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Lucy wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can two Catholics have a wedding without a Mass?

The reason I ask is because (my other half) and I are getting married and would like to get married this way.

  • I know it can be done if one of the person isn't Catholic but is it a problem if both are Catholic?
  • According to canon law, with or without Mass, it's valid so why am I getting the guilt trip?
  • I've been told I will regret not receiving Communion but isn't that for my future husband and I to decide?

We're adults for crying out loud. My godmother says I'm rejecting God by not receiving Communion and my dad says he doesn't care if my marriage is valid, or not. He said, if I'm not going to do things "the right way" don't bother getting married in the Church because it wouldn't look right.

Actually, he would prefer that we just have a civil ceremony than marriage without a Mass.
It seems to me, he's taking this issue to the extreme. Especially since him and my mom have been married for ages but never by the Church.

  • What is the right answer?
  • Can a priest actually say "No Mass, No Wedding"?

Please explain.


  { Can two Catholics have a wedding and get married without a Mass? }

Mary Ann replied:

Lucy —

The marriage ceremony is often conducted outside of Mass. The Nuptial Mass is nice but not necessary to the sacrament.

The reception of the Eucharist is the enactment of the union with the Body of Christ that the couple will also enact with each other, as images of Christ.

The priest cannot say, "No Mass, no wedding" — though that can be his personal preference or practice.

To repeat, you can get married in Church without a nuptial Mass, and many priests will thank you for it, because the service is short and less taxing on their schedule.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Lucy —

I just wanted to add to what my colleague Mary Ann has said. Even though you could get married without a Mass, I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Why?

Because marriage is a life long commitment. You want to get all the sacramental graces you and your fiancé can get for future "bumps down the road". As Catholics, we believe the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, so if both of you wish to get all the sacramental helps you can get for future "bumps down the road", this would be the way to go.

By my suggestion, I don't mean to take away, in any manner, from the successful marriage your parents have had. They have truly been living Christ-like lives between them.

I'm just saying that, in this morally deprived culture, you should get all the sacramental graces and helps you can get.

It's one day in you and your fiancé's future life; get everything you can, so your marriage will last at least as long as your parents, if not, longer.

My brother and his wife had a nuptial Mass, partially done in Latin, and they have been married for over 20 years ... so far : )

Just my opinion.


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