Asking a priest to say your wedding Mass


#1

Hi all,
Hope I'm in the right forum. I'm getting married in June 2014 at my parish, and I want a priest from my school to say the Mass. My parish requires that the priest who is going to say the Mass be the one to set the date with the parish. Makes total sense, not arguing. But I hadn't planned on asking the priest until I had gotten to know him a bit better. He's currently my theology professor. It's a small class, and he definitely knows who I am, but I wouldn't say we're friends. I need to set a date pretty soon though because Saturdays in June fill up crazy fast at reception venues. Is it weird to ask a priest that you aren't friends with to say your wedding Mass?
Thanks!
Teresa


#2

[quote="Wandering_Heart, post:1, topic:318336"]
Hi all,
Hope I'm in the right forum. I'm getting married in June 2014 at my parish, and I want a priest from my school to say the Mass. My parish requires that the priest who is going to say the Mass be the one to set the date with the parish. Makes total sense, not arguing. But I hadn't planned on asking the priest until I had gotten to know him a bit better. He's currently my theology professor. It's a small class, and he definitely knows who I am, but I wouldn't say we're friends. I need to set a date pretty soon though because Saturdays in June fill up crazy fast at reception venues. Is it weird to ask a priest that you aren't friends with to say your wedding Mass?
Thanks!
Teresa

[/quote]

Well, first, you have to go through the pre-marital investigation before you can set a date. Some even require preparation first before setting a date. Don't delay.


#3

[quote="agapewolf, post:2, topic:318336"]
Well, first, you have to go through the pre-marital investigation before you can set a date. Some even require preparation first before setting a date. Don't delay.

[/quote]

Really? I didn't know that. I got a booklet from the church that made it sound like you just talked to the pastor to set a date. What does this investigation entail? I will not be at my parish after this Friday until the summer.


#4

[quote="Wandering_Heart, post:3, topic:318336"]
Really? I didn't know that. I got a booklet from the church that made it sound like you just talked to the pastor to set a date. What does this investigation entail? I will not be at my parish after this Friday until the summer.

[/quote]

The "investigation" simply establishes your freedom to marry, e.g., making sure there are no prior bonds that would prevent your marriage in the Church. Just call your pastor to set up your initial meeting and he will explain; it will likely take place at that first meeting, as it did with both of my daughters.


#5

THey have to make sure you are free to marry, and many places you have to take the foccus first before setting a date. They want to make sure you don't put money down on anything, because you are entering a period of discernment first.

This is why the priest has to set the date with the parish. Talk to him and get started.


#6

[quote="Wandering_Heart, post:3, topic:318336"]
Really? I didn't know that. I got a booklet from the church that made it sound like you just talked to the pastor to set a date. What does this investigation entail? I will not be at my parish after this Friday until the summer.

[/quote]

It is simple. You just have to provide recent copies of your baptismal certificates (showing the sacramental record) and state that you are free to marry. If a previous marriage is involved, you need to provide a declaration of nullility and/or death certificate of previous spouse(s). When we got married, we set the date and did the per-marital investigation at the same meeting with the priest. Just set an appointment with the priest and arrive with the above documents.


#7

As far as the original question, I think you can just ask the priest. People probably ask him all the time. He'll either tell you yes or no.


#8

Oh boy, I don't think I can get my hands on my fiance's baptismal certificate by the end of the week....thanks!


#9

[quote="Wandering_Heart, post:8, topic:318336"]
Oh boy, I don't think I can get my hands on my fiance's baptismal certificate by the end of the week....thanks!

[/quote]

If you don't have a recent one, but you have an old one, just bring that. If they want more, at least they have the verification of baptism.


#10

[quote="babochka, post:9, topic:318336"]
If you don't have a recent one, but you have an old one, just bring that. If they want more, at least they have the verification of baptism.

[/quote]

I have my old one. I have nothing of his. We don't live in the same state so I don't think I can get it that fast either.


#11

Thanks!


#12

Actually, the baptismal certificate might have to wait until within 6 months of the marriage, and it has to be made from the parish-- because marriages are noted on it at the parish of baptism. But they may want this early to verify freedom to marry, and then again, within 6 months.

As I said before, depending on the priest, you may have to do other items, such as take the foccus and some prep first.


#13

[quote="babochka, post:9, topic:318336"]
If you don't have a recent one, but you have an old one, just bring that. If they want more, at least they have the verification of baptism.

