Nuptial Mass or not?


#1

I'm new here and have read through some of the threads related to my question, but haven't found anything that exactly fits my situation.

I will be married next April, and have yet to meet with the priest (will do so soon). My fiance was baptized but never received any of the other sacraments and was not raised in the faith. He does attend Mass with me occasionally now (we don't live near each other often enough to go together every weekend) and will continue to do so when we are married. I, on the other hand, have always been a practicing Catholic, along with my immediate family.

It is my feeling that, since my fiance has not received his first reconciliation or communion (and likely won't by the wedding, though he is considering RCIA), we should celebrate our wedding outside of a Mass. I want our wedding to be unitive, and if I receive communion but he does not...well, I just think it creates a sense of divide at the wedding that I'd prefer to avoid. In addition, at least half (probably more) of our guests are not practicing Catholics- both on his side and mine.

The problem is that my parents were horrified that I was considering not having a Mass. It was my understanding that in my circumstance, having a Mass would likely be discouraged, but since we are both baptized Catholics I suppose it's different than a Catholic and non-Catholic. I want to do whatever is most appropriate, but I don't know what that is. I plan on consulting with the priest, of course, and will trust his judgment, but I thought I would post here and see what all of you thought. Thanks in advance! :)


#2

The Sacrament of Matrimony is about the two of you starting your marriage together, with God’s help. It is not about anyone else. It seems to me that starting your marriage by siding with your parents against your fiance is not exactly compatible with Catholic teaching.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony without also celebrating the Eucharist. Neither is required for the other to be valid.

This is a decision that the two of you need to make. You should then inform your parents what the two of you have decided. Then, move on.


#3

I agree with the previous poster.

In addition, your fiance does need to approach the priest regarding instruction and completion of his sacraments of initiation. Catholics are to be confirmed before the sacrament of marriage, excepting in grave circumstances.

Before you set a date, you and he need to sit down and talk to your priest.

Does his lackadaisical attitude towards the faith cause you any pause as to future issues you may encounter regarding mass attendance, child rearing, etc?


#4

[quote="Ali11, post:1, topic:241437"]
I'm new here and have read through some of the threads related to my question, but haven't found anything that exactly fits my situation.

I will be married next April, and have yet to meet with the priest (will do so soon). My fiance was baptized but never received any of the other sacraments and was not raised in the faith. He does attend Mass with me occasionally now (we don't live near each other often enough to go together every weekend) and will continue to do so when we are married. I, on the other hand, have always been a practicing Catholic, along with my immediate family.

It is my feeling that, since my fiance has not received his first reconciliation or communion (and likely won't by the wedding, though he is considering RCIA), we should celebrate our wedding outside of a Mass. I want our wedding to be unitive, and if I receive communion but he does not...well, I just think it creates a sense of divide at the wedding that I'd prefer to avoid. In addition, at least half (probably more) of our guests are not practicing Catholics- both on his side and mine.

The problem is that my parents were horrified that I was considering not having a Mass. It was my understanding that in my circumstance, having a Mass would likely be discouraged, but since we are both baptized Catholics I suppose it's different than a Catholic and non-Catholic. I want to do whatever is most appropriate, but I don't know what that is. I plan on consulting with the priest, of course, and will trust his judgment, but I thought I would post here and see what all of you thought. Thanks in advance! :)

[/quote]

Welcome to the CA Forums. :clapping:

You definitely have a pastoral dilemma that most of us here aren't qualified to answer properly.

What little I know (from my own recent wedding, complete with its own complications) is this: A Catholic who isn't practicing but who was baptized as a Catholic is still a Catholic. As such, that Catholic is still bound to the canonical rules of marriage.

You can choose a nuptial Mass (the big wedding) or, on advice from your pastor, consider a private ceremony, which is done between two Catholics, a Catholic and another Christian, or a Catholic and a non-Christian. Since you have less than a year to prepare (and many parishes require at least 6 months advance notice to prepare you), it's important to see your pastor very soon (with your intended) to get the scoop on what will be needed, not to mention picking a date where the church/pastor will be available (your date is in the heart of Wedding Season, and perhaps Wabbit Season, but I digress:rotfl:)

I strongly advise the nuptial Mass myself. Nothing like it. You can do this even if your intended isn't "fully" Catholic--but it is important for him to know what he is required to do.


#5

[quote="Spencerian, post:4, topic:241437"]
You can choose a nuptial Mass (the big wedding) or, on advice from your pastor, consider a private ceremony, which is done between two Catholics, a Catholic and another Christian, or a Catholic and a non-Christian.

[/quote]

A person who chooses the Marriage Rite Outside of Mass does not have to have a "small wedding" or a "private ceremony." They can have whatever sized wedding they choose.

You seem to imply that there is a choice between Nuptial Mass which you label as "big wedding" and a private ceremony if they choose not to have a Nuptial Mass. This is incorrect.

