marriage question

hi guys just after a little bit of help with a problem im havin so here goes

my fiance is christened roman catholic (although she ist strict with it)
im not a religion although christened church of england
i dont believe in any god or prophets but dont judge people who do
my fiance really seems to want a r c wedding but i am uncomfortable with this as ive heard and seen on some websites that r c weddings are a more about the union infront of god, this is where the problems arise as im not religous i dont think it would be right for me to worship something in a church that i dont belive in, has any body got any advise on catholic ceromonies that might help with this situation. sorry if this offends any1 its not my intention just trying to get a few ideas on how i can resolve this issue thanks for any help

A wedding is a sacrament that is administered and received by the couple. The priest in the church acts as a witness and officiant. It’s done in a church because it is a sacrament – holy; set apart.

Marriage is an act of confirmation of the bonding love between two people. The ultimate love is sacrificial love – we give ourselves to the other, and have to give up a lot of things in order to gain the lifelong companionship that marriage brings. That is why it is appropriate to do in a church, at the altar, the place of sacrifice.

Perhaps this can be the one of the first sacrifices of your marriage that you make, to have it in a place you aren’t so sure about in order to please your spouse. Perhaps later you will see the wisdom in your fiancee’s insistence! If you do get married in the church, I doubt you will regret it later since you aren’t religious anyways. However, if you do not get married in the church, it is very possible you will regret it later and wish that you had! :slight_smile: In any case, you may want to talk to the priest about it. You’ll have to meet with him at least a couple times before the wedding. You can see what he thinks about a non-religious getting married in the church. I’m sure he’s dealt with situations just like this before…probably many times.

I don’t know if this directly answers your question, but I hope it sheds some light on why marriages are held in church, and what Catholics perceive marriage as! :slight_smile:

i dont believe in any god or prophets but dont judge people who do

Yes, you do now make judgements concerning God and the people who believe in Him.

And your children will make judgements about God due to your lack of knowledge about Him.

All weddings are in front of God and the community. There is no escaping that. As a Catholic, your fiance has to follow Catholic law concerning her marriage. To some extent the rules seem arbitrary but they are there to help the bishop care for his flock. If you were active in the Episcopal church you would be able to petition her bishop to allow the wedding there. Since you are not, there really isn’t an alternative to her parish. Also, since you are not Catholic, the wedding should not be during a Mass, since you cannot receive the Eucharist.

Married life consists of finding acceptable ground to both of you on a daily basis. This starts even before marriage as you have found out.

I suggest you schedule a meeting with your wife’s pastor to discuss this. The Church witnesses wedding when one spouse isn’t even a baptized Christian or even a theist. No expectation is made that the unbaptized person is worshiping God by being there.

One thing to keep in mind is that, for your wife, she is required to marry in the Church. Otherwise her marriage isn’t considered valid. This may not matter to her so much now but people mature and down the road she may be upset by this.

The marriage ceremony doesn’t have to be a Mass, it can be a fairly simple exchange of vows. In fact, this is often the recommended form when one spouse is not Catholic. A simple, non-Mass Catholic ceremony might appeal to both of you.

i actually dont judge any faith, i do believe faith and religion have their place in the world as does everything else, i just dont belive in any spiritual being myself.

this wudnt usually be a problem but as i said she isnt a regular church attendee, she is christened catholic but not a follower of the religion, in your experience do you think a priest would be okay with doing a ceremony that (excuse the crass term struggling for another way to put it) tones down the use of alot of the heavier religous parts of the ceremony?

She has to obtain a dispensation from the Bishop

You have to agree to allow her to raise her children catholic, which will be ask of you during the premarriage process.

You have to attend marriage preparation to understand her commitment. (Do not take this lightly as she remains bound if your marriage fails)

You do not need to discuss your beliefs other than to inform the appropriate parties that you have no intention to be catholic nor to comply with most catholic guides.

i understand that all (i do sumwhat dissagree on the children part but thats another debate)
but after reading alot of the prayers and such from the wedding service i noticed there is alot of time where you are expected to say glory to god and such, this is the part that makes me uncomfortable

No, the rubics and language of the marriage ceremony are not up for negotiation! Hehe, that’s kind of silly. :slight_smile: The ceremonies are usually very beautiful and solemn, yet joyous at the same time. I was married just earlier this year, it was really nice. The priest did a really great job making it memorable for everyone.

There are thousands of “not serious” Catholics who get married in the church literally every day. You two would not be unique in this situation of feeling a little unsure or awkward about all the heavily religious overtones. This is a very important event however! The most important things to a society are the things that tend to change the least. On this day, one of the most important of your lives, its appropriate to go with the old forms from a cultural standpoint, if not a spiritual one. :slight_smile: Just a thought.

I suggest you just go through with it, or talk to the pastor about it. You don’t have to be a practicing catholic or devout parishoner to meet with and talk to the pastor about your concerns. I bet he’d be glad to give advice…its his job! I doubt he knows everyone in the parish, and talks with strangers every day.

