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Ella Bravasio wrote:

Hi, guys —

My fiancé and I are looking into getting married in the Catholic Church. We are both Catholic and have completed all the sacraments up to Confirmation.

I understand that the Catholic Church provides three different forms of celebrating the rite of Marriage:

  1. First form: within a Mass — when two Catholics are marrying
  2. Second form: without a Mass - when a Catholic marries another baptized Christian
  3. Third form: when a Catholic marries someone who is not baptized
  • Although both my fiancé and I are Catholic, are we allowed to choose to celebrate our Marriage using the third form?

Thanks,

Ella

  { Although both my fiancé and I are Catholic, are we allowed to choose how we get married? }

Mike replied:

Dear Ella,

No, not if you wish to be faithful to the Church.

The other options you mentioned were when a Catholic marries:

  1. a non-Catholic, but baptized, Christian or
  2. a non-Christian.

In both these cases, the Catholic must contact the local bishop for the appropriate dispensation.

A Catholic man who wishes to marry a Catholic woman should marry in the Church. Period.

There is only one way for baptized Catholics: within the context of a Catholic Mass, with any excepts made by the local bishop.

You and your future spouse should not look at this as a have-to command by the Church but as the Church wanting what is best for both of you in this life and the next. In Marriage, your job is to strive to get your fiancé to Heaven and his job is to strive to get you to Heaven: where there is no marriage among the faithful.

The word, sacrament means to swear a covenant oath. God is promising to give you all the sacramental graces to keep your future marriage together until death do you part. These sacramental graces are like the Krazy Glue of the marital bond between the two of you.

I have no idea why you would want to throw that away unless you don't want a lifetime commitment to your future husband, in which case, your marriage would be void. There has to be an intent to have a lifetime commitment.

This one day, when you are married, will affect how good or bad your marriage will be for the rest of your life. I suggest you take this one day seriously.

The pastor or priest marrying you should reinforce my answer. If he doesn't, find another parish and another priest.

My colleagues may have more to add.

Mike

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