferred but not required. For disparity of cult (Catholic and non-Christian), a Ceremony is required. For a Catholic-Catholic marriage, Mass is preferred but not required. I’m not sure if that was just a diocese rule or a Church rule.
When there’s no Mass, the wedding is basically a Liturgy of the Word followed by the marriage vows and blessing. A marriage in such a form is as valid and licit as a Nuptial Mass. We discussed the issue in another thread, and it comes down to the trade-off between alienating half of your guests (some of which may refuse to kneel during consecration if they are particularly anti-Catholic) and incorporating the Lord into the ceremony.
Where I am living right now we have a problem of shortage of Priests. For the whole Vicariate, we have 10 parishes but only 4 Priests. Deacons are assigned to the parishes as parishioners.
Since Deacons cannot give Mass, we usually have weddings in the parishes without Mass (Liturgy of the Word only)
Priests only come to offer Mass at the parishes when they are running out of consecrated hosts and to give confession.
Other sacraments like, Baptism, Holy Communion, Matrimony and Extreme Unction are provided by the Deacons.
As usual, only Confirmation is reserved for the Bishop.
It happens all the time in Melkite Catholic Churches that weddings are done WITHOUT the Divine Liturgy.