My wife and I are contemplating whether we should go to a wedding. The wedding is for a friend of my wife’s, they have been good friends for nearly 30 years. The bride-to-be was raised marginally Hindu, but is non-practicing and effectively non-religious at this time. The groom-to-be is not religious to our knowledge.
The problem arises in that they have chosen to be married by a friend of theirs. In our state, you can only officiate a wedding if you are an ordained minister. Therefore, this friend has obtained an online minister ordination certificate through the Universal Life Church or a similar website. This creates the difficulty in our minds.
As practicing Catholics, we are wondering if it is appropriate to attend this wedding. We have no reservations about attending a non-Catholic wedding among believers of different faiths. Even had they merely gone with a justice of the peace for officiating a non-religious ceremony, we would likely be attending. However, the idea that they are getting married by someone passing themselves off as a minister, obtaining credentials through an on-line website, seems to be misdirected. Moreover, it almost seems to be an attempt to make a mockery of ministers and people of faith in general.
Would you attend this wedding? If so, how can we best live out our Catholic faith in such an instance? If not, why? Would our attendance be supporting the cultural trend at marginalizing true religious beliefs?