Advice on cousin's wedding outside of church


#1

I need advice.

ugh :bighanky:

my cousin always felt like my sister growing up. we were close. then we hit our teens and she decided she didn't like me anymore (she just stopped wanting to hang out, idk) guess we were just always different personalities.

anyway

this hurt my feeling a lot but still asked her to be my maid of honor several years ago. she said yes then ditched me in every way possible or made the situation about her. drama yada yada.

:popcorn:

now she is getting married. she has always been (as far as I can tell) a practicing Sunday catholic :thumbsup: however marrying a non-catholic :shrug: outside of the church; he is not too religious. I told her mom she could try to get permission so it is legit or she will have to go through the process after to have it recognized.

everyone thinks this is none of my business.:whistle:

k well, I'm doing it bc I care about her, but apparently I am a jerk for infringing.

I feel like, oh well I tried. Idk if I should do anything further.

AND I am not sure if I should attend her wedding outside of the church (its also a bit of a drive)
:blush:
I am obviously emotionally hurt / offended / saddened about our relationship so not sure if me not attending is more from caring she is falling away from the church or that she has hurt me in the past.

how do I handle this?? I am a mess.:hmmm:


#2

You are being asked to be witness to an invalid marriage. Sometimes the loving thing is being truthful, not being nice.

Besides, is she going to return to your friendship after the wedding, or toss you aside like a pair of second hand shoes again?

You asked for advice - if it were me I would tell her thank you, but no thanks.

~Liza


#3

I don't think anyone gains anything by you refusing to attend.

I've always thought the best way to be a witness is to live a good life and not "hide your light under a bushel." If I were in your shoes, I would attend the wedding with your husband, be a model of a happy Catholic marriage, be a gracious guest, and gently let her know that if she ever decides to return to the Church, it is very common to have non-Catholic marriages become valid Catholic marriages, and there is a process in place. (I think most people, even Catholics, don't know that this option exists.)

You might consider writing her a letter explaining the process a few months after the wedding. If you do it during the blur of the wedding she might turn it into drama (sounds like her style) or just forget about it.


#4

[quote="lizaanne, post:2, topic:229270"]
You are being asked to be witness to an invalid marriage. Sometimes the loving thing is being truthful, not being nice.

Besides, is she going to return to your friendship after the wedding, or toss you aside like a pair of second hand shoes again?

You asked for advice - if it were me I would tell her thank you, but no thanks.

~Liza

[/quote]

I agree with you.
I would NOT attend.

Attending gives the impression of agreeable support.
Yet when one does NOT support this type of marriage, why attend?


#5

This is a common question/problem for many families.

I had a similiar problem so a while ago did a search under the "Ask an Apologist" part of this website. I encourage you to do the same.

I will paraphrase here. It is permissible for a Catholic to attend an invalid wedding but they are discouraged from being an honor attendant. In otherwords you can attend as a guest but probably should not be a bridesmaid if asked.

As far as attending an invalid wedding that too must be discerned. You might not want to attend the invalid wedding of an adulterous couple, however you might want to attend the invalid wedding of two young people that have a child and are trying to straighten out their lives.

This is what I recall reading anyway but please check yourself for solid advice!

You obviously love her a great deal and are in much emotional pain over this. Remember that Jesus loves you so much, you are his child. Your cousin is also his child. Do your best to love, love her and then love her some more. Love will bring her back to the church eventually. Telling her mother that she will have to get her marriage validated may or may not have been loving depending on how you worded it. You said that family members think you are a "jerk." This is not healthy for a family. Now that you are seen in this light unfortunately your words are probably not as effective. Show love. I will pray for you, hope this helps a little.


#6

[quote="Monicad, post:5, topic:229270"]
This is a common question/problem for many families.

I had a similiar problem so a while ago did a search under the "Ask an Apologist" part of this website. I encourage you to do the same.

I will paraphrase here. It is permissible for a Catholic to attend an invalid wedding but they are discouraged from being an honor attendant. In otherwords you can attend as a guest but probably should not be a bridesmaid if asked.

As far as attending an invalid wedding that too must be discerned. You might not want to attend the invalid wedding of an adulterous couple, however you might want to attend the invalid wedding of two young people that have a child and are trying to straighten out their lives.

This is what I recall reading anyway but please check yourself for solid advice!

You obviously love her a great deal and are in much emotional pain over this. Remember that Jesus loves you so much, you are his child. Your cousin is also his child. Do your best to love, love her and then love her some more. Love will bring her back to the church eventually. Telling her mother that she will have to get her marriage validated may or may not have been loving depending on how you worded it. You said that family members think you are a "jerk." This is not healthy for a family. Now that you are seen in this light unfortunately your words are probably not as effective. Show love. I will pray for you, hope this helps a little.

[/quote]

I think you remember the advice accurately.

