Marriage advice


#1

I am 25 and though I still believe in the Catholic faith, I do not feel drawn to attend church. However I believe that there are certain parts of your life which have to be done in the church and getting married is one of them. What are the rules about a non practising catholic having a non mass catholic wedding to marry a CofE man? I don’t want to be put in the position where I will have to lie to a priest that I will keep attending church after the wedding because I don’t think I will. I am willing to promise that any children will be catholics and I will take them to church for them to make up their own minds when they are adults.


#2

Best bet is to call the Parish and talk to the Priest.

God bless you


#3

I was married at 24; my wife was 23. I was not a practicing Catholic (my wife was slightly better), but like you, I knew somehow it was important to me to raise our children Catholic. Over the last13 years, my Catholic faith has not only become important to me, it has become central to who I am. I now embrace ALL the teachings of the Church. The me of 24 would not believe the me of 37.

Question: How do you plan to keep your children Catholic if you are not Catholic? More is caught, than taught.

I suggest you try to get back to the Church now, before you are married. It will create less problems in your marriage in the future. If you begin to learn our faith, I believe you will see things in a whole new way.

God Bless!


#4

I was married at 24; my wife was 23. I was not a practicing Catholic (my wife was slightly better), but like you, I knew somehow it was important to me to raise our children Catholic. Over the last13 years, my Catholic faith has not only become important to me, it has become central to who I am. I now embrace ALL the teachings of the Church. The me of 24 would not believe the me of 37.

Question: How do you plan to keep your children Catholic if you are not Catholic? More is caught, than taught.

I suggest you try to get back to the Church now, before you are married. It will create less problems in your marriage in the future. If you begin to learn our faith, I believe you will see things in a whole new way.

God Bless!


#5

I think that most of the weddings that have been celebrated in our church in the last 5 years fit your picture perfectly, but it all depends on the priest and the diocesan requirements.

Know that the Church prefers that your marriage be celebrated within a Liturgy of the Word since you are marrying a non-Catholic. That emphasizes what we have in common, Christ and the Bible, and not what still separates us, Communion.

Talk to your parish priest and be truthful.


#6

You should talk to a priest.

The Catholic faith doesn’t work the way you seem to want it to. You can’t just fly by to get married, not attend church, come back and have your kids baptized, and then disappear again and let them “decide” what religion to be.

As for your specific question regarding marrying in the Church, yes you can have the Marriage Rite without Mass. You will need to complete the marriage preparation (sometimes called Pre-Cana) process through the Church.

I recommend you think more about your “I don’t really need the Church” attitude. Perhaps it is lack of proper formation in your youth, or an influence of secular culture. I hope you will reconsider this serious issue.


#7

I think your instincts are good and leading you in the right direction. Obviously you have to talk about your pastor about marriage prep, and the requirements for a Catholic wedding. May I suggest, that for you, a good starting place would be a deep, prayerful reflection and meditation on WHY you feel strongly this is true? That may very well lead you to a better answer and basis for preparing for marriage.


#8

The catholic faith for me was destroyed by attending 5 years of an all girls catholic school. Being taught by nuns that everying in the world is evil especially men, being forced to attend ‘voluntary mass’ or have punishment of detention. The awful bullying at the hands of the lovely catholic girls I shared the school with. Sex education of - ‘your husband will know what to do’ class over! I used to enjoy going to church during primary school I used to play my guitar during the services but now for me it is a hopeless place to be just going through the motions every sunday because you have to. The church is full of old people seeking comfort in their remaining years and parents with children. There are no people my age! Sad thing is I don’t even know who the priest is or how to go about meeting up with him. It is so easy to just go to a registry office but in my heart I know I want a church wedding. Good old catholic guilt is all I have left now :frowning:


#9

I’m very sorry your high school years weren’t what you’d hoped – it sounds like you were taught some things that aren’t exactly Catholic (everything in the world is not evil!). You said you know in your heart that you want a Catholic wedding and that you’d raise your children Catholic, so maybe now would be a good time to enroll in RCIA classes to refresh yourself in what actual Catholic teachings are.

I’m nearly 29 with a young daughter. When we go to church, I feel like everyone is way older than me and not at the same place in life, so I understand how you might feel like that. But I don’t go there for those people, I’m there to be with Jesus! Try focusing your attention back to Him – He is there in the confessional waiting to heal and give graces, He is there in the Holy Eucharist to strengthen and give peace. Don’t just go through the motions – meet Him there! :heart:

PM me if I can do anything. Saying a prayer for you now, that you can find God again in His church and discern the path for your life. God bless. :slight_smile:


#10

You can find your nearest Parish and Priest here:

masstimes.org/dotnet/Default.aspx

I’d suggest spending some time reading some books - like “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly, taking some classes at the Parish -


#11

If the Catholic faith is not important enough to you to take it seriously, then why do you care about getting married in it? I always wonder about people who cannot be bothered with the obligations of their faith, but want the fun goodies that come from it, like pretty ceremonies and the parties afterwards.

