EWTN Catholic Q&A
Catholic wedding
Question from Marie on 09-24-2012:

Can a non-Catholic do a reading at a Catholic wedding "outside of the Mass"? My daughter is marrying a non- Catholic and wants to include and welcome her fiance's family in the Catholic wedding. Also, how about a non-Catholic reading the "Prayers of the Faithful"? Thank you!

Answer by Catholic Answers on 09-24-2012:


A Catholic nuptial liturgy without a Mass is still a public Catholic liturgy and that means that only Catholics should be invited to perform liturgical ministries within that liturgy. Non-Catholics should understand that they attend Catholic liturgies primarily as guests and therefore do not presume to be included in public liturgical actions (anymore than Catholics should expect or accept invitations to read from Scripture or lead prayer in non-Catholic worship services).

Suggest to your daughter that she include and welcome non-Catholic guests in those roles at a wedding that are strictly social and not religious in nature. For example, she and her fiance could ask his non-Catholic family to man the guestbook, welcome and seat guests, assist the wedding party, etc. They could also be included in a special way in the reception, and in whatever "ritual acts" happen at the reception (toasts, saying grace, presenting a unity candle to the newly-wedded couple to light, etc.).

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers