What about married couples attending different parishes?


I will try to keep this short and simple. Should married couples be obligated to attend the same parish? My wife and I have different preferences, and are not on the same spiritual plane. My wife prefers the clappy-happy mass of the parish we currently attend, but I am more fulfilled with a more reverent traditional mass.

I recently had occasion to attend my former parish (which is more traditional) and I felt more alive than I had since I had to stop attending regularly. Now I’m thinking of returning to my former parish, or at least one where I can enjoy a more reverent mass, but my wife won’t budge from our current parish.

We talked about this, and she is okay with us attending separate masses (otherwise our marriage is fine), but what do other people think?



I am not sure what the problem is. Would it be nice if the same style of worship suited you both? Sure. But if you are both meeting your obligation, I don’t see why you couldn’t attend different services.

I guess I would see no harm in trying it. But would still recommend that you attend the Church’s major celebrations together, maybe taking turns at which parish you go to.

I’m not a clap-happy person either!



I work in one parish and my husband is a deacon in another. We never worship together. In fact even if we did I would never be sitting with him.


Are there kids involved here? I would think that a family unit should worship together.

Regardless, it seems like a good idea to go with your spouse, to me.

Since I play guitar for the afternoon service on Sunday, I go to the Sunday AM mass with the wife and kids, then go by myself for the guitar mass. Going twice does NOT hurt! :smiley:

Just a thought- maybe do both versions?




My question as well, do you have kids? It does seem best for the family to be togehter when kids are young - if nothing else just to play zone defense :slight_smile:

Could you go to 2 Masses? Sat evening at the quiet Parish then Sunday AM to your wife’s kinda mass?


I understand your predicament. I am not a clappy-type worship person. I can go to one every once in a while; but I find that if I’m in that type of worship, I’m uncomfortable and therefore not going to get “much out of the service” which I know is not why we go to church, but…

I see no reason for you not to attend separate services provided there are no children involved – I think y’all should attend as a family.


While it is not necessarily unreasonable to attend seperate masses, I wonder if you shouldn’t every once in a while worship together. For example, once in 3-4 weeks, etc. That might mean that you each come to a compromise where you do the clappy and next time she does the more traditional.

Just a thought.


Why not just switch back and forth every other week as a couple?


Thanks for all your input. :slight_smile:
We don’t have kids so that’s not part of the equation.

Em and Stinkcat: We did have an arrangement where we attended back and forth between 2 parishes, because my wife worked every other Saturday and Sunday night, and we would attend whichever mass/parish fit her schedule that week. But now we’re in a different house and she works a different job, so that ideal arrangement exists no more.

We still attend mass together most of the time. I don’t mind as log as its a reciprocal arrangement. As long y wife (who is from a charismatic background before becoming Catholic) accepts that I am not going to change from this :signofcross: to this :clapping:


Just a thought… I like contemporary music at mass. It is insulting to me for you to say that the traditional is “more” reverent. Now I understand…many places that do contemporary worship do lack reverence, and perhaps this is true for your case. But I have to say this is not true for everywhere. In fact, what I see is that the people attending and praying at the contemporary worship are actually more passionate, and participate with much more enthusiasm than the others. Remember, reverant does not equal quiet.

Why do you think that :clapping: is not:signofcross: ? Perhaps it is one’s own filter and experience that has them perceiving such things, rather than what is objective there…people praying, with joy.

I am in no way downplaying your own preferences. I think its great we have the moto proprio…that people can attend Mass how they are fed in the best way. But please don’t say that folks who worship more expressively, or with contemporary music are any less “reverent” by definition.


***My husband and I belong to two different parishes. He’s originally from a neighboring State, and his job is there. It’s a 45 minute drive for him, so he frequently attends Mass at his home parish, especially on Holy Days when making it home for Mass for that evening after working 12 hours would be difficult. I belong to my home parish. My son’s school is attached to that parish. My husband works most Saturdays, too, and he usually stops for 4:30 p.m. Mass before coming home. I teach Sunday School, so my son and I attend 8 a.m. Mass on Sunday mornings, then he plays basketball with some of his classmates in the gym while I’m teaching Sunday School to the public-school kids. (One of the perks about attending a Catholic School is NO “school on Sunday”.) My husband has Sunday mornings to sleep in. We’re home by 11, and we have the whole day for family fun. It works out wonderfully for us. There are times when my husband is off on Saturdays, and he does attend Mass with us. And those are speicals days.



In addition, there are too many who dress inappropriately, and act inappropriately when entering and leaving the church. The behaviour of many parishioners would be scandalous at most other parishes.**


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