If you go through with this with the Church, in your mind, you’ll be just as married as you would be having a non-religious ceremony. Yet perhaps in her mind and in the mind of her family (and yours) you’ll be more married. That’s kind of a weird way to put it, but its true. The marriage would be seen as valid by the wider community, and perhaps by your future selves and children. You only do this once, and there are lots of reasons to do this proper in a church. I can’t think of any reasons not to, besides “we’re not really practicing” which isn’t really a good reason to me. :slight_smile: Just give it some thought and have an open mind.

You and you fiance must go to a priest and talk this over with a priest. The ceremony is the ceremony; you don’t have to have a nuptial Mass (I’m not sure that a priest would do a nuptial Mass; it used to be that they would not do one in such a case). But he won’t change the actual ceremony. That’s why you both must make an appointment with a priest.

As someone suggested, this may not seem to be important to her today. But as people get older, and children arrive, it can become an issue so it’s best to speak with a priest now.

Also, people keep talking about a Marriage Mass vs a Marriage Ceremony and you might now know what they are talking about.

The Marriage Mass is where they do the whole church service, plus the wedding vows. So the readings, the vows, then the consecration and Eucharist.

The ceremony is a shortened version (common when both participants aren’t Catholic) that is just some readings and the wedding vows. So not as religiously “heavy” in terms of the Eucharist and all the prayers that go with that…but you still get a homily after the readings where the priest can give some great advice.

Those are basically the two choices, and they can fit all sorts of couples.

Well, duh.

Well, the Church can grant permission for a mixed marriage, and in many cases the Catholic is marrying a non-believer. The Catholic must promise to raise the children Catholic.

But priests have experience working with couples in mixed faith marriages. A priest can guide you on the ceremony. No one is asking YOU to worship anyone or anything.

This is extremely unwise on the part of the Catholic.

I think you should rethink marrying someone who does not share your beliefs. It sounds like she is not really practicing, but yet wants a Catholic marriage. I have to wonder if she will also have these thoughts when children come along-- wanting to baptize them Catholic and get serious about her faith some day.

I think you have some bigger issues.

But, my advice is for the two of you to sit down and receive counsel from a priest.

i just dont feel comfortable worshipping something that i dont belive in, kinda make me feel hypocritical ( not practicing what im saying) does it make the marrage any less accepted in the eyes of the law? like i say im not critizing religion, i just dont understand why traditions that i dont belive in should tell me that my marriage isnt correct, maybe its just my brain not understandin lol sorry if thats the case.

Well, getting married in a church is not the same as worshiping. It’s actually impossible to worship something you don’t believe in, so don’t worry about that. :slight_smile:

Also, it’s not just some tradition that would be telling you your marriage isn’t correct. It’s ok to not believe in this…I respect other people’s beliefs too. Belief, or faith, means trust. You don’t know these traditions, and you don’t trust them. That’s ok for now. However, do you believe in your family? Do you believe in your fiancee? Do you trust them? If so, then it should matter to you whether their traditions would have them think your marriage isn’t valid, or isn’t all it could be. Especially your future spouse who you will be sharing this marriage and your life with.

If your only hang up is worrying about worshiping something you don’t believe in, don’t worry. Buddhists, Hindus, Lutherans, and Agnostics, Atheists, and Muslims can all get married in the Catholic church. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are worshiping there, or being untrue to themselves. It just means that they trust in their spouse and in their family enough to do what is important to them…even if it means brief discomfort. :slight_smile: Just another way to look at it.

can i ask as a catholic would you get married in a gurdwara or sinagog or such other place of worship just asking as that it what it feels like i am doing is all, maybe im just stubborn

Also, make sure you are comfortable with your spouse’s beliefs (or latent beliefs, or family’s beliefs) enough to avoid too much trouble in the future. For example, sending kids to catholic school, having them go through the sacraments, having catholic funerals for future deceased relatives, etc.

As someone said, someone’s practicing of faith can grow or diminish over the years, and its important to discuss these things at least briefly before the marriage to make sure there is an understanding. Any problems, hesitations, or disagreements that come up before the marriage can point to areas that need to be worked on. Consider this marriage preparation as a warm-up round in regards to working on serious matters together. :slight_smile:

It depends…I’d have to understand why it’s important to them and what the marriage rites would entail. I would do it as long as we had a Catholic ceremony as well. As long as I didn’t have to worship a God I don’t believe in, I would do it for someone I loved.

I understand your hesitation though, if it seems so strange and foreign. The person I married was a non-practicing catholic, so it worked out ok in my case…except she was kind of pushing for a courthouse wedding. Now she’s glad we didn’t do that though. It turned out really special.

No, such a marriage is not valid for a Catholic. You and your fiance must speak with a priest.

He’s trying to avoid the Catholic ceremony entirely.

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