Participation in a Pentecostal wedding ceremony


#1

Earlier today I posted a friend who has left the Church and become a Pentecostal who follows the Sabellian heresy among other things. Later today she asked me to play at least the wedding march at her wedding (I have a Catholic wedding that I am playing for shortly after hers and cannot afford to be late). While I had thought about showing up briefly to say hi and wish her a happy life with her new husband, actually participating in the ceremony seems like something I should not do. It’s not a secret that I’m Catholic, and nearly everyone who will be at the wedding knows that. I do not wish to send the message that I approve of this union between a lapsed Catholic and an unbaptized man who claims to be Christian. I think she’s very foolish to marry this man who is apparently some sort of minister, despite his young age. And I think she’s very foolish to leave the Church for the reasons that she has given. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored to be asked to play a part in a good friend’s wedding… but this goes too far, I think. :nope:

My friends (who do not understand Christianity and have no desire to) that are there will probably think of me as some kind of bigot and will refuse to come to my wedding someday. I guess it’s a price I’m willing to pay. On the other hand, her own parents will not be at the wedding and I think she really needs to have people she knows there. What do I dooooooooo?!?!?!


#2

this is a tough one. I hope others, those who know more chime in. i would probably play and run on the grounds that if the door is closed between you two, she may never have a witness to the truth of the faith in her life again. Especially of she is being estranged from other witnesses to the faith


#3

Hmmmm…good luck with your decision. here’s my protestant perspective. i’m kind of curious about the doctrinal view of the catholic church concerning marriage. like baptism, communion, and other rites (for lack of a better word), marriage is considered a sacrament, right? i know (or at least i think i know) that the catholic church considers baptism valid, regardlessess of the denomination or individual performing the baptism, as long as the trinitarian formula is used. so, is there some comparable doctrine concerning marriage? for that matter, what’s the catholic stance on secular weddings?

enough questions though; here’s what i think. first, i’m surprised that the man is a pentecostal minister, but unbaptized. also, i’m wondering what leads you to say that your friend’s fiance ‘claims’ to be a christian. i’m hoping its his actions and not his religious affiliation (i guess pentecostal is a rather broad term; after all, there are pentecostal catholics, right? anyway, i’m wondering where you’re drawing the line between christians and non-christians. catholics only? catholics and a few protestants, but no wacky pentecostals?). in any event, it sounds like you’ve had previous discussions with your friend regarding her faith and choice in men. i don’t feel like the wedding is really an appropriate place to make your stand against her life choice. i think quasimodo’s right when he says that such an act could ruin any future opportunity for discourse. your friend may be cut deeply by your refusal; i think i would be…let us know what you decide!


#4

Attend!

Even I attend to church weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc. if I can make my family or friends happy with that.

That “heretical” wedding is meaningless to the Church anyway, isn’t it? So what will you loose?

And what will you loose, when you refuse to attend? Your honor, your “love thy neighbor”-spirit, perhaps your friend?


#5

[quote=fatman]enough questions though; here’s what i think. first, i’m surprised that the man is a pentecostal minister, but unbaptized. also, i’m wondering what leads you to say that your friend’s fiance ‘claims’ to be a christian. i’m hoping its his actions and not his religious affiliation (i guess pentecostal is a rather broad term; after all, there are pentecostal catholics, right? anyway, i’m wondering where you’re drawing the line between christians and non-christians. catholics only? catholics and a few protestants, but no wacky pentecostals?).
[/quote]

Dear Fatman,

Many Pentecostals are “oneness”, meaning non-Trinitarian, holding to a heresy about the nature of God called Modalism. These “oneness Pentecostal” communities do not practice valid baptism, since they don’t believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Some people hold that modalism is so drastic an error about God that the “oneness” people are, in fact, worshipping a different, false, god.

karen marie


#6

thanks, karen…i suppose if pentecostals are indeed modalists (that must be the Sabellian heresy – now the first post makes more sense. duh), then the situation gets a bit stickier…in catholicnerd’s place i probably wouldn’t have even thought to say no. ahh, ignorance was bliss. in any case, i guess its a matter of whether one believes ones involvement would be profrane, even worshipping this ‘other god.’ if yes, then one should probably not be involved. but if ones refusal is simply a matter of protest, i think that’s quite unfortunate.

