Future father in law calls Sacrament "****". What to do?


My fiance’ and I attended one of our required marriage counseling sessions today. We’ve done about six meetings and everything has run relatively smooth.

Today she tells the priest that her father (who is not Catholic or very religious) that just her and I should take Communion. No one else. I was furious over this. She had not told me about this yet. So it was news to me. And God bless our priest, he tells her that anyone who is Catholic can come and receive Communion or if not Catholic, cross their arms and take a blessing. Then she speaks up and says that her father doesn’t want to be part of or have anything to do with “all that ****”. The priest was speechless and is going to try and work with us, but bottom line is, WE DECIDE, not her father. He’s tempted to pull funding our wedding. This would dampen things because he’s a VP at a respected credit union and has a lot of money.

I haven’t had a chance to speak with him yet, but how to deal with this? Anyone who is married, have you had something like this?


Let me get this straight…your fiance’s Dad doesn’t want Communion to be offered at your wedding to anybody but you and your fiance? What the heck is his problem? Where did he ever get the idea that it’s up to HIM how a Mass is conducted?

Let him threaten the funding all he wants. He doesn’t get to dictate things like this. And ya might want to give him the signal NOW that he doesn’t get to hold $$ over your head in your marriage to get his way or you’ll have all kinds of trouble down the road. If he refuses to pay, either pay for it yourself or have a small, simple wedding that you can afford.


Has he actually threatened not to fund the wedding because you’d like everyone to participate in the Mass? I have a feeling there is more to his animosity toward the ceremony than mere rejection of Catholicism. Are you and he (as well as your fiance and he) on good terms? Have you and she sat down and talked to him about why it’s important that everyone participate?

I’d highly recommend not telling him it’s your choice and not his. That will probably provoke the response that it’s his money and not yours, which is not what you want. Don’t bring anything up that makes it seem like it’s you and his daughter versus him. Make him feel like his is intimately involved in the planning processes, as he should be. Ask him to pick something out that would be meaningful to him (and not just some token decision). My intuition is that if you worked on your relationship with him, this problem wouldn’t arise. Above all, do not make it seem like you have turned the daughter you are taking from him against him. Your relationship and her relationship with her parents may never recover from such a blow.


<<The priest was speechless and is going to try and work with us, but bottom line is, WE DECIDE, not her father.>>

Actually, neither you nor her father decides.

It’s not “YOUR wedding.”

It’s THE CHURCH’S wedding service, and it’s being bestowed upon you.

Therefore you AND your future father-in-law should follow the Church’s rules.


He’s tempted to pull funding our wedding. This would dampen things because he’s a VP at a respected credit union and has a lot of money.

I suspect both you and your fiance need to mature a great deal before entering into marriage.


As far as I know, there are no “rules” in Canon law or elsewhere that require marriages to involve everyone taking the Eucharist. Many marriages don’t even involve a mass. :confused:


Over 55 years ago, when my parents were engaged, my mother’s father, Wendell, was not too pleased because my Dad is Catholic. To complicate matters, Wendell was a Mason and wanted my Dad to join the Masons.

Wendell offered my Dad $50 (mind you, this was back in 1950) for him to become a Mason. My Dad refused. Wendell kept persisting. Finally my Dad said to Wendell “Tell you what, I’ll give you $50 and you become Catholic!” Of course, Wendell refused, but that gave him a level of respect for my Dad that he was going to stand up for himself and not be talked into or bought into anything.

They definitely had their continued struggles over the years, but Wendell never again asked my Dad to become a Mason. And a level of respect grew between them over time.

I agree that you must stand up now for what you believe in, not let money or any other type of coercion change your mind or lead you to cave in. If you don’t, you and your fiance are in for a very long, difficult road ahead.

BTW, you need your fiance to support you as well. If she doesn’t support you on this, there will be many more issues that dear Dad doesn’t support and who will she listen to and support?

You are in my prayers.


:eek: Wow! What a bold statement by your soon to be father-in-law! Does he really think that his money gives him the authority to say what can and can’t happen during the ceremony? Wow! Wow! I can’t say anything more than Wow! Are you sure you didn’t misunderstand him? I just can’t believe that someone would think they have that much authority!


Let him get away with this now, he’ll be running your marriage for the rest of your life. He’s seeing how far he can go…

BTW, CAFers, this idea that just the Bride and Groom take communion has been a new thing in Protestant churches for, oh, I would say, the last ten years. That’s probably where he got the idea that it could be done the same way in the Catholic church.

