Questions on Marriage Prep


I’m Catholic and my boyfriend is Baptist. He was baptized Catholic, but his parents converted to Baptist when whe was younger. He was never confirmed or received communion.

We have been talking about marriage and he is proposing that we have a wedding without mass, and if possible, both a priest and his pastor to preside the wedding. I did some reading/research here and this “set up doesn’t” seem to be possible. I told my bf that we would need to talk to a priest and ask permission first. Once I said that, my bf agreed to just have a Catholic wedding with a mass (my absolute prefrence). He doesn’t want to make the whole process difficult. He basically just gave in to me. What are your thoughts on this? My fear is that once we are married, he will blame me that he never got the wedding that he envisioned for us.

Based on what I have said so far, I know that I will definitely need to ask permission to marry a non-Catholic. Is this correct? Is this the only one? Are there any requirements that my boyfriend and Iwill have to fulfill? How about pre-cana? Is this mandatory?

Next question is how about the promise to raise our children Catholic? Will my boyfriend have to sign something with regards to this? Or is this one question that is asked on the wedding ceremony itself?

Sorry for all my questions. I’m hoping that you could provide some answers.


Actually, your boyfriend is a Catholic. His baptism makes him forever and always a Catholic, and he is bound by Catholic canon law just as you are.

You are correct. A non-Catholic minister cannot co-officiate or conduct any part of the marriage rite. They can do what other laypeople can do-- such as a reading.

Guys don’t resent not having their dream wedding. You’re over analyzing.

Also, focus more on the marriage and less on the wedding.

He **isn’t **a non-Catholic. The fact that he considers himself one complicates things. You need to talk to your priest as soon as possible. For example, a Catholic is to have received the Sacrament of Confirmation before marriage. He has not.

Pre-marital preparation is required. The specifics of what that entails is best asked of your pastor, as programs vary by diocese.

Your boyfriend is a Catholic. And, yes, you as a Catholic are to raise your children in the faith and ensure they receive Catholic religious education and the sacraments.

Yes, it is.

I really suggest that you talk to your pastor about this.

A Priest should be able to answer most of these questions. I will tell you my brother married a non-catholic and the Church allowed a non-Catholic to marry them. I don’t know what the whole procedure was and I do know my brother did all of the pre-cana. So If you want the Baptist minister there you should talk to your priest about it.

Having gone through two Catholic Weddings this summer (mine and my brother’s) I’ll tell you a lot of it depends on your priest. We did our pre-cana where we lived and were married in my childhood parish in a different town. It was surprising the different rules and requirements two parishes 3 hours away had. And my brother had even different rules from his priest. So the best information you are going to get about what can and can’t happen will come form the priest that will marry you.

Pre-cana is required. Good luck trying to get out of it. :slight_smile: Again, different priest do different things. It depends on the couple and how much the priest feels needs to be discussed/dealt with prior to the marriage. Usually it is meetings with a priest and then either the Couples Weekend or weekly meetings with other couples.

As for the children. For my husband and I it was just a question as part of our vows. For Catholics- that is as good as signing something. As a lawyer I will tell you this: a signed contract can be broken- very easily…both of you should see making this promise (even orally) as having much greater weight than any document you will ever sign. Make sure you talk about this before hand because I’m pretty sure the priest will want to discuss this seeing as your future husband considers himself Baptist. (The Church will see him as Catholic- just a non-practicing one.)

The pre-cana requires a lot of hoop-jumping. It was both a wonderful and exasperating experience for us. But there were times when it was really tedious- so be prepared.

And last but not least- CONGRATULATIONS!

The question of children comes up in the prenuptial investigation and when the the spouse to be is non-Catholic the Catholic has to promise to do everything in his/her power to have the children baptized Catholic and raised in the Faith.

The non-Catholic is informed of the promise and what that implies but is not made to promise anything since the Church recognizes that the non-Catholic has the same right to raise the children in his/her faith as the Catholic does.

In the OP’s case, the Church will see the fiancé who considers himself a Baptist as a Catholic because he was baptized Catholic and that will open an entirely different can of worms. I think they’d best see a priest before they do anything else about planning a wedding.

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