A legitimate concern


My fiance and I have been keeping our normal correspondence with our pastor during the course of marriage preparation. We have attended all necessary meetings, are very visible at church every Sunday, and we have taken care of doing the necessary pre-cana. In a nutshell, we are on point in all aspects and have done all that was asked of us.

Our pastor seems to be on his own personal agenda and it seems that if nothing is in it for him, then he seems to not be too interested. We made a request for the wedding and he would not entertain it. Basically, we got a “we dont need you” response and told us to go somewhere else if we don’t like it. It is actually pretty upsetting and makes us feel second rate considering all of the effort that we have put forth and our desire to be in his good graces; which based on doing all of the above, I can’t see why we wouldn’t be. We show up every week, contribute every week, and want to give that extra hand wherever it’s needed. Since when is that a bad thing?

All in all, it is creating a stressful situation that we are having a tough time dealing with. The request was very minor in our opinion and could have easily been accomodated.


Welcome to the forums! :wave: And congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.

Can I ask what the request was? Was it in compliance with Canon Law?


I won’t say specifically what the request was out of respect of who may be viewing and to keep total anonymity of myself and the parish, but it was one of an administrative nature and was not even a facet of canon law. More of an element of convenience than anything else.


Sure thing. :slight_smile:

I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t something like wanting to get married outside. :rotfl: (Which is what I requested, in my complete ignorance of Church Law, 5 years ago.)

Have you tried to approach him with your request since the initial rejection? I’d like to think that maybe he was just having a rough day or something, you know?


It was brought up on 3 occasions, 1 informally, an appeal of the intital rejection in the form of a well thought out letter, and 3 in a formal session in response to the letter, all to no avail. We will survive without our request. It just would have been a nice touch.


since it is obviously a situation about which we can have no direct knowledge, and not even the priest’s side of the story, cannot comment on how legitimate your concern is, except to offer prayers that things will work out for you in God’s good time.


Now you got the hamster turning on how I can divulge what it is without throwing anyone out in the open…Give me a bit, I’m sure I can figure it out.



I’m gettin’ super curious over here, now…


A wedding is a public profession of one person to another. I have a difficult time imagining that you would have a request regarding such a public occasion that must be kept private. . . :confused:


Wow, you guys are letting me have it. But, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ll think of a way to get it out there. I just have a certain level of respect for the priest and the parish, despite the disagreement that we are dealing with and you never know who may browse on by. I just don’t want any hostility between us and him.


Well, while your request may have seemed minor, legitimate, etc, but you are only looking at it from your POV. You are one couple with just a “small” request.

He gets millions of “small” requests every day. That adds up. Every couple who gets married has a “small” request, from the minor to the absurd.

Most parishes have strict rules governing all aspects of weddings because of this. Some are to preserve the dignity of the sacrament, others are purely logistical in nature.

My parish had numerous rules that seemed completely ridiculous to me, but they are the ones who have had 1000s of weddings go through there and have been the ones who had to clean up and put up, and deal with the results.

Maybe you wanted some little thing hanging on the door-- but when they let someone do that a couple of years ago they put NAILS on the door instead of removable double stick tape. Maybe you wanted a sign in the front, but the landscaper would have holes in the lawn to deal with. Maybe you want to hang something from the ceiling but last time someone did that, it fell and injured someone. Etc… See what I’m getting at.

No exceptions to the rules b/c then everyone will want to do their little “something” that is outside the norm and you just really can’t let that kind of thing start. If you do, not only do you have to deal with the results, you have to get into the subjective game of who has a “reasonable” request and who doesn’t, you have to deal with people complaining because Mr. A got to do his little thing but now you’re telling ME no-- that’s not fair.

Brides and grooms tend to act like spoiled teenagers when it comes to “their day”. The priest has 1000s of people to deal with and can’t let everyone do their special “thing”.


Perfect and absolutely right on point. We tend to forget that we’re just one of many and get caught up in thoughts of ourselves, especially when it’s our wedding.

We got married during Lent. The pastor, whom I had known for 20 years or so, had just died several months before the actual date so there was a new pastor. He didn’t turn the heat on, only a few lights were used so it was dark, he literally ran us out of the Church (after mispronouncing our names several times), and wouldn’t allow the use of rice, birdseed, or anything else. :stuck_out_tongue: So what. We still laugh about it (along with the other goofs and missteps that occurred) - 22 years later. That stuff is nice but it doesn’t matter really.