My mother is a lot like you. She had bad experiences, and imputed them to the whole Church, not to the individual sinners who committed them. She was beaten over the head by a nun at her school. Yes, that is way over the line and horrible, but does anyone really think such behavior is sanctioned by the Church? She has rejected the entire Church, including all the truth, beauty, and goodness she contains, because of the actions of some sinners who were members of it. And yet, when I speak to her, it is absolutely stunning how ignorant she is of the faith she has rejected. She doesn’t really know what she has thrown away, and doesn’t care to learn.

I forget who it was, but someone on these boards in the last few days cited St. Thomas More. He lived in a time of massive corruption of the Church. The Reformation happened for a reason. I am not saying that the Protestants were right, but the Catholic Church was rife with abuses and immorality at the highest institutional levels, and refused to deal with that. They even accused critics who begged the Church to reform of heresy. And yet, Thomas More, the humble, simple family man who ended up in the highest circles of power in Henry VIII’s government (and hated every minute of it, he wanted to be home with his family but felt obligated to England to use the gifts Henry saw and admired) gave his life for that very same Church. He knew that the Catholic Church had the truth and was the True Church established by Christ upon the rock of Peter. He chose to see and fight for that, instead of abandoning the Church because of the actions of some of the sinners running it. He told Henry that his farcical attempts to justify an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon were wrong and immoral, and that he needed to stop living in sin with Anne Boleyn and return to his wife. He stood up for the Catholic Church’s vision of marriage and her authority to regulate it. And Henry chopped off his head. Thomas More knew how corrupt the Church was, he even protested against it. But he still gave his life in defense of the Church when he was asked to. He could have recanted, and Henry would have spared him. They were great friends at one time, and Henry had a great affection for him. But Thomas chose not to do that.

So how wussy are we when we complain about what a few sinners did to us and abandon the Church because of it? I am not saying that what happened to you is right. I think Catholic schools like the one you went to only serve to drive people from the Church. I know mine sure didn’t help my faith any. My husband drew me back to the Church, with the strength of his commitment, and the beauty of his love. And there is one of the great truths you are choosing not to see. The Church is full of wonderful, loving people who only want to help you on your faith journey. The ones you dismiss as old people who are only in the pews out of fear of the afterlife are probably the ones who serve the parish, work in the ministries, and pay the bills. They may be the ones running RCIA to help people learn and discover the Catholic faith. They may be the ones running RE and youth ministry, to reach out to young Catholics and keep their faith alive. People don’t have to be your own age for you to interact or work with them effectively. How narrow and limiting is that? I have wonderful friendships with people at my parish, some my own age, but most older and some much older. A couple that have become friends of my daughter and me are retirees from Minnesota, easily in their late 60s or early 70s. I am 33 and my daughter is 10. It is valuable to her, and to me, to have relationships with people of all ages and experience, especially when we share a common faith and a common mission to keep it alive and healthy.

My point with this very long, pretty ranty post is this: If you are going to be Catholic, then be Catholic. If you aren’t going to be Catholic, then don’t be. But pick one. And one other point: the way you interact with the world is your choice. You can choose to dwell on the bad, and reject whole institutions and groups because of it. Or you can realize that all institutions have good and bad in them, and choose to focus on the good, and be part of it. Those who run from the bad and abandon the institution do not fight against the bad or help to run it out.


#12

When I was 21 I was dating a guy who was not Catholic and I thought it was OK cause we were “compatible”. When we decided to get married I looked for a church that would do inter-religious marriages…the home parish I attended with my parents did not and does not.

Well, I found the church and became a member in order to get married there. After a while I even got him to start going to mass with me on Sundays. We then started talking about how we would raise the children…in my mind they would be Catholic, but in his mind they would be Pentocostal. While preparing for the wedding I started to learn more about what the Catholic church really is, rather than the misconceptions I had in my mind.

Before I knew it, we werent compatible anymore. Marrying in the Catholic church was not just a “pretty thing to do” but a true sacrament that I wanted to value. We broke and went our seperate ways. I honestly call it the biggest blessing ever! I later met a wonderful man growing in his Catholic faith just like me…3 years later we got engaged December 2007, got married June 2007, and had our honeymoon baby March 19th, 2008.

I encourage you to take some time to learn about the Catholic church and really think about why its important for you to 1. marry in the Catholic church and receive the sacrament and 2. raise your children Catholic.

Remember, you can only preach what you are practicing, so if you are not a practicing Catholic, how do you plan on raising your children Catholic? And, will your children wonder why Daddy does not go to church on Sundays?

I say a prayer that God guide you.
God Bless.


#13

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.