Sikh Engagement Blessing

Hi, everyone. I am recently engaged (I am Catholic and my fiancé is Sikh). We spoke with my priest earlier in the year about how this would work (marriage-wise) and the priest stated that it was okay to participant in a Sikh blessing ceremony (since it was not a rite of marriage). The original plan was to have the Catholic wedding ceremony and then at some point, have the Sikh blessing ceremony afterward. The parents of my fiancé have suggested to have the blessing ceremony during the engagement. I have not had the chance as of yet to bring this up to my priest since it would take place before the Catholic wedding ceremony, but was wondering if anyone knew if this would be okay or has any experience with something like this?

I have to be honest on here and say that I am feeling uncomfortable about this blessing ceremony being performed prior to a Catholic wedding (even though I know the blessing ceremony is not a wedding). I guess I am feeling bad about having to communicate my discomfort to the fiancé and his parents and would like to know if there is a theological reason as to why this cannot/should take place prior to the Catholic wedding that I could communicate to them instead.

Please explain what is Sikh? I have never heard of this.

It is a monotheistic religion in India. Many of their members (males) wear the turbans.

Thanks I understand now.

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Talk with your priest about getting a dispensation from canonical form. My husband is also from an other religion. We had a wedding recognized by the Catholic Church but in a secular venue and with a simple interfaith ceremony.

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If your priest didn’t think the blessing ceremony was a problem, I don’t think it matters when it occurs.

You should not try to find excuses to avoid uncomfortable conversations with your fiancé and family. That is the wrong approach and this is only the first of many, so don’t start a pattern of avoidance and blame shifting to the Church.

If you don’t want to do it, say you don’t want to do it. Don’t try to put it on the Church.

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Thank you.

My 2c; my wife is a catholic, at the time we got married I was borderline Sikh. My wife did take part in the Sikh wedding, including bowing - Sikhs treat it as a sign of respect, we also do it culturally for elders. The Sikh wedding is in no way shape or form a “conversion” ceremony. That is completely different.

As a non catholic I also took part in the catholic wedding. And FYI - a year later I have converted to Catholicism. Just food for thought. You have a job to do with your husband; take him to Church every Sunday :grin:

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Here is some information about the Order for the Blessing of an Engaged Couple in the Roman Catholic liturgical book “Book of Blessings”. Perhaps it will be helpful in making your decision.

The numbering is from the USA edition. The blessing is in the original Latin book. It is not one that has been added for the USA.

The introduction to it includes:

196 When the engagement is celebrated within the circle of the two families, one of the parents should preside. But when a priest or deacon is present, the office of presiding more fittingly belongs to him (provided it is clear to all that the blessing is not the celebration of the sacrament of marriage itself).

197 The present order may be used by the parents, a priest, a deacon or a lay minister. While maintaining the structure and chief elements of the rite, the minister should adapt the celebration to the circumstances of the place and the people involved.

198 The present order may also be celebrated during the engagement period on an occasion when couples are brought together for premarital instruction. Neither a formal betrothal nor the special blessing of an engaged couple is ever to be combined with the celebration of Mass.”

Here is an outline of the ceremony. It begins with the minister saying “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” All make the Sign of the Cross and reply “Amen.” There is a greeting and introductory words from the minister. There is a reading from the bible by the minister or one of those present. There is a responsorial psalm or “some other suitable song.” The minister may given a brief explanation of the biblical text. Next are the intercessions, introduced by the minister, read by an “assisting minister”. The next part of the intercessions is:

209 In accord with local custom, before the prayer of blessing, the engaged couple may express some sign of their pledge to each other, for example, by signing a document or by exchanging rings or gifts.

210 The engagement rings or gifts may be blessed by use of the following formulary.

In due course may you honor the sacred pledge
symbolized by these gifts which you now exchange.

R. Amen.

The next heading is “Prayer of Blessing”. The are two, one for only Priests or Deacons. This is the one by a lay minister or ordained minister:

We praise you, Lord,
for your gentle plan draws together your children, N. and N. ,
in love for one another.
Strengthen their hearts,
so that they will keep faith with each other,
please you in all things,
and so come to the happiness of celebrating the sacrament of their marriage.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

“213 The minister concludes the rite by saying:

May the God of love and peace
abide in you, guide your steps,
and confirm your hearts in his love,
now and for ever.

R. Amen.

214 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.”

[Excerpts from the English translation of Book of Blessings, © 1987 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.]

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I’ll I have to say is congratualations! It sounds like you spoke to a priest about it and you are good to go. I wouldn’t worry past that! Enjoy your love life!

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haha And I am blessed that he actually is interested in coming to mass with me! :slight_smile: Thank you so much for your input!

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Thank you so much! I appreciate it! :slight_smile:

Ooooohhh, I barely realized those billboard signs I see on the freeway are the Sikh celebrating a guru of 550 years or something. Not really anything to add, just saw that this is somewhat ontopic lol xP

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haha That’s fine by me!

Dear Brigid,
Not to be a downer, but is this mixed marriage going to be difficult your whole life? Is he okay with the children being raised Catholic? Is this going to be a source of tension for years / a lifetime?
I wish you all the best, and I wonder if you are doing Catholic marriage prep with him?

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You’ve never met a Sikh? I’m genuinely shocked.

Nope never have.

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All depends on where you live. I would say that Sikhs are not that common in some regions of the US.

Hi, Jen. You’re not being a downer at all! You are being helpful and realistic. :slight_smile: Yes, he is very supportive of our future children being raised Catholic. He even attends mass with me sometimes now. Yes, we will be doing pre-Cana. :slight_smile: He is fine, it’s just his family can be quite overwhelming. But justice 1ke basically said: I need to stop trying to avoid uncomfortable conversations and lay it all out there (respectfully, of course) when it comes to his family trying to push things.

Thank you for the well wishes, Jen! :slight_smile:

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