ASAP Wedding Woes!



I would love some advice from you regarding my cousin's upcoming wedding.

Until recently she was a very strong practicing Catholic. She was a leader on various retreats and often spoke about how important the church was to her. Long story short, she met her fiance, and she changed dramatically, and has since left the Catholic church.

She announced that she is getting married, and has been boasting that her wedding is "pagan", something that I just don't find funny.

I am a professional harpist/ocalist, and she has requested that I play for the ceremony.

I am very torn, because on one hand I have a hard time standing by as a witness and showing support for her behavior and her blatant mockery my beliefs...

on the other hand, I am getting a great deal of pressure from the family to play for "family peace".

Does anyone have any advice? Or perhaps can help me see a charitable, yet uncompromising way of looking at this whole thing?

Thanks so much and God Bless!


You really are not obliged to play for someone who is mocking you, as you state, and all you believe in. Be true to yourself. If you had a totally unpressured free choice what would you do? That is what you do. Being a Christian is not about bending over backwards for someone who totally desrepects you.

I can easily imagine a scenario in the future where she returns to the church and looks to you for support and guidance. Make your choice after asking Jesus in prayer. You don’t have to provide the soundtrack to another person’s choices.


Spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament if possible, then do what He would do.

While Jesus ate with sinners, he never supported them or applauded them or celebrated with them in their sins. Keep in contact with your cousin, pray for her but to participate or encourage or support her in this sinful union would definitely not be in either her or your best interest. She will have to stop and think about what she is getting ready to do, once you speak with her about your inability to participate in good conscience.

Pressures of family or society to "go along" can be difficult, that is why you need time with the Lord. May God Bless you and give you comfort in this situation.:console:


Hmm… Is your cousin actually having a “Pagan” ceremony or is she just playing around and calling it that? If it’s an actual Pagan wedding (and it were me) I would politely decline. Paganism beliefs are polytheistic and absolutely not Christian. By attending, you as a Catholic are showing your support for this marriage and this could cause scandle. If however, your cousin is simply playing around and will actually be getting married in a Protestant Church with a dispensation from her Bishop, there is no reason I can think of for not attending.


Apart from the question of attending this wedding, it’s really very rude for her to demand you play the music for her wedding, and threaten to disrupt “family peace” if you refuse. Doesn’t anybody read wedding etiquette books anymore?


A Catholic is obliged to be married within the Church; this is a matter of Canon law. Unless she does, her marriage will be invalid before the Eyes of God. That means that every time she has relations with that man, it will be objectively fornication or adultery.

I would begin by begging her to come back to the Church and to leave this man or get him to convert. Nothing is worth the possibility of Hell by deliberately excluding oneself from the sacraments. Bone up on apologetics, particularly with respect to the various pagan religions, and particularly on the authority of the Church. Prepare yourself to discuss these issues with her with gentleness and reverence, and do what you can to bring her back.

If that doesn't work, THEN I would feel forced to tell my cousin that I cannot play for the wedding because I cannot lend my presence and blessing to an objectively invalid marriage. If that "disrupts" the family, then that is HER fault for doing so, not yours. Again, it is better to be reviled because you witnessed for Christ than it is to maintain "peace" in the family.

I will pray for you.

God Bless,


Tough one. My sister was remarried in a non-catholic church after the Catholic School her daughter was attending expelled her for teenage pregnancy. (She was raising 4 kids singlehandedly). Result, her entire family does not go to church and thinks it sucks for the most part.

As I was the best man (she is also estranged from our father due to the teenage pregnancy), I was not going to turn her down as I am the only family member talking to her and the other siblings.

Fast forward 10 years and she now comes to church with me at least when we are together, she came to my daughter’s catholic wedding and helped immensely. Her husband is great.

I think it’s important to do the right thing, but people have a long memory being snubbed at a wedding.

I would spend time in prayer and get some private time with your cousin and ask her what has made her change her faith. You may be surprised that this provides you with a chance to intercede in an important way.

Don’t shut the door yet would be my 2cs


Thank you so much everyone! I spent some time really praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament about some of your answers and had a real good heart to heart with my cousin this afternoon. God willing I hope to see her come home to the church someday!

Thanks for your prayers and support!:harp:


I would speak with the bride-to-be privately and say something like this:

“You know I love you, and I had always pictured myself playing at your wedding, if you were to ask me. But here’s the deal. I really believe my musical gifts were given to me by God, so I feel like I have to honor Him when I use those gifts. That means that I cannot play at anybody’s pagan wedding. It’s really difficult for me to say no to you, and I’m sorry that it’s working out this way, but I have to put my Lord and Savior first in all things. I hope you remember what that’s like so that you can forgive me.”

Then let her have her say, but don’t argue about it. There will be no talking you into singing or playing at this wedding because you are committed to using your gifts in a way that honors Him who gave them to you, and that is that.


Let's just say I have never been known as being very diplomatic. One of my first thoughts is 'Why would someone who knows what it is like to lead retreats and be able to not only leave the faith but also mock it want ME a strong Catholic to be anywhere near her wedding?'

I do agree on letting your beliefs known. And if it is impossible to come up with some compromise where you honestly feel God would be proud of you, I wouldn't play at the wedding. However, I would still be open to attending if she can respect you



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit