Your immediate reaction... If any please


I was going to make a poll… but I see too many options for your answer… It will be obvious, generally, by your status, if you’re Catholic, or something else… I wonder if that has an impact on your reaction.


You attend a wedding. You know the bride very well. She is of no faith. She identifies with nothing in the Christian reaml. She believes that there is some higher power. She is of tribal like heritage. She can get into that sort of thing. But it’s nothing that she practices. She has not investigated any religion at all, nor cares to from all that you can gather. She is not an atheist. She has planned the entire wedding. And from what you gather. The groom had (nor wanted) little input.

The groom you sort of know. You KNOW that he is technically Catholic. However, in HIS words, the only thing he agrees with the Catholic church on is that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry. Everything else is of no concern to him. So, no, he is not practicing in anyway. Nor has he taken on any other religion. To the best of your knowledge. He was previously married, civically, and to your knowledge there has been no annullment.

After you are seated for the wedding, in a hotel, you look up to see a man dressed as if he’s a priest. Black slacks, shirt, and a white collar. You KNOW he’s not Catholic, as you’re NOT in a Catholic church…

The wedding begins, and every other word is GOD… JESUS… Lots of bible readings and verses. The Lord’s Prayer. (The bride and her family seemingly the only people that don’t know it) It’s quite religious.

So, I ask you, am I weird for thinking it’s odd for a couple that I know fairly well, who eliminates God from their life on lets say 99% of everything they do… to have a preacher of some unknown (to me anyway) denomination, give a very religious ceremony over one of the most important days of their lives.

And I wonder, do I think it’s odd because I woudn’t select a person who doesn’t represent me or my life choices to officiate my one and only wedding? And am I projecting my personal ideals???

I’m curious if you think it’s odd. Why or why not? I’ll tell you why I ask later…


I will answer this from my perspective as an atheist. I have many friends who aren’t extremely religious who chose to have a religious ceremony simply to make their families happy.

I am getting married later this year. For a brief time I considered a religious ceremony in a church simply to make my mom and grandparents happy. I know my mother was disappointed when I told her we did not want to get married in a church.

My fiancee and I decided that we didn’t want to start our marriage on a lie and decided to go with a non-religious ceremony. I say lie in the sense that neither of us believe in God so we would be lying in our vows when mentioning him; I don’t mean to offend anyone with that terminology.

In short, no, I don’t think it is odd.


Thank you, can I clarify? Do you NOT think it’s odd because you think it was to make family members happy? In that, you found a reason for them to have a religious wedding? or you assume there must be a reason to have a religious wedding…

Thanks again…


[quote="faithfully, post:3, topic:228013"]
Thank you, can I clarify? Do you NOT think it's odd because you think it was to make family members happy? In that, you found a reason for them to have a religious wedding? or you assume there must be a reason to have a religious wedding...

Thanks again...


Without knowing the couple or the circumstances, pleasing their families would be my guess as it is something I have seen from time to time.

I would think the other reason for having a religious wedding would obviously be that the couple follows that particular religion.


I would be very surprised in that situation. If the bride’s family did not at least know the Our Father, then I would think the ceremony was some kind of compromise for the groom’s family (perhaps an Episcopalian “priest?”).

But wait until they have their first child. I wonder if the husband will revert then…:frowning:


I too find it rather strange when people feel the need to take a sacred institution established by God since the advent of human life and completely rip it out of its intrinsic context. What's the point of a religious marriage that is somehow secular at the same time? I wonder if the people who argue for things like gay marriage even know where marriage came from... :shrug:



For many people, I think the church, the priestly-looking officiant, and religious references are all part of what they’ve always thought of when they hear the word “wedding.” Even if they aren’t religious, they still have the traditional wedding imagery in their head and it’s part of what their dream wedding has always been. Also, up until the past 10 years or so, “non-traditional” weddings were uncommon. Everybody got married in a church regardless of how religious they were because it’s just what you were supposed to do. It’s only recently that non-religious couples have felt free to choose other options.

They also probably don’t realize how odd or even sacriligious it can appear to certain other people. Some folks get mad when non-religious people do anything religious. :eek: I guess they feel it’s disrespectful.


