Engaged Thinking: Getting Married in the Catholic Church

October 21, 2016

There are certain things about your wedding that you know are going to have to go a certain way before you even pop the question.

For instance, I knew before my fiance and I were even engaged that we’d be getting married in the Catholic Church. I have absolutely no problem with this. I’ve been a Christian most of my life, and I attend church every single week, it’s just not a Catholic one.

Now, while most of the major beliefs of Christians and Catholics are the same; I was still nervous about the prospect of putting my non-Catholic self before the priest. I have no sacraments. No (traditional) baptism, no christening, no confirmation. Non-denominational Christians just do things differently.

So there I was in the parish office…“Hi, I don’t go to Catholic Church. I’ve never attended a service at this parish. I have no sacraments. Will you marry us here?” Obviously I wasn’t that direct, but that was essentially the news I had to break to him.

To my surprise, there was no issue whatsoever. Now, full disclosure, my fiance’s family are members of the parish and they’re donors, but that wasn’t the reason for my acceptance. I always viewed the Catholic Church as being  incredibly rigid (because in many ways it is), but when it comes to the sacrament of marriage it was a bit different.

I didn’t need the sacraments. I didn’t need to be a regular attendee of the church. As we sat and learned more about our ceremony and the different ways we could go we realized we had a lot more options than we previously thought.

Getting married in the Catholic Church may not be your first choice, just as it wasn’t mine. But cheer up, it’s actually not as bad as you may think.

By: Joe Arico

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