Still, in this circumstance, where closeness does not exist,
I see no reason to attend the ceremony. I wouldn't make a big
deal about it; I'd simply send my regrets "unable to attend." Because
animosity already exists, the simplest refusal can speak volumes.


#7

It sounds like the OP needs to ask herself whether she wants to use this opportunity to push her cousin further away from herself, or if she wants to use this opportunity to draw her cousin closer to the Catholic Church. Based on the information provided, my opinion is that EITHER option is equally moral.


#8

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:7, topic:229270"]
It sounds like the OP needs to ask herself whether she wants to use this opportunity to push her cousin further away from herself, or if she wants to use this opportunity to draw her cousin closer to the Catholic Church. Based on the information provided, my opinion is that EITHER option is equally moral.

[/quote]

See I am thinking it will send a point across if I don't go more than if I do. But I do not want to alienate myself further from my already very cafeteria catholic family.

I was thinking attending in good behavior (not acting as though I am more holy than thou etc) would be the harder of the 2 options. more sacrifice involved. so probably the more correct, more loving, humble thing??? and I do not want to push everyone farther away either.

but I definitely don't want it to look as though it's all good and dandy!! :banghead:

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:3, topic:229270"]

You might consider writing her a letter explaining the process a few months after the wedding. If you do it during the blur of the wedding she might turn it into drama (sounds like her style) or just forget about it.

[/quote]

the letter thing is an idea... hmm

[quote="Monicad, post:5, topic:229270"]
Telling her mother that she will have to get her marriage validated may or may not have been loving depending on how you worded it. You said that family members think you are a "jerk." This is not healthy for a family. Now that you are seen in this light unfortunately your words are probably not as effective.

[/quote]

I always speak my mind clearly and in the past I have expressed my opinions on her lifestyle very very bluntly out of hurt (after she caused some undue drama at my wedding). I am reaping what I sewed back then. Now I know better :gopray: I am not quite a saint yet! :rolleyes: but it's been some years (a marriage and 2 babies and lots of growing up) since.

[quote="Monicad, post:5, topic:229270"]

I will pray for you, hope this helps a little.

[/quote]

I need it. Always. thank you!!


#9

If you want to attend your cousin's wedding, then I say go for it and wish her and her new husband all the best. I wouldn't necessarily spend the entire time (ceremony and reception) with the whole matter on your mind. I'd try to relax and enjoy yourself some. As someone else said you are not forbidden to attend a marriage outside the Catholic Church. Catholics befriend and socialize with many people outside their church. So if you're considering not attending simply because she has fallen away, I don't find that to be all that good a reason. Life is too short.

If on the otherhand the distance is too great for you to make it or you have other reasons you do not want to attend then that's your call and you'll have to decline her invitation.


#10

i suggest you go.
obviously do not be a wedding attendant, but attend. and get the couple a BEAUTIFUL pair of his and hers rosaries ....
nice ones
not cheap

and remind her a month or so later about the options to have her marriage validated by the church


#11

[quote="fabricdragon, post:10, topic:229270"]
i suggest you go.
obviously do not be a wedding attendant, but attend. and get the couple a BEAUTIFUL pair of his and hers rosaries ....
nice ones
not cheap

and remind her a month or so later about the options to have her marriage validated by the church

[/quote]

haha! LOVE it.


#12

[quote="katholicchik, post:8, topic:229270"]
See I am thinking it will send a point across if I don't go more than if I do. But I do not want to alienate myself further from my already very cafeteria catholic family.

I was thinking attending in good behavior (not acting as though I am more holy than thou etc) would be the harder of the 2 options. more sacrifice involved. so probably the more correct, more loving, humble thing??? and I do not want to push everyone farther away either.

but I definitely don't want it to look as though it's all good and dandy!! :banghead:
!!

[/quote]

What point? I wouldn't try making a point that you are a better or more faithful Catholic. Despite I'm sure all your good intentions, that might not come across as you might hope. You might be perceived as thinking you are "holier than thou" even though that might not at all be your intention. And might drive your family further away from where you would like them to be.


#13

Yes but will they?


#14

[quote="katholicchik, post:8, topic:229270"]
See I am thinking it will send a point across if I don't go more than if I do. But I do not want to alienate myself further from my already very cafeteria catholic family.

[/quote]

If you don't attend, I think your cousin will either (a) not think it's a big deal (b) see it as a social snub or (c) see it as a "holier than thou" action, which leads me to...

[quote="katholicchik, post:8, topic:229270"]
I was thinking attending in good behavior (not acting as though I am more holy than thou etc) would be the harder of the 2 options. more sacrifice involved. so probably the more correct, more loving, humble thing??? and I do not want to push everyone farther away either.