I’d let Daddo pull funding … I wouldn’t care. I’d even be tempted to downsize everything to prove to him that I didn’t need him moola…my opinion…:knight2:


you let him start playing games with money over the wedding and you will have him trying to manipulate your wife, you and your kids with money as a weapon throughout your whole married life.

before you let this, uh, person, call the shots, and wave his checkbook around like a gun, arrange to exchange vows after the Saturday evening Mass with a couple of witnesses and go to Denny’s for a meal afterward.

by the way, you and your fiancee do NOT decide how the wedding will be, it is a sacrament of the Church and has a rubric and rule and law governing, and the priest will tell you how it is going to be. He is the only “father figure” you have to obey on this one.


You have much bigger problems than who takes Communion at the wedding.

You are in for a lifetime of issues with a FIL who is hostile to religion, and clearly hostile to you too.

Think long, and think hard, about this situation.


My biggest concern after reading your post is the behavior of your finace and not necessarily your father-in-law.

Why would your future wife bring up such a serious subject with the priest without discussing it with you first? Was she embarassed or trying to surprise you? In addition, I am surprised that she repeated such bad language in front of your priest.

My question to you is this. Is your future wife willing to compromise what you would like at your wedding because of her father’s behavior? Please think carefully and pray about this. God bless you, I will pray for you.


Time to tell daddy that you do not want his $$. EVEN if he “gives in” on this, you are getting a glimpse into how the family works. If you take his $$ to pay for the wedding, he will use it against you later. When you marry someone, you marry their family too. Begin your marriage into this family without “owing” daddy a penny.

Prayers prayers prayers for you!


Perhaps, before meeting with the prospective FIL, you need to meet with the priest alone. Then you and your fiance need to have a discussion about the realities of the next 40+ years of your lives. Is she strong enough to remain true to the faith and fully embrace the two of you becoming one indisolvable union? Will she be constantly pulled between the desire to be your wife and fully participative in the faith vs. her father’s animosity? How will you handle him and his behaviors in the future.

I’m sure the ceremony and reception preparations are well under way, but this may be a sign to stop and fully work through the influence of her father on your marriage. The priest should be able to help you figure out what to do.




no, but if there IS a Mass, you don’t get to pick and choose who can receive Communion. Anyone present at Mass, who is in a state of grace to receive, may not be told they can’t.


I can’t help but think this is really hard for your fiance. Maybe that is why she didn’t say anything to you and hoped it wouldn’t be a big deal to mention it in passing, that maybe it was an option to have Communion for the couple only. Who knows, maybe her father would be embarrassed to sit through everyone else receiving the Lord. Of course, I don’t know your fiance, but maybe she feels a lot of pressure from her dad, and that is a really difficult position to be in. I don’t think it is just the money.
Obviously, you can not refuse Communion at your wedding. Maybe try a heart to heart talk with her about how she feels and maybe from there you two can meet with the priest and I bet he would be happy to help you guys with her dad, at least most priests I know are pretty nice about that stuff.


This is true, but entirely beside the point. The point being that if a Mass is celebrated, no third party has the right to deny Communion to those elligible to receive on the basis that he is paying expenses related to the wedding ceremonies.


You have got to think long and hard about this.

You could have just the ceremony, without Mass. But why should you?

Both you and your fiancee need to decide now if you are having a Mass. If you have a Nuptial Mass, everybody Catholic in a state of grace can receive. If her father cannot handle that, and takes back his cash, then you need to decide how much wedding the two of you can afford. It need not be plain (there are many lovely weddings on a budget), but as puzzpleannie said, exchange vows with 2 witnesses after the Saturday Vigil Mass and go to Denny’s after (OK, splurge and go to Olive Garden) before you give into her dad.

If your fiancee is more interested in the wedding than the marriage (the rest of your lives), you have some thinking to do.

You might want to PM montanaman, if he is not too busy in his role as daddy-to-be. He had pre-in-law issues of a somewhat similar nature. There are also old threads that describe wonderful weddings on a budget.


I second the PPs opinions. I hear waaayyy too many stories of conflicts with the in-laws over guest list, et cetera because of who was paying for it. Big incentive to FH and I to foot the bill ourselves. We are skimping on a lot of things, like our honeymoon, flowers, cutting out extras, but we are certainly having a nuptial mass. I was willing to compromise and have the abbreviated style since his family is not Catholic (he converted) but to my surprise he was firm in wanting it, no matter what his relatives will say.

Bottom line: it’s YOUR wedding and YOUR marriage not your in-laws. Time to use your own discretion.

I hope this gets peacefully resolved, Punisherthunder.

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