Would I regret forgoing a Nuptial Mass?

Hi, I’m not getting married nor do I have any prospective boyfriend, LOL, but since marriage is a sacrament, I thought I’d post this here.

I see arguments that discourage mixed marriages (I feel strongly about this for myself:o) and accounts of other marriages that work out, etc.

But one thing occurred to me today that, although it’s been in my head, it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind but now that it’s popped up, I can’t stop thinking about it.

The one thing about a mixed wedding is that the Nuptial Mass would have to be forgone (if I’m not mistaken - correct me if I’m wrong). I heard that one thing is the Nuptial Mass is that both the bride and groom receive the Eucharist and without this Mass, only one person in the couple does.

Are there any other differences between a Nuptial Mass and a wedding without one?

I am not feeling comfortable at the thought of forgoing a Nuptial Mass somehow - I feel that I’d regret it later on if I didn’t have one (this is all hypothetical).

Are you suggesting that you think there are two kinds of Masses for weddings? Because that’s what it sounds like. Forgive me if I’m wrong.

There is either a nuptial Mass with a Catholic wedding or there is no Mass. If there is no Mass then neither party to a Catholic marriage receives communion.

It is possible to have a nuptial Mass if only one party to a marriage is Catholic. But I believe the other party is supposed be a baptized Christian. In other words, this must be a sacramental marriage. (But I think I have heard of cases where one party to the marriage is not Christian and there was still a Mass so…:shrug:) Only the Catholic party to such a marriage should be receiving communion in such a case.

At least in the United States, a Catholic who is marrying a baptized non-Catholic is often encouraged NOT to have nuptial Mass because of the communion “problem”. Such was the case when I got married in 1985 to my then-non-Catholic husband. (He has since become Catholic.) And yes, I did regret not having a Mass. I know my mother was disappointed too. But despite my regrets I still think I made the right decision. My parents and I went to Mass together in the morning prior to the wedding.

I heard that one thing is the Nuptial Mass is that both the bride and groom receive the Eucharist and without this Mass, only one person in the couple does.


I don’t know the discipline of the Roman Church about this, but it sounds VERY unlikely to me that at a Marriage outside of Mass, that Communion from the Reserved Gifts would be given to either party, whether or not either or both were Catholic.

In a mixed marriage there is also concern for guests who are not Catholic. They have to know they cannot receive communion and would that make them feel uncomfortable if only the brides side receives and not the groom’s. The purpose of suggesting a ceremony over a mass is to avoid that concern. There are specific situations where the non-Catholic spouse may receive communion only at the nuptial mass but that has to be discussed with the priest to see if he or she qualifies.

Sorry - I feel a tad confused LOL -

I was asking about the type of wedding in which both spouses receive communion, and asking whether there any OTHER differences between this kind of wedding and the kind of wedding where only one spouse receives communion, other than the communion factor. LOL sorry if this sounds confusing.

If both spouses are Catholic, you have a Nuptial Mass and both receive.

If only one spouse is Catholic but the other spouse is baptized, you ‘could’ have a nuptial Mass and only the Catholic receives. But this is not really encouraged – at least it isn’t according to the notes in my Marriage Rite.

With a Wedding outside of Mass, nobody receives Communion.

I’m in a mixed marriage and we didn’t have Mass. I remember very little of it but I know that I had never picked readings or anything like that. Questioning DH just now, he confirmed that there had been no readings at our wedding. We had strictly the Rite of Marriage, no Liturgy of the Word or anything. Today, 33 years later, given the same situation as in 1975, I still wouldn’t have a Mass but I would have a Liturgy of the Word and proper music/hymns, something I knew nothing about when I got married.

In general, the main difference between a wedding with a Mass and a wedding without a Mass is the same as the difference between a Liturgy of the Word and a Mass. There will still be three readings. The exchange of vows, blessing of the rings, etc. is the same whether there is a Mass or not. (If the non-Catholic is unbaptized I believe there may be some differences in the blessings and prayers since this will not be a sacrament.)

There will also be an Exchange of Peace, the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer, and a Final Blessing.

As others have said, many priests suggest a wedding without mass if either the bride or groom or many attending the wedding are not Catholics. Assuming it’s a Catholic wedding, you receive the sacrament of matrimony, even if you don’t celebrate the eucharist. You can attend a mass in the morning (or day before) your wedding with family Catholic family members if you like.

You are mistaken, A Nuptial Mass can be celebrated for a mixed Marriage, nothing prohibits it. It is sometimes awkward for the non-Catholic and non-Catholics family however. If the Sacrament of Marriage is celebrated outside of Mass neither person receives Holy Communion.

Your story sounds remarkably like mine! I got married in 1983 to my then-(and-still-)non-Catholic husband. (He still doesn’t believe in God; please pray for him.) And yes, I still regret not having a Mass. My parents and I went to Mass together in the morning prior to the wedding.

By the way, our marriage is sacramental, because he was baptized as an infant (Presbyterian, I think) even though his family never practiced their faith.

I had a couple of female friends who married non-Catholics and still had Masses. But in those cases the woman and her family pretty much told the groom, “The wedding will be this way. You just show up and say, ‘Yes/I do/I promise,’ at the proper times and all will be well.” And the groom was okay with that.

My fiance took a much more active interest in the wedding ceremony. He did not want a Mass (I presume your fiance was the same way), specifically because he didn’t want to be in the position where he and his family could not receive communion.

I will always regret not having a Nuptial Mass. Marrying a non-Catholic does have its costs. However it was my husband’s desire not to be excluded from Communion that eventually led him to become Catholic The opportunity to see my husband received into the Church sort has helped make up for the lack of the Nuptial Mass.

I hope that someday your husband will also take that step. Prayers.

Well then, what do you call it when a Catholic is marrying a baptized Christian and they both take communion?

I think you would regret it.

What greater act can be done than to be married, and then as your FIRST act as husband and wife be to assist at Mass and receive Communion?

Sacrilege (on the part of the baptized Christian).

If the wedding was in a non-Catholic church how is it sacrilege? Plus, the Catholic’s priest was there and he new that the baptized Christian was not a Catholic and he approved the whole thing.

My husband is not Catholic and we had a Nuptial Mass. It was never discouraged by the priest either. I was given the choice and there was only one option in my mind…I wasn’t about to leave Jesus out of the day. Most of the guests were from my family (DH has a small family and is estranged from most of them) and Catholic and it just didn’t feel right for us all to gather for an event like that and not have Mass.

I think DH would have preferred to not have the Mass, but he knew it was important to me and he was very gracious about it.

You said:
Well then, what do you call it when a Catholic is marrying a baptized Christian and they both take communion?

If non-Catholics receive Communion (the real, Catholic, transubstantiation Communion), then it is sacrilege.

Was it a Catholic Mass/Communion? If so, I’m surprised it was offered in a non-Catholic church.

Catholic priests can be wrong.

What you describe is highly unusual if such a thing was done licitly. But there are priests around who would do such things illicitly.

As one who was an unbaptised non-Catholic marrying a Catholic, I have to say our wedding had everything except the Eucharist. If this makes it a ceremony and not a Mass, that’s fine. I have forgotten what they actually called it. It had what would be the Liturgy of the Word included, so it wasn’t a simple walk down the aisle and say “I do” kind of thing. It was as complete as we could have it. I’ve since become a member of the Church, although it took many years. And I’m glad to know the marriage became a Sacrament at the same time.

I don’t feel as if the Catholic marriage liturgy leaves Jesus out of the day. He is present in the sacrament of marriage, and in the Word.

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