[/quote]

The purpose of the certificate is not just for baptism, but to insure freedom to marry as other sacraments would be noted on it.


#14

Most churches are used to having people getting married in places other than their diocese, so I'm pretty sure getting a faxed or electronic copy to have in a pinch while you wait for the mailed copy wouldn't be an issue. You just need to know what church he was baptized in (or, if he was a military brat and baptized on a military installation, you need to go through the Military Archdiocese, which has a convenient online form and stores all records in a central location).


#15

Okay, he said he will ask his parents for a copy.

Does anyone have any input on the original question? (Not that the side discussion hasn't been good and useful.)


#16

I bet that the priest would be honored, but you would have to ask permission from the pastor of the parish in which you plan to be married (usually not a big deal - in some cases, they're happy to pass off the duty to another person, especially in the height of wedding season). Of course, ask the professor priest first. I think if you just say that you admire his holiness and think that he would be a good choice to lead you and your fiance through the discernment process and into married life, he can take it from there.

Good luck!


#17

[quote="Wandering_Heart, post:1, topic:318336"]
Hi all,
Hope I'm in the right forum. I'm getting married in June 2014 at my parish, and I want a priest from my school to say the Mass. My parish requires that the priest who is going to say the Mass be the one to set the date with the parish. Makes total sense, not arguing.

But I hadn't planned on asking the priest until I had gotten to know him a bit better. He's currently my theology professor. It's a small class, and he definitely knows who I am, but I wouldn't say we're friends. I need to set a date pretty soon though because Saturdays in June fill up crazy fast at reception venues. Is it weird to ask a priest that you aren't friends with to say your wedding Mass?
Thanks!
Teresa

[/quote]

Congratulations Teresa and your Wonderful Fiance'! :flowers:

If your parish requires the priest who is celebrating Mass and officiating the wedding to set the date - does that mean the parish secretary or representative gave you that info. If so, sounds like if they wanted lots of other info before setting the date that they would have also included telling you the other important items needed first. So, I wouldn't worry about anything else at this point.

When our daughter got engaged she called our church right away just to tell the priest the news. The secretary asked my daughter to give a date at once so no one else booked the date first.

I think it is wonderful that you are considering asking your theology professor to offer your wedding Mass and officiate the vows.

Priests do not need to be your "friend" to ask them to celebrate your Mass. You feel called to include him for some reason. I think if you and your fiance' agree, then that is enough. You can feel comfort in knowing it is not weird.

If this means the priest will be traveling or needing over night lodging, that may be something you need to discuss with this priest and your parents if they are paying for the wedding expenses.

Maybe this priest can be the one to prepare you for the Sacrament. Our daughter was married in our home parish by our parish priest, but she and our son-in-law took their marriage prep classes at their school.

Enjoy this time of preparation for Holy Matrimony with your fiance'. Keep in mind through out this preparation that this is about the Sacrament and preparing yourselves for a lifetime of the Sacrament. All the details of the wedding - dress, flowers, reception - are icing on the cake of the Sacrament.

God Bless you both.


#18

[quote="Wandering_Heart, post:15, topic:318336"]
Okay, he said he will ask his parents for a copy.

Does anyone have any input on the original question? (Not that the side discussion hasn't been good and useful.)

[/quote]

Priests get assigned to perform weddings of people they don't know beforehand all the time. So, you don't need to be friends. If anything, the fact that you know him at all probably puts you a step ahead of most couples.

If you like him, just go ahead and ask him. Explain why you would like him to do it. Certainly every Priest is different but I think more often than not, Priests are honored whenever someone asks them this.

So, I bet you the only issue you're going to have is whether or not it can fit into his schedule. Hopefully he can. If not, don't be too discouraged, I'm sure your parish can assign you with another excellent Priest.

Also, congratulations on your engagement.


#19

As the above post says, try not to be discouraged if the priest can't fit the wedding into his schedule. We had our marriage convalidated and found that our first two choices (priests we at least knew through the parish), were unable to perform the ceremony due to scheduling conflicts or being re-assigned at that time. I was a little down about it, but then we were blessed to have the pastor do it for us.

Later, I remembered that I had forgotten about the deacons. I had a feeling that one of the deacons would have enjoyed that and as a bonus.. make a little money! Oh well.. next time. (just kidding);)


#20

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