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Question about attending a non Catholic wedding [Jan. 2nd, 2009|09:23 pm]
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[dushamoya]
I think I jave read in a few places where it's advised that Catholics should not attend the weddings of non Catholics. I'm not certain how dead set this is, and if it is indeed the case I will follow it, I'm still a bit hazy on all the reasoning. I *think* it's something along the lines of pretty much not advocating the idea of a true marriage outside the Church.



The reason I ask about it is that my husband has a close friend who looks as though he may get married soon. This particular friend, while on board with a lot of Catholic belief, is not yet confirmed, and since the start of this relationship, the prospects of him getting confirmed seem to get smaller and smaller. He was a groomsman for our wedding, and has been really close with my husband for almost ten years now.

The relationship is no where near the Catholic ideal. The woman, while a *good* girl and someone I can easily love as our friend's choice, is not religious and perhaps doesn't even believe in God. She has a two children, each from a different relationship. She and one of the children (one is with its father) moved in with our friend soon after the relationship began, and our friend and his g/f are pretty open about the fact that they are having premarital sex. Our friend even told me once, when I asked about him getting confirmed that he "will after he gets married, because he doesn't want to stop doing what he is now". This pains me. He was SO CLOSE before, but has now adopted a lot of her mentalities. He knows how my husband and I feel about they're living together and everything else. He knows we both feel this is a terribly unwise relationship.

That being said, he also knows we still love the two of them, and we try to give appropriate advice/support when asked for, and we continue to pray for them. What has me worried is that, since the two will probably get married, I can forsee both my husband and me being asked to participate in the wedding party. I feel as though this would be wrong. I'm not sure if my husband would automatically agree. I know that if we refuse, it could potentially seriously damage our relationship with this couple. I don't want that. I feel like we are a good example for them, and we love them.

Am I right in thinking we shouldn't be a part of the wedding party? If so, please give me some back up so I can present this to my husband. The idea of it doesn't sit well in my gut.

Thank you so much!
Bria
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dustthouart
2009-01-03 04:41 am (UTC)

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If neither party is Catholic, then there are no official prohibitions against you attending their wedding, AFAIK.

It's the wedding of a Catholic outside the church that one is forbidden to attend. Note that the problem can be "resolved" (for certain definitions of resolved) if the Catholic formally leaves the Church; sadly, this is what my older brother is doing so that I can be in his wedding party. (He was baptized Catholic, but my mother left the Church not long after that, and we were raised Protestant, so he's never really practiced the faith or received any sacrament but baptism, but I made it very clear that unless he formally left the Church I could not be in his wedding.)
[User Picture]From: joannaravenclaw
2009-01-03 05:23 am (UTC)

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This is a good resource: http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=137

Good luck. It's always a tough call in these situations.
[User Picture]From: mistressannie
2009-01-03 06:15 pm (UTC)

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This article was very good! =)

To the OP: I've been to many weddings of Catholics, non-Catholics, and various varieties inbetween. If I had any reservations about it, I voiced those long before, so it's not like the couple didn't know what I believed and how I felt. However, it is a big day for two people, and refusing to come or be in the bridal party might be a huge damper for the couple on what should be a good and joyous occasion for them. This might appear really judgemental and turn them even further away from the Church. I'd say as long as you made your thoughts known to them, that's all you can really do. Go ahead and participate in the wedding. If you don't, then the situation might be even worse between you and them further on down the road.

I just got married in December ( in a Catholic church, to my wonderful non-Catholic hubby ). We had all kinds of faiths attending our wedding, from my husband's Baptist family, to my little sister's Jewish friend, to my Muslim friend and her daughters. I certainly didn't think they suddenly "agreed" with the Church and I did not view their attendance as such. They were there for Seth and I, because they loved us. It was a perfect Catholic wedding too. =)

[User Picture]From: bitwhizzle
2009-01-04 03:01 am (UTC)

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I had no clue about Catholics not attending non-Catholic weddings and the like. Wow. I mean, I've been quite vocal to my boyfriend about attending (or NOT, for that matter) weddings of our gay friends, and while he gets upset, he understands my reasoning for not wanting to go. However, I didn't realize that there were more situations that I probably shouldn't be putting myself into. Thanks for posting that link. It definitely gives me something to think about!
[User Picture]From: joannaravenclaw
2009-01-04 03:49 am (UTC)

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Yeah, it's definitely a sticky situation. I didn't go to my dad's wedding in 2007 (he's a lifelong Protestant, but he was marrying a thrice-divorced lapsed Catholic), and he was pretty bitter about it for a long time. The marriage only lasted six months, though, so in the end I think we made the right decision by not going.
[User Picture]From: joannaravenclaw
2009-01-04 03:58 am (UTC)

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Also, Jimmy Akin has some very well-reasoned articles on his blog about whether or not Catholics should attend certain weddings.

http://www.jimmyakin.org/marriage_involvement/

Babyfood22 -- it has to do with creating scandal (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church for more about scandal). Usually, one's presence at a wedding means, implicitly, that the person in question approves of and celebrates that particular union. Sure, the bride and groom themselves may know that the guest doesn't approve, but the other guests may not -- and that creates scandal. Read the first article I linked to get a better understanding of the complexities of the situation.

Also, two of Jesus' key teachings were "Love your neighbor" and "Go and sin no more." Loving your neighbor doesn't mean you must celebrate when they sin -- in fact, that would be the opposite of loving. Sometimes love needs to be "tough love," and sometimes you need to take a stand and let people know when they may be straying down the wrong path, even if it means hurt feelings.

Just my $.02.