-andrew


#7

Since your friend is a baptized Catholic, I would say you shouldn’t participate in the wedding itself. Since you have another commitment that day, it should be simple to tell her that you are genuinely worried about being late for that other event. Send them a lovely card with congratulations on their wedding and maybe a nice Surprised By Truth book inside the crockpot they registered for as a wedding present! It might help! Who knows? :slight_smile:


#8

By the way, I think her parents are doing the right thing by not attending. What a sad day for them all.


#9

Go. Seriously buddy, go.

If the person is close to you, it’s worth it.

I’m faced with this situation on a regular basis. My entire family is Arian Pentecostal (not as common as Oneness, but you’d be surprised at how many are out there). I’ve learned that more problems come from not attending than from attending. Attendance does not equal acceptance.

~mango~


#10

I vote that if you go, you should not participate… however, if you are still extremely uneasy after praying about it, maybe the Holy Spirit is leading you to not attend. Maybe there is a reason you have a previous obligation. As long as you are kind and respectful to her she will appreciate your friendship. If you do not go, send her a nice letter and gift, wishing her well and offering your friendship. Maybe she is clinging to your attendance as an affirmation that what she is doing is right, since her family will not attend… Affirming that her family is wrong. Follow what the Holy Spirit is leading you to do. Be very prayerful and talk with a trusted priest to help you sort it out.


#11

PS The Protestant weddings I have attended (only 5-6)have been extremely short and watered down, maybe this will be the same


#12

[quote=fatman]Hmmmm…good luck with your decision. here’s my protestant perspective. i’m kind of curious about the doctrinal view of the catholic church concerning marriage. like baptism, communion, and other rites (for lack of a better word), marriage is considered a sacrament, right? i know (or at least i think i know) that the catholic church considers baptism valid, regardlessess of the denomination or individual performing the baptism, as long as the trinitarian formula is used. so, is there some comparable doctrine concerning marriage? for that matter, what’s the catholic stance on secular weddings?
[/quote]

Good questions, Fatman. Yes, marriage is a sacrament in Catholicism. However, unlike the “one Baptism” doctrine, marriage is not automatically recognized by the Church across the board. [From Catholic Answers:] If the parties are genuinely and **sacramentally ** married, then, while in some cases there may be good reasons for them to live apart and even to obtain a legal separation, in God’s eyes they are not free to remarry (In other words, divorce is not allowed - CCC 1649). Regarding your question about secular weddings, the Church does not consider them valid as they were not done sacramentally.

If this is the case, there was no marriage in God’s eyes, just in the eyes of men (and such things can be dissolved). The marriage must be done sacramentally to have validity in God’s eyes, and therefore the Church’s eyes as well.

God Bless.


#13

thanks swiss guard

hmmm…so the divorce rate among catholics should, theoretically, be much lower than the general population – does anyone know if this is actually the case? i know that, unfortunately, the protestant divorce rate in america seems to be about even with the general population’s divorce rate (although that’s probably because the majority of americans may say they’re “christian,” but many do not actively practice their faith). are there any scenarios where the catholic church might allow divorce? like infidelity or abuse, for instance?

so would the catholic church view protestant weddings as sacramentally valid? or would the catholic church say that such marriages are not valid in God’s eyes?

thanks,
andrew


#14

Andrew, Protestant weddings are assumed valid as are civil ceremonies. The only problem would be if one of the spouses were actually a baptized (and thus lapsed) Catholic who was marrying without received dispensation to marry outside the church or marrying without receiving an annulment of a previous marriage.

For example, I was raised Presbyterian and married in the Presbyterian church. Later, I entered the Catholic church (although my husband did not) but my marriage is still considered valid, although not sacramental. If my husband were to become Catholic someday, we could have our marriage convalidated, or blessed as most people usually put it, thus receiving the graces that come with the Sacrament of Matrimony.

There are some tricky situations though. I don’t know exactly what the ruling is on second and third marriages for Protestants and other non-Catholics or for those marrying while the previous spouse is still alive or whatever. Maybe someone with experience in the annulment courts can chime in?


#15

It truly is a sad day for everyone involved. I’ve been gently questioning her about her beliefs and she’s rapidly run out of defenses for the ‘oneness’ movement she’s a part of. She’s turned to anti-Catholic polemics which seems to be the standard practice among my friends who are fundamentalists or wacky non-Trinitarian people. If she weren’t a lapsed Catholic I probably would refuse to participate but make an appearance at the wedding. But since she’s left the Church and wasn’t even kind enough to inform our bishop that she’s made a formal renunciation of the Catholic faith… forget it.


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