Can an ex-Catholic not receive Communion at their own wedding?

I am getting married to a Catholic woman. I was raised Catholic, and so I know that the church still considers me one, but other than being raised in a nominally Catholic family, Catholicism has played no role in my life. I don’t believe in God, but neither do I hold any animosity towards the church like a lot of ex-Catholics.

My future wife wants a full Catholic mass, which I am happy to do. The one sticking point is that the mass will involve communion. Although I don’t believe, I feel that out of respect I should not take communion. Neither my wife nor the priest are happy about this. The priest says it’s not possible and that if I don’t want to take communion, we have to do a wedding outside of mass which my fiancee refuses to do.

Is that correct? Should I try to find another priest who will allow it?


I can understand the priest’s reluctance since it is awkward to give the Eucharist to one and not the other. But it would be more than awkward to give the Eucharist to someone who does not believe and does not want it.

Usually, when it is a marriage of a Catholic and a non-Catholic, they have the Liturgy of the Word only, without the liturgy of the Eucharist. But you say that your bride wants a Mass. I suggest that you find another parish or another priest. You definitely should NOT receive the Eucharist is you don’t believe.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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