I’m sorry if this has been posted before but I have a cousin who has asked me to videotape his wedding. He is Lutheran, she is Catholic. Neither practice their faith in any way, they live together, and are planning an outdoor ceremony. My question is I’m fairly sure I cannot attend, and how do I charitabley tell them this? Thank you for your help.
If your cousin’s fiancee has dispensations from her bishop to marry a non-Catholic in a non-Catholic ritual, the Church will presume the wedding valid and sacramental. If she does not, the wedding will be presumed invalid. The Church does not specifically instruct Catholics on which weddings they may attend, but trusts that Catholics will use their best prudential judgment in considering whether attending an invalid wedding would indicate approval and/or cause scandal. The links below may be of assistance in making your decision about whether or not to attend and/or participate in this wedding.
As to your question about declining charitably: If, after due consideration, you decide not to attend this wedding, there is no need to go into detail why you cannot attend. It’s perfectly reasonable to simply say, “I’m sorry but I’ll be unable to attend your wedding, but I’ll be sure to keep you both in my prayers.”