I think we should reserve judgement on the OP’s request until we have an idea of what it is. Yes, some brides and grooms do ask for somewhat ludicrous things or get carried away, but OP seems to be rational and is just not wanting to hurt anyone in disclosing what the request is.


Are you attending mass regulary to be in the priest’s good graces? or because you adore your God and want to be in His Presence?? Do you contribute every week and lend a hand just to be on the priest’s good side, or because you are being called by God to be one of the Faithful?

To me your question sounds very self-centered. ie “We’ve done X,Y,Z so we deserve THIS” The church has guidelines for marriage and it is up to the priest to ensure the faithful follow the rules. Attending mass is something we do for God, not to please a priest or a class fullfillment.

Its hard to say if your request was minor without knowing more, but as pp have stated, once you give into one couple on a “minor request”, you open the flood gates.

Perhaps my answer would change after getting more information. :shrug: :slight_smile:


With all due respect…I really dont appreciate those accusations that I’m just “playing the game” so to speak. I am doing what is necessary to be done because of my commitment to the church. Not just to win the priest over and am not going to disappear into the sunset once we have the ceremony. My fiance’s family has been in that parish for 100 years and that would just flat out be wrong.


As they say usually: ‘this thread is useless without pictures’ - or in this case, the information. We are going in circles.

Either disclose the information or don’t. In either case, we hope and pray that everything turns out right and to everyone’s satisfaction.


Sorry if you seem hurt by some of the responses. Perhaps you didn’t mean it to come across this way, but your original post really does (a little bit) come across like a list of all the things you are doing right, which seem (a little bit) like you feel because of that list your wish should be granted by the pastor.

I am certain you are a faithful Catholic who cares about his faith otherwise you wouldn’t be here. I beleive you attend Mass on Sundays because you love God and you will be members of this parish for a long time.

I am just saying that you post sounds a little bit like “we are doing x, y and z so don’t understand why we aren’t getting our way for a, b and c.” This is merely an observation of your post…perhaps your pastor is really being unreasonable? It is very difficult to say based on the information you gave.

I think the priest has to treat all couples the same, or at least he should. The couple who has been living in sin and has finally come back to the church and who cannot afford to give any money to the parish and who are struggling with their faith should be treated the same as the couple that is doing everything “right”.

Praying for you and congratulations! Hope this helps, perhaps people just misunderstood your situation.


Thank you for your clarification on that point. No need to be snipey. I apologize if my post came off snipey. There was no intent to be so. You asked about a concern you had, giving little information, and a lot of “justifications” of why you shouldn’t have been turned down.

As Harmony has stated, this is pointless unless we can know more.

Blessings on your wedding.


OK, I guess I can say what it my issue is. The Diocese in which we live had a study done like many others across the US. As a result, churches were closed and/or consolidated. Our parish now consists of 2 churches in which masses are split up on Saturdays and Sundays between the 2, allowing parishioners to attend mass at whatever time they see fit.

Out of respect for my fiance’s family being longtime parishioners and just because I am very easygoing to begin with, we agreed to have the wedding there. She has deep roots there by going to grammar school there and growing up 2 blocks away in what was once a very tight knit city neighborhood that has unfortunately gone downhill in the past 10-15 years.

I transfered parishes and really enjoy being a part of the new environment. We want to have the wedding in the other of the 2 churches and that request was turned down. It is also known that it is not in use on our date. I feel that as active parishioners, we should have an equal claim to be able to choose the venue in where to have the wedding. The priest also cited geographic concerns since she moved literally a few miles away and is not in the geographic area anymore. Since when would someone be turned away for something like that after growing behind those doors? There are many people that have also moved out of the geographic zone that we know and see every week and it seems that they get treated a bit better. We are respectful, faithful, and willing to give a hand wherever one is needed. All I want is to be on an equal level with everyone else.

As I said before, we will survive just fine with how things are. It was just a small request.

I’m annoyed that you people would suggest that my request would be something as ridiculous as hanging objects on the cieling or the door and compare us to spoiled teenagers. Im a very by the book person and I would not ever do something like that to deface the original and authentic integrity or cosmetic view of the church.


I agree with the others… we need more information here.
(First off, how hard it is to speak in generalities?.. you don’t have to be that specific to disclose a little more info)…

Marriage is a public sacrament… “personal agendas” of the pastor don’t make any sense. Either you’re eligible for marriage, or not… it’s pretty simple.

Without more info this thread doesn’t make much sense! :confused:

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