Nuptial Mass, or Sacrament outside of Mass?


First of all, just want to throw out there that I am new to both the Church and CAF, so please forgive and correct me if I say anything wrong! Now, onto my question:

My fiance and I are both Catholic, and we both feel strongly about celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony within the context of the Mass. However, those attending the wedding will be almost entirely non-Catholic. (Background: I am the Catholic sheep in a very Protestant herd, and his family's attendance will be limited, as they are travelling from from overseas.) Our best estimate is that perhaps 10 Catholics out of 150 people attending. My Protestant family (my mother in particular), is the sort of "you worship statues and Mary and the Pope" variety, and while she did attend my Baptism and Confirmation this past Easter, she was deeply offended and "appalled at the exclusivity of Club Catholic." I have tried to explain the very different beliefs between Catholic Communion and Protestant Communion, to no avail.

So what to do about the Nuptial Mass? Is there a precedent for maybe only the bride and groom receiving? I'm worried about the morality of not offering the Eucharist to the few faithful Catholics that will be there, but at the same time, I do not want my wedding to be a source of pain or confusion for my family and friends, and most of all, I don't want my Protestant or otherwise non-Catholic family and friends to receive the Eucharist under the false assumption that Jesus is not there.

Any help??


Whatever you and your fiance decide, please remember neither of you are responsible for keeping anyone from "feeling" appalled.

I root for having the Nuptial Mass. It is your sacrament you are celebrating, in the light of the faith you treasure. You two are Catholic, whether loved ones accept or like that or not. You don't have to apologize or hide your faith or minimize its importance to you to your relatives.

Just my two-cents...

If you prepare a small "program" for the Mass, maybe you can provide a paragraph or two on what it means to you, or ask the pastor to assist. Also, if you do celebrate the Mass, alert the pastor about the disproportionate # of non-Catholics. He can explain before Communion who is eligible to receive.

and may you enjoy your preparations for your marriage!


When I got married, none of my family was Catholic and the majority of my friends/co-workers weren't either. My wife's family is predominantly Catholic, but even some of them were not Catholic. We still had a full Nuptial Mass and have never regretted it. We did make sure that the priest mentioned before Mass that only Catholics who were in a state of grace could receive Holy Communion (and kneeling and on the tongue, since it was a TLM), and no one in our families (some anti-Catholic) was offended.

They all knew it was our day, and they respected our wishes. This is a sacrament you will most likely only receive once in your life, and you want to start your marriage off on the right foot. I highly recommend having the full Nuptial Mass.

Welcome to the Church, and congrats on your upcoming wedding! :thumbsup:


In situations like yours it is often preferable to forego a nuptial Mass in favour of celebrating the marriage within a Liturgy of the Word. Perhaps you could attend an earlier Mass together on your wedding day?

Denying other Catholics Communion is not something that’s done at Mass so only the two of you receiving is not a great scenario.


I agree with those who have urged you to have the Nuptial Mass. Whether or not the majority in attendance are Catholic or not isn't really important. It is YOUR wedding and you should partake fully in the Sacraments. The idea of a "program" with gentle reminders is a very good idea.

Welcome HOME and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! :thumbsup:


Talk to the priest that will be officiating your ceremony. He can guide you in what may be best to address the concerns you have. Your mother’s attitude is quite troubling, and if most of your family feels this way, may be its best NOT to have a nuptial mass. I don’t usually think this way, we had a beautiful nuptial mass but a majority of our guest list were Catholic. My husband’s sister had gotten married the year before we did and she had a Catholic wedding ceremony outside of Mass (both she and her now husband were never confirmed) and to me as a Catholic, it was definitely “missing something”, the Eucharist. But if your family is constantly going to nag and jab at you over the “Catholic Club”, it might be just too much stress to take on for the day.


[quote="Phemie, post:4, topic:331066"]
In situations like yours it is often preferable to forego a nuptial Mass in favour of celebrating the marriage within a Liturgy of the Word. Perhaps you could attend an earlier Mass together on your wedding day?

Denying other Catholics Communion is not something that's done at Mass so only the two of you receiving is not a great scenario.



When I was married in the Church, we did not have a nuptial Mass.

Only 3 people at the wedding would have received.

Yes, it was my wedding, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't have thought of anyone else.


Thanks so much, everyone, for your kind and thoughtful responses. :thumbsup: I think that my fiance (if he sees the thread, he might just pop in to say hi :D), and I are likely leaning towards a note with a bit in the program or by the priest. But at the same time I am wincing a little at the thought of my family in this scenario.

Side Story (that is funny and sweet): When I invited my parents to this past Easter Vigil to my Baptism and Confirmation, I explained how to indicate to the priest that you were not receiving Communion in favor of a blessing instead; that is, by crossing one’s arms over one’s chest. I think my Dad must have missed this caveat, but understood that he was not permitted to receive. So when the time for Communion came, the priest offered the Host, but my father didn’t open his mouth or hold out his hands, but just sort of stood there, bewildered. After a short pause, the priest, having blessed my mother not 5 seconds ago and personally knowing (from me) that they were not Catholic, leans in and whispers, “You’re not Catholic, are you?” to which my father shook his head, vastly relieved. The priest blessed him with a wry smile. :blush:


May be I'm misrepresenting my bishops and doing them a great disservice but I think they advice a Marriage Rite outside Mass in these circumstances. Other folks have said it's YOUR wedding and I agree but when most of the other people there couldn't receive communion it just doesn't sit well. I think someone said you could have the marriage service and go to mass on the same day. I think that's an excellent idea. Congratulations and I hope you have a great day whatever you decide to do!


Celebrate your wedding with the nuptial mass. This is a great opportunity to evangelize. Be proud of your Catholic faith.


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