[quote="Spencerian, post:4, topic:241437"]
I strongly advise the nuptial Mass myself. Nothing like it. You can do this even if your intended isn't "fully" Catholic--but it is important for him to know what he is required to do.

[/quote]

This is a decision she should make in consultation with her priest.


#6

[quote="Ali11, post:1, topic:241437"]
I'm new here and have read through some of the threads related to my question, but haven't found anything that exactly fits my situation.

I will be married next April, and have yet to meet with the priest (will do so soon). My fiance was baptized but never received any of the other sacraments and was not raised in the faith. He does attend Mass with me occasionally now (we don't live near each other often enough to go together every weekend) and will continue to do so when we are married. I, on the other hand, have always been a practicing Catholic, along with my immediate family.

It is my feeling that, since my fiance has not received his first reconciliation or communion (and likely won't by the wedding, though he is considering RCIA), we should celebrate our wedding outside of a Mass. I want our wedding to be unitive, and if I receive communion but he does not..*.well, I just think it creates a sense of divide at the wedding that I'd prefer to avoid. In addition, at least half (probably more) of our guests are not practicing Catholics- both on his side and mine. *

The problem is that my parents were horrified that I was considering not having a Mass. It was my understanding that in my circumstance, having a Mass would likely be discouraged, but since we are both baptized Catholics I suppose it's different than a Catholic and non-Catholic. I want to do whatever is most appropriate, but I don't know what that is. I plan on consulting with the priest, of course, and will trust his judgment, but I thought I would post here and see what all of you thought. Thanks in advance! :)

[/quote]

But really, you will be in 2 different places in your expression of your faith, correct? So hiding that by not having a Mass is only postponing the reality....You need to talk to him about the deeper issue - which is that he is only an occasional church-goer (it is an obligation to attend Mass every Sunday). How is he going to be about going when you have children?

I think you should both talk to the priest before you set anything else up. And get all of this out into the open where you can discuss it and figure out what you both need to do.

p.s. Are your guests not practicing, or not Catholic at all? You do know that any non-Catholics or Catholics who aren't prepared for the Eucharist can go up and receive a blessing? You might have to do a little education of the guests but no one should ever feel excluded at a Mass.


#7

I agree with the OP.

I married a non Catholic and did not want to have the feeling of division at the wedding. Most guests at the wedding would not have been Catholic. We opted for a nice wedding service and it was beautiful. Now that he converted we can plan a renewal of our vows with a full Mass...and someday we will do that.

I agree the wedding should be about uniting the couple not showing the differences. Having a full Nuptial Mass may run him off. You want to bring him gently back to the faith...not club him over the head with it. LOL

Talk to your priest and perhaps after you have your talk...your priest can talk to your parents and help them understand why you chose a simple ceremony over the full up Mass.

Good luck and congratulations.


#8

Thank you for all of your replies.

Regarding confirmation...I have to admit, I'm a little confused by the requirement. It kind of seems like it would be easier for us to be married if my fiance was not baptized. I'm happy he is of course, but I would prefer that he appreciate the fullness of our faith on his own and not because he was made to in order to marry me. That being said, he will do what is necessary for us to be married.

We have been together quite a long time. He plans on attending Mass with me and our children. We have also had many long discussions about raising children in the faith and what a Catholic marriage is. We will not be using ABC, we have not had sex, we do not live together...we have good communication and a healthy relationship, and he is a wonderful man. I understand concerns about our differences in faith upbringing, but I assure everyone that through a lot of prayer and discernment I am very confident that he is right for me. I don't pretend to know everything that will come up, but we have discussed quite a lot regarding plans for our family and its faith, and will continue to do so in pre-marital counseling and with the priest.

Regarding our guests, I'd say probably about 1/3 are not religious at all, 1/3 are non-practicing Catholics, and 1/3 are practicing Catholics. Even with an announcement by the priest, I have seen members of my extended family who never set foot inside a church other than at weddings and funerals go up to receive communion. I know it's none of my business what the state of anyone else's soul is, but I'm kind of concerned that since it's my wedding I would be facilitating some kind of misuse of the Eucharist. I suppose that if the priest were to make an announcement, though, people can do what they will.

I'm more concerned with the Mass being a dividing thing though, rather than uniting, for us. I assume that is why a mass is not advised in the case of a non-Catholic marrying a Catholic, so I don't really know why it would be different in the case of a baptized Catholic who was never brought up in the faith but is as supportive and willing to learn as can be.


#9

[quote="Ali11, post:8, topic:241437"]
Regarding confirmation...I have to admit, I'm a little confused by the requirement. It kind of seems like it would be easier for us to be married if my fiance was not baptized. I'm happy he is of course, but I would prefer that he appreciate the fullness of our faith on his own and not because he was made to in order to marry me. That being said, he will do what is necessary for us to be married.

[/quote]

Can. 1065 §1. Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before they are admitted to marriage if it can be done without grave inconvenience.

