I was informed this afternoon that since my niece’s fiancé would not have been able to finish his RCIA instruction before the wedding (I thought he would be finished) and wouldn’t be able to make his First Confession, First Communion or Confirmation (he was baptized as an infant) Father will NOT offer Holy Communion. He said it wouldn’t be right to offer the Bride Holy Communion and the Groom not be ready to receive yet. So he decided to just forgo Holy Communion. This will be new for me in our family. They will receive the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Church so that’s what counts.
We were given a chance and that’s what we did…
Basically we didn’t want something in our wedding where he side was going to be able to participate and my family would sit there as observers…driving a division down the middle of the church and our families on a day we’re coming together.
So basically, your niece’s wedding will be a wedding ceremony and not a wedding Mass.
I sense this is bittersweet for you @CajunJoy65. But like you said, they are receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony. This is where we trust our Priests to know what is best. Will he finish RCIA for the Easter Vigil 2019?
This is the thoughtful thing to do. This action is more about the couple than anyone else. How awkward I would feel as a bride to receive the Eucharist while my groom just stood there.
I’m still not getting the big “division” thing. I certainly never felt awkward receiving My Lord while my husband sat in the pew, and my husband wasn’t bothered by not receiving a sacrament from a faith that he had chosen not to join.
But I guess I should be glad that the priest decided it was okay for my husband to receive Communion at our wedding and that his family had two Catholics to send up the aisle to receive so World War III didn’t start.
Not to be uncharitable to the priest, but that seems like a strangely Protestant view of the Eucharist. As if it’s somehow meant to unify the people with each other. It’s not. It’s meant to unify the individual Christian with Christ himself through the sacrifice at Calvary and his body and blood. I don’t see why he would choose to omit it: if we were to refrain from celebrating mass whenever there was anyone who couldn’t receive, I have a feeling not much would get done in our Church…
My prayers go out to this priest, your niece and her fiancé.
I agree, except when the one unable to receive is the bride or groom.
Why couldn’t Father give the groom a lovely blessing instead, though? I don’t see why the body of Christ should only be confected if some sort of mystical unification of people occurs. The groom should, if anything, more acutely desire his entry into the Church at this juncture. The eucharist is not a feel-good sacrament. It is far greater than that.
That’s fine, nobody is trying to change your mind. But, for us we didn’t want one of the first things we did after becoming a wedded couple and joined two families together is do something that separates us…specifically something that would make myself, family and half of the church mere observers at our wedding while her family participated.
We were both on the exact same page with this one.
Um…to be honest, this is a fairly standard practice when the marriage is between a Catholic and non-Catholic. This certainly isn’t the first priest to make that decision and won’t be the last. I believe we were given a choice, but I know of many a parish (and diocese) where they make the decision for you for the exact reason as stated above.
Usually it’s up to the couple.
My husband and I chose not to have a full Mass for our wedding because even though I was a recent convert none of my family are Catholic. It’s still a Sacramental marriage whether you have a full Mass or not.
And as we have already discussed on the past thread, there were plenty of ways my husband’s family participated in the wedding without receiving the Eucharist. My mother-in-law did a candle lighting ceremony in the sanctuary with my mother. My Protestant brother-in-law and his Protestant wife were the best man and matron of honor. Another member of Husband’s family was an usher and read a reading. If they’d needed or wanted even more involvement than all that, we’d have been happy to come up with more stuff for them to do.
My mother-in-law walked out on the Catholic Church several decades earlier to marry my father-in-law. She certainly didn’t have any expectation of being welcomed up to receive Eucharist and she was fine with that. If she’d had a big issue with it, then she wouldn’t have quit Catholicism in the first place.
Because, in the US at least, there are specific regulations wrt to the marriage ceremony for two Catholics, another for a Catholic and non-Catholic Christian and a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Christian.
The US Bishops provide this handy resource to explain each:
That resource makes clear a marriage between a Catholic and non-Catholic can also take place within a mass. I am not too familiar with US-specific regulations, I’m just giving my opinion on the matter.
So the wedding will not be within the Mass? I don’t see how a Mass can be said without offering communion.
I’m with you on this. When a non Catholic decides to marry a Catholic there are certain things they should know. One being the fact they won’t be able to take communion if they have a wedding Mass. It’s not like it’s a big surprise on the day of. To me it sounds as if the non-Catholic side is saying my feelings matter more than your religious beliefs.
I’ve seen several threads recently that discuss some variation of this scenario, and while a single declaration covering all possible concerns cannot be made I feel compelled to say:
The Husband is not Catholic. I am. We were married in a nuptial Mass sixteen years ago. I received Communion. He did not. The (I assume) properly-disposed Catholics in attendance also received. All other people—non-Catholics, non-believers, etc.—did not. There was not then, nor is there today, a lingering alienation, awkwardness or tension related to this.
While this approach may not be ideal for all, perhaps not even for most, it did not cause any problems for us. So it is possible to do this without WW3 breaking out. Much does depend, however, on the specific people involved.
Yes there will be the procession in, the readings, the vows, I’m sure a little homily by Father, they can place flowers at the statue of Our Blessed Mother and the recessional.
That’s awesome, I’m glad you were able to find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding.
For us, WE (not I) chose not to have communion for reasons said above. Mainly we didn’t want to have the first thing done after being wedded something that not both of us (or our families) would be participants in.
Correct, it’s the “Rite of Marriage Outside of Mass”.
What if it’s also the feeling of the Catholic party involved? I think the priest asked my wife what she (we?) wanted and she said no communion. Se came to me and asked my thoughts on it and we BOTH agreed that we didn’t want something at OUR wedding that A) we wouldn’t be both participating in and B) would basically divide the church by my side: observers and her side: participants.
She said “good, that’s how I feel and exactly what I want to tell him”
To clarify I don’t really think it matters to his family very much they haven’t been in the faith all these years. It is more for the groom’s benefit. He will be part way through his RCIA and not quite ready to receive so Father knew this could be a difficult situation for the bride receiving and not her groom.