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Wedding Mass
Question from Mary on 2/19/2013:

Is it Church law that a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic is not allowed a wedding Mass or is that a priest's prerogative?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 2/24/2013:

Mary--

A Catholic marrying a non-Catholic baptized Christian may have a nuptial Mass, but a Catholic marrying an unbaptized person (whether or not the person self-identifies as a Christian) may not. If the Catholic is marrying an unbaptized person in a Catholic ritual, then their marriage ceremony is a nuptial liturgy outside of Mass.

It should be mentioned though that priests sometimes have reservations about allowing Catholics marrying baptized non-Catholics to have a nuptial Mass because the non-Catholic and, presumably, the non-Catholic's family will not be able to receive Communion during the nuptial Mass. It is easier to handle that problem if the ceremony does not include a Mass. If the priest asks the couple to forgo a nuptial Mass for this reason, it would be appropriate for the couple to respect his judgment on the matter.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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