§2. To receive the sacrament of marriage fruitfully, spouses are urged especially to approach the sacraments of penance and of the Most Holy Eucharist.

[quote="Ali11, post:8, topic:241437"]
I'm more concerned with the Mass being a dividing thing though, rather than uniting, for us. I assume that is why a mass is not advised in the case of a non-Catholic marrying a Catholic, so I don't really know why it would be different in the case of a baptized Catholic who was never brought up in the faith but is as supportive and willing to learn as can be.

[/quote]

Again, this is something you should discuss with your priest.


#10

My concern with the wedding mass is that the Bride would receive communion and the Groom would not. That to me is a form of division. Talk to the priest and follow his advise.


#11

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:6, topic:241437"]

p.s. Are your guests not practicing, or not Catholic at all? ** You do know that any non-Catholics or Catholics who aren't prepared for the Eucharist can go up and receive a blessing? **You might have to do a little education of the guests but no one should ever feel excluded at a Mass.

[/quote]

No, no, no, and no. That is something that is only done in some parishes and is contrary to what the Church teaches. In fact, when someone wrote to the Congregation for Divine Worship to inquire about this practice, the letter they got back, and which was promulgated around the world by publication in the Noticea, presented 5 reasons, based on documents presently in effect, why this is not to be done.


#12

#13

[quote="Phemie, post:11, topic:241437"]
No, no, no, and no. That is something that is only done in some parishes and is contrary to what the Church teaches. In fact, when someone wrote to the Congregation for Divine Worship to inquire about this practice, the letter they got back, and which was promulgated around the world by publication in the Noticea, presented 5 reasons, based on documents presently in effect, why this is not to be done.

[/quote]

Well, I thank you. If this is true, I have learned something, but in 20 years of attending Mass I have never seen a church that did not encourage people to come up for a blessing.


#14

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:13, topic:241437"]
Well, I thank you. If this is true, I have learned something, but in 20 years of attending Mass I have never seen a church that did not encourage people to come up for a blessing.

[/quote]

I guess it's what they say with other things, "location, location, location". :D I've never been to a church where this was done and I've been to churches pretty much in every province of Canada other than BC. I know that some parishes do it but it's not the norm by any means.

Here is the letter, carrying a protocol number, that was received. Note the documents it quotes and what number 5 says about those not allowed to receive Communion going up for a blessing.

Protocol number, No. 930/08/L.

  1. The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.

  2. Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; Canon 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18). (This was in reply to the question about EMHCs giving such blessings.)

  3. Furthermore, the laying on of a hand or hands — which has its own sacramental significance, inappropriate here — by those distributing Holy Communion, in substitution for its reception, is to be explicitly discouraged.

  4. The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio n. 84, “forbids any pastor, for whatever reason to pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry”. To be feared is that any form of blessing in substitution for communion would give the impression that the divorced and remarried have been returned, in some sense, to the status of Catholics in good standing.

  5. In a similar way, for others who are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in accord with the norm of law, the Church’s discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing. This would include non-Catholics and those envisaged in can. 915 (i.e., those under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin).


#15

why if your fiance is Catholic does he not complete his Christian initiation before marriage? I don’t ask demanding he explain himself to me, but that you ask him in an effort to get to know him better in this all important aspect of identity which will have lasting effects on your marriage and family. If he does not know the faith, he has plenty of time to study and decide whether or not he wishes to ask the bishop to confirm his baptism. If has already considered it and rejected the idea, then he has rejected the Church and all her authority, teaching, majesty, grace and sacraments. Is this the person you wish to share your life with and with home you want to raise children?

You need to decide if you are going to commit to life with someone who is not committed to Christ. Your entire future and spiritual welfare are at stake. It is too important for the two of you not to explore this question together now. The details of your wedding are the last things that should be concerning you at this time. The details of your intimate life together are critical.


#16

[quote="Phemie, post:14, topic:241437"]
I guess it's what they say with other things, "location, location, location". :D I've never been to a church where this was done and I've been to churches pretty much in every province of Canada other than BC. I know that some parishes do it but it's not the norm by any means.

Here is the letter, carrying a protocol number, that was received. Note the documents it quotes and what number 5 says about those not allowed to receive Communion going up for a blessing.

[/quote]

It may just be the difference between Canada and the US. I know that certain Holy Days of Obligation are different between the US and the UK, because hubby always looks at me cross-eyed when I say I have to go to church on days when he never went in England.


#17

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:241437"]
It may just be the difference between Canada and the US. I know that certain Holy Days of Obligation are different between the US and the UK, because hubby always looks at me cross-eyed when I say I have to go to church on days when he never went in England.

[/quote]

Holy Days of Obligation are by decree of the national Bishops Conferences. The practice of blessings at Communion arose from the action of a few priests, not from a decision by the USCCB, which can't change this type of thing without permission from Rome.


#18

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