OK, first with the Roman collar…lots of ministers wear them, just as lots of ministers who are not Catholic wear chasubles or something like it. Turns out, we didn’t patent Roman Catholic religious garb. The “man in black” is not a purely Roman Catholic phenomenon. People are allowed to buy that clothing out of a catalog and just wear it.

By “technically” Catholic, I gather that the groom is baptised and perhaps confirmed, but does not practice and may not have ever had the benefit of any meaningful amount of catechesis. He’s still bound to follow canon law. The first marriage, if it was as you describe, would be invalid due to defect in form. (That doesn’t mean he would not be bound to obtain a decree of nullity before having this current marriage convalidated, but it would not be a difficulty if the situation is no more than you describe.) Unless he obtained a dispensation for this marriage, it is not yet valid, either, although charity would presume he’s entering into it in good faith. Likewise, there is no reason to believe the bride is not doing as well as she has the grace to see.

As for the inclusion of the name of Jesus and of God:

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.”
Mark 9:38-41

Let us just say there are a great many people who will tell you they have no problem with God, that they think a lot of Jesus, but they don’t have any use for 99% of their followers. OK, not great theology. Still, what can we do, but ask ourselves what we’ve done to encourage re-examination of their prejudice?

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

I think if we pay attention to that, we’ll have a lot fewer non-practicing Catholics among those who have a thirst for what is good. That is the main thing.


This is actually what struck me as strangest, if there’s only one thing upon which he agrees with the Church.


LOL… well believe it or not, there are some men that are terribly grossed out by homosexuality. They don’t think it’s normal… but not from a religious standpoint… just a gross thing… and therefore, they can come to the same conclusion that homosexuals should not be married… :shrug:


Easter… Thanks… I was actually wondering about the first wedding. Only as far as I know… and it’s likely I don’t know it all… he and first wife were married after discovering she was PG. They had a civil wedding… later decided they were just better “friends”… and divorced. Regardless, I truly don’t stand in “judgement”, I KNOW that I don’t know ALL the details… just enough to wonder.

I hadn’t given thought to the fact that since he wasn’t married in the church (fact), he basically made that marriage invalid (???). Yes, baptized, and raised Catholic. I don’t know about his catechism. He’s the only person I know who went to Rome as a child to see the Pope… with his youth group. He’s European… :shrug:

Thank you for the Mark Quote…


Ok… Thanks for all your responses.

Gives me something to ponder.

Here’s the “rest of the story”… The bride is my SIL. So, I can say without a doubt there is NO religion in this family. And there is a particular distaste for anything Catholic… at least when they talk to me. She was pretty violent with DH and I when she discovered she wasn’t to be the Godmother to our children. It was a complete lack of comprehension of the faith of course… so no worries.

The groom as I said, doesn’t practice. but that doesn’t stop him from keeping a rosary near by and such. I think our faith is part of his person whether he wants to practice or not. I have no idea if his first child was baptized or not.

Anyhow, as I was among family that I’ve been part of for near 30 years, I made the HORRIFYING mistake of saying out loud that I thought it was odd that she selected a preacher to officiate. A big deal was made that her husband did absolutely nothing for the wedding… so I can only assume he made no imput on the wedding ceremony… or someone is exaggerating.

I was JUMPED on immediately for this. I wasn’t given more than about 30 seconds to say why. In that, I just didn’t think the preacher represented them at all. (also, my Catholic parents, in addition to my in laws all had civic, judge style weddings, (mom and dad fixing their problem years ago with the Church)) Or anything they stand for. At the same time, I did say I thought the ceremony was beautiful… I just wasn’t expecting that… really as simple as that. Not that I thought anything was WRONG… However, both feet firmly planted in mouth.

Words were immediately shoved down my throat that clearly I thought they were pagans, and shouldn’t have had a preacher at their wedding. (No where NEAR what I said, nor intended.) And that btw, the bible means whatever you want it to. So, it shouldn’t matter what is read at a wedding…

Interestingly enough, the people I’ve talked to, who are religious in some form where the ones more inclined to think it odd, and the people with no religious affiliation figure it’s just what any person might do, and not odd at all. And so I think as a Catholic, I would NEVER have anyone but a Catholic priest officiate my wedding… and I projected my own thoughts on others… :blush:

Regardless, the family memebers were not able to tell me how this guy got selected to officate. In hindsite, we think the hotel recommended him… and she just went with it… zero thought. Which actually makes total sense… and is NOW not odd at all…


The catechesis doesn’t matter with regards to validity, but the poor guy may be doing the best he knows how. A Catholic who was baptised and never catechized or had any formation of conscience has been gravely short-changed.