[/quote]

I think this paragraph expresses what I was trying to say--attending and being a gracious guest would be the harder thing for you to do. If it would cause you or your family harm, you needn't put yourself at risk. But if it won't harm you to attend the wedding, I believe it may help your cousin to have an opportunity to see that being in a Catholic marriage can inspire a woman to rise above former petty disagreements and be a better person because of it. And I truly like the idea of giving them his and hers rosaries, and following up a few months later with a very kind-hearted letter explaining the convalidation process. If she ignores you, later on when she becomes pregnant might be another time to revisit the convalidation suggestion. (I've noticed my non-religious friends go through spiritual crises when they realize that their children will have no religion if the expecting parents don't shape up.)

Also, you might see your cousin's wedding as an opportunity for you to practice the virtues of forgiveness and humility. I believe every trial life presents, whether it be big or small, is an opportunity for us to become closer to God. :o

Best wishes to you. I have a feeling that no matter what you choose to do, you will do it with grace and humility!


#15

[quote="CMatt25, post:13, topic:229270"]
Yes but will they?

[/quote]

thats why i specify a REALLY nice set. something just as expensive as a dish set or whatever else others may get. they make them with heart beads, too.....in white and black....

it is a VERY appropriate gift for a Catholic woman, from a Catholic family, getting married.

will they appreciate it? who knows.. maybe they will.. maybe not. but the Rosary brought me into the church and is a sovereign remedy for heresy .. and didnt Pope JP2 say "pray the Rosary as a family"?.

now if it was a cheap set, or in any way seemed like just a "cop out" then obviously that would be rude....

but really.. what better gift on a wedding is there (ok, except a crock pot and coffee maker, but someone else will undoubtedly buy those)


#16

[quote="CMatt25, post:12, topic:229270"]
What point? I wouldn't try making a point that you are a better or more faithful Catholic. Despite I'm sure all your good intentions, that might not come across as you might hope. You might be perceived as thinking you are "holier than thou" even though that might not at all be your intention. And might drive your family further away from where you would like them to be.

[/quote]

I never considered I'd be making a point that I'm a better catholic (which is not at all what I would conclude anyway). I mean, I would be making the point that there is a problem at the very least. Not ignoring the issue completely.

It really, really, really eats away at me that she would just dump her upbringing and catholic faith for a wedding. I know it doesn't mean that she is turning her back on God or the church, but it just feels as though she is making very light of a sacrament. and has no desire to be in the church or have the Eucharist present etc. AND my biggest worry, she will in fact not want to correct the marriage in the church so she will just abandon it. And if I do not go, it will certainly send some message. But yes not sure if it will send that message or just seem to say I think I am awesome.

to clarify, I am not awesome. lol.

I think my family is in fact well aware of this, but I am not sure if they know that I know I am not awesome.

I shall have a shirt made.

hangs head


#17

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:14, topic:229270"]

Also, you might see your cousin's wedding as an opportunity for you to practice the virtues of forgiveness and humility. I believe every trial life presents, whether it be big or small, is an opportunity for us to become closer to God. :o

Best wishes to you. I have a feeling that no matter what you choose to do, you will do it with grace and humility!

[/quote]

thank you. I need every opportunity for grace I can get!! :p


#18

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:14, topic:229270"]
And I truly like the idea of giving them his and hers rosaries, and following up a few months later with a very kind-hearted letter explaining the convalidation process. If she ignores you, later on when she becomes pregnant might be another time to revisit the convalidation suggestion. (I've noticed my non-religious friends go through spiritual crises when they realize that their children will have no religion if the expecting parents don't shape up.)

[/quote]

His and hers rosaries when the groom isn't Catholic seems to me to be over the top, and pretty insensitive, regardless of how expensive. Heck, I'm a practicing Catholic and got a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic (1917 Code) and would have loved a rosary but I wouldn't have thanked anyone who tried to impose their piety on my non-Catholic husband by giving him one too.


#19

[quote="katholicchik, post:16, topic:229270"]
It really, really, really eats away at me that she would just dump her upbringing and catholic faith for a wedding.
AND my biggest worry, she will in fact not want to correct the marriage in the church so she will just abandon it.

[/quote]

I think you have a very real reason to be concerned here. Thing is, whether you come to her wedding or not might have no impact on her. She might not interpret your absence in the way you would like. Since you have no problem telling the truth you could explain to her why you feel you shouldn't go (ie to support an invalid marriage). What the rest of the family thinks (that you're a jerk) really shouldn't matter. You can't please all the people all the time, right?
I say have a chat with your cousin and express your concern for her future. Explain what it means to be in an invalid marriage. See what she has to say for herself and then make your decision.


#20

[quote="Phemie, post:18, topic:229270"]
His and hers rosaries when the groom isn't Catholic seems to me to be over the top, and pretty insensitive, regardless of how expensive. Heck, I'm a practicing Catholic and got a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic (1917 Code) and would have loved a rosary but I wouldn't have thanked anyone who tried to impose their piety on my non-Catholic husband by giving him one too.

[/quote]

exactly


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