Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony

Our family is Roman Catholic.  It is not easy to be married “in the church.”  There is more work involved than a protestant ceremony.  I can speak from experience, as my husband and I were married first in the Presbyterian Church, (my church growing up), then we had a second wedding in the Catholic Church after I converted to Roman Catholicism.

I think if religion is important to both the bride and groom, it is not to everyone, it’s easier if a couple is untied.  My husband and I made the decision before we married that we would first get married in my “hometown church,” then I would convert.  I didn’t realize, however, that it would take me TWO years to complete the process, and that it would require getting married in all over again in a Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony.  I don’t think any parish requires that today.  This was 30 years ago, remember.

My two daughters and their significant others are lucky.  All four are Roman Catholics.  They didn’t have to jump through the hoops that my husband Ken and I did.  There is a lengthy process, though.

In order to be married in the Catholic Church, either the bride or the groom must be a confirmed Catholic.  One can not become a confirmed Catholic unless he/she is baptized, attends 9 years of CCD – religious education, received his/her First Holy Communion, and First Reconciliation (you may think of this as “Confession”).  Then the candidate is eligible to attend between one and two years of “Confirmation Classes.”  Finally after all this, the candidate is accepted into the Church as a full member.

Now you want to receive the Sacrament of marriage?  One must be a registered member of a parish, or his/her parents are.  All sacraments, (listed above), must be documented.  Then the bride and groom meet, on average, three times with a priest, and attend a “pre-cana” marriage workshop.  This is at least a five hour class.  The class addresses everything from children, to in-laws to finance.  A lot of work?  You bet.  But so is marriage.  The Catholic Church has struggled in the recent past, but I think this is one thing they’re doing right…

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