At any rate, with such good reason to believe there is a invalidity in the first marriage due to defect in form, I think the chances are good that the marriage you describe could be convalidated. With the readings they chose for their wedding, you just never know. (After all, if the Lord hasn’t given up on us, there is hope for everyone, eh what? :wink: )


If there was ever a situation to preach with actions and leave the words alone, this is it.

If the officiant ever comes up again, simply say he did a very nice job. If anyone tries to “retro-jump” on you about the situation, I would fend it off by saying, “Yes, I realized later that I worded that very badly. Mea culpa, mea culpa, here is my soft underbelly. All I have to say now is that it was a very nice wedding. They picked great readings, the officiant did a very nice job, it was beautiful…just a very nice wedding.” And do not defend yourself…“You’re right, it was a stupid comment, I put my foot in my mouth, it is not worth making another excuse for it.” You’ll not get off easier than that. Maybe if you’re lucky, it won’t come up again.

Riddle: Why are in-laws best buried 18 feet down when they die, instead of just six?
Answer: Because deep down, they’re *very *nice people.
(OK, guilty pleasure there. Mea culpa, mea culpa…and the sentiment can go both ways, I’m sure! :rolleyes:)


LOL… I like that one!

Sadly, I’m sure it won’t come up with ME again. It will likely, however, be told to SIL that I think she and her husband are pagans and that she was wrong for having a preacher. Even though I NEVER said that. Nor ever intended that.

I also know there is NOTHING I can do about this. Sadly, I’m learning there is no talking to them. I mean NONE. It turns out (as my husband recently explained) that virtually everything I say is considered an attack…

Mmm… this steak is good…

WHAT? How could you say that.

Isn’t that the prettiest blue you’ve ever seen?

WHAT? We take offense to that…

Yes, it’s that bad… I will learn this lesson one day! Soon I hope! As I’m sure to repeat it until I get it!

Thou shalt not speak in the presence of the in laws… silence will also be taken as an assult!


The wedding sounds odd. But without knowing the reasons why they chose to do it that way…who can guess. I would just let it go and not worry about it. It’s their day however odd it was.

Weddings are often a place for odd things to crop up or people to take offense at the oddest things. It seems to be a little bit the nature of the beast. I mean who hasn’t attended at least one if not more weddings where something strange happened.

Maybe because we spend so much time and planning trying to make one day perfect we tend to lose sight of reality.

I did everything I could to approach my day with a level head and an attitude of taking it easy. For the most part it worked if you discount the one argument with my mom over the seals on the wedding invites which ended up in my husband storming out of the kitchen. Seriously, we all nearly came to blows over STICKERS:shrug:


Experientially no, I don’t think it is odd at all. Often with weddings, one is simply doing what is “done”. Perhaps the religious factor, the Lord’s Prayer, etc. makes it seem solemn and official, or perhaps makes them comforted. Perhaps it is what the wedding director suggested. Perhaps it is what they believe. I don’t know. I’ve seen relatives marry in churches who only go there to marry, and otherwise avoid any trappings of religion in their lives. I don’t ask them why. I don’t know how to without offending them.

Weddings are a public, community sort of thing. Perhaps it is an instinctual response to the community around them, and there is still enough Christianity in the community to cause this to happen.



Isn’t it just that way.


I think it is very strange that the couple chose to have a religious ceremony. I simply don’t understand people who do that. What is the point?

I had the same situation in my family where the couple married in a church they are not members of. They never attend church anyway. They say they are spiritual but not religious. I thought that their attitude was absolutely offensive and sacrilegious because it seemed that they chose that church primarily as a nice venue that had a convenient location too. (There was no family pressure in this case to marry in church). Mercifully, I couldn’t go to the wedding in the end. I just found the whole thing a bit over the top.


This is what I was thinking. Add to it that people of all faiths and of no faith really get into things like “Love is patient, love is kind…”

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