Wedding Challenges – Making a Catholic Wedding as Non-Catholic as Possible (Readings)

Hey everybody! Long time no post! XD  I thought I’d get on for a little bit and share my upcoming wedding challenges.

Rana and Taren_Me and Jake

Consider this us until we get a more formal picture done. XD

I’m having a Catholic wedding, and no I am not converting back to Catholicism. I have put my mother through a lot in terms of religious trauma (or whatever you want to call it), although I feel most of her pains are of her own making, not mine. I’d like to give her this favor by getting married in the church. That, and the fiance’s family is pretty religious in general, so I figure it will work out best for both parties. I don’t mind having a Catholic ceremony for them, so there’s no problem there. The issue is trying to avoid as much religious overtones as possible for my own sanity.

BibleI’ve hit my first difficulty today, sitting down for a first look at what readings I will use during the mass. (For those who aren’t aware, the Catholic wedding includes a full mass, which the bride and groom can plan down to each song.) There is an Old Testament reading, New Testament reading, a responsorial psalm, and a Gospel reading. The Old Testament and New Testament readings aren’t too difficult to do while avoiding the emphatic mention of God, but the Gospel has been a bit tricky, and the psalm is all but impossible to avoid. Every line in the Book of Psalms is “The Lord is,” this or that or great or powerful or worthy of this or that. I’m planning on discussing with our officiant, an old Brother from our youth group years who is now a priest and knows us well enough to understand our non-Catholic approach to the whole thing (lucky for us).  The closest reading I can find in psalms that I might be able to get away without a mention of God is actually, conveniently, one of my favorites; Psalms 23: 2-5.

He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths For His Name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
For you are with me;
Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

Basically, if I can avoid using the “The Lord is my shepherd” line (Psalms 23: 1) then I’m golden! But that will likely have to be chorus… Ah well, win some lose some I suppose. It’s only one song and it only lasts about 2 minutes max.

For now, this is the only religious issue I’ve had, although keep in mind we haven’t started the pseudo-Pre Canna classes yet, nor have we met with our priest and all that fun stuff. Hopefully all of that will go just as smoothly as the readings. I’ll try to keep everyone posted. ^_^

 

Please don’t be upset with me, but with the wedding plans now underway, I will likely be on a longer haitus than expected. It is possible, though, that I will come back every once in a while with an update or a poem or something. I’ll try to stay alive virtually for you all. Until next time! Cheers!

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7 thoughts on “Wedding Challenges – Making a Catholic Wedding as Non-Catholic as Possible (Readings)

  1. Firstly, congrats, and my well wishes for many happy years to come.

    I’ve been married twice. First one was a simple courthouse job, nothing fancy, but as effective as a million dollar blowout. We were married at the end. There were no religious overtones whatsoever, and it was good.

    Second time, the wife wanted to use a church, but make no big deal of it. No huge crowd, no fancy tapestries, no gourmet banquet, just use a preacher, in a church, get married. I was ok with that. Right up till the guy started invoking his damn god so much, I just darn near called it right then and there. I wanted to tell him to stfu, shove his god up his nether region and walk out. But I didn’t, I stuck it out, and got the hell out of there as quickly as possible, and never looked back, or set foot in that place again.

    Moral of the story, if you are a rational thinker, and suffer from religion irritation syndrome, a courthouse, or Justice of the Peace will marry you just as well as a god soaked buffoon.
    However if you are sensitive to others in your life, as you seem to be, and want to go through a religious ceremony, in a religious environment,to appease them, you can almost certainly expect to have to endure a scene that will stick in your craw for a long time.

    Sacrifice, getting married, having kids, a mortgage, the whole shebang. The marriage ceremony will be your first test. We have to endure things we just don’t want to at times, to get to places we want to be…again, my best wishes and may your wedding day be less of an irritation and more a long enjoyable experience.

  2. How about building a nice theme around 1 Cor. 7:9?
    “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” [with passion] 🙂

    Seriously though, you could use verses from 1 Cor. 13 (Love is patient, love it kind, keeps no record of wrong, is not rude….etc.) or from Song of Solomon (Also called Song of songs), which is both a picture of love between a man and a woman, and also of Christ’s love for the church and vice versa. For instance:

    Song of Solomon 2:10-13

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:
    “Rise up, my love, my fair one,
    And come away.
    11 For lo, the winter is past,
    The rain is over and gone.
    12 The flowers appear on the earth;
    The time of singing has come,
    And the voice of the turtledove
    Is heard in our land.
    13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
    And the vines with the tender grapes
    Give a good smell.
    Rise up, my love, my fair one,
    And come away!

    Good luck! My youngest daughter just married last week to a young man we couldn’t be more happy about.

  3. One more thought.
    It’s nice that you want to accommodate your families. Your families will always be important, but of secondary importance. Just remember that this is primarily about the two of you. This is about leaving families and cleaving to one another, about your new lives together which must always maintain, in an ultimate sense, a status that is separate from parents. Throughout your lives you may have to displease parents in order to please both God and one another. Three of my children are now married (making 50% of them!) I always look at it as their thing and the ceremony about what is important to them, and try to get behind them in that. I see it as my place to do the accommodating, because it is their thing. Right up to the last months before marriage I will advise them, but once married, I respect their unity more than my own advise, and am very slow to state opinions about their lives. Your wedding day is your day. Focus first on who you are as a couple, your spouse, and the life you seek together. After that accommodate your families where you can do so without compromising who you are and your vision of life together.

  4. …or… you could have a nice Jewish wedding. Do the stomp on the glass thing. “L’chaim!” Then the music. Lai Lai, Lai Lai Lai, Lai, Lai…. Oy Vey! Seriously though, I love the traditional Jewish blessing given over the couple right after, “I now pronounce you man and wife”. (And I’m not Jewish)
    The LORD bless you and keep you;
    The LORD make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.

    Just leave the wedding ceremony to me.
    (Just kidding. To me wedding preparations are a thing to be endured. You spend months in preparation, the wedding day itself goes by like a blur, and then you have the rest of your life. And then your dead. 🙂 )

  5. Hi! We’re going through a similar issue of picking readings that are non catholic or religious as possible. What readings and psalm did you end up picking?

    • Hi eugenia! Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been less than active on the blog for a while. I used Song of Solomon 7:11-13; 8:6, 1st Corinthians 13:1-13, and John 15:12-16. The psalm was 33:12, 18, 20-22. It was a lovely ceremony and pretty much made no mention of God or Jesus. Even the pastor who was a childhood friend of my husband was kind enough to lightly mention we weren’t really ‘practicing’ Catholics, and kept the sermon very general but heartfelt at the same time.

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