Skip to comments.QUAERITUR: Mixed marriage and the Traditional Latin Mass
Posted on 07/10/2012 2:57:04 PM PDT by NYer
From a reader:
I am going to marry a Lutheran girl next year, and we would like to have a Tridentine wedding celebrated within mass. However, I was warned that, because of Universae Ecclesiae, some current laws may not apply, and it may not be permissible. However, the 1970 Matrimonia mixta allows wedding to be celebrated within mass with the permission of the bishop. Does this apply on the Tridentine wedding, or do we need to consider 1962 Canon law? What does it say about the case?
I have to be blunt. May I be blunt? I’m going to be really blunt because I must be blunt. Okay… I will be indirectly blunt. Here is some juridical stuff that will blunt my bluntness.
The provisions of current universal (and particular) law apply, even when we use the 1962 rite.
The diocesan bishop can permit the celebration of a Nuptial Mass. However, the marriage rite, according to the 1962 Missal, does not take place within Mass. The marriage rite is celebrated prior to Mass. The alterations pertaining to the Nuptial Mass include the couple being within the sanctuary, the nuptial blessing after the Pater Noster, and the blessing of the couple before to the conclusion of the Mass.
I don’t know if the Ritual permits a non-Catholic bride to receive the nuptial blessing, or sit within the sanctuary. Both, to me, seem … odd.
There are many reasons why a mixed marriage is not normally celebrated within a Mass (EF or OF). The most important reason is that a crowning moment of the Nuptial Mass is the reception of Holy Communion by both spouses.
Do we want this moment of great grace to be a moment of awkwardness? One spouse receives the Blessed Sacrament – THE sacrament of unity – while the other spouse is excluded. This seem contradictory to the unitive dimension of the marriage itself.
Moreover, such a division in Communion would underscore the division between the two families. The Catholic family receives. The non-Catholic family does not.
That said. It is possible – with the bishop’s permission.
May I finally be a little blunt? Were the bishop, and many thank God each day that I am not, I would be reluctant to give this permission.
“But Father! Er.. Your Excellency! Father! You are mean! They luuuuuv each other! They should be able to do anything they want. You want to keep them in the Church, right? Do what they want!”
We can’t avoid some terrible dilemmas. In this case we are faced with unpleasant situations.
First, the non-Catholic spouse and her family will feel some sort of pressure to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
Second, they will feel excluded during the celebration of a sacrament which symbolizes, not only the union of the man and the woman, but the union of two families.
The choice between sacrilege or hurt feelings is not one I would want to lay upon a couple on the day of their wedding.
There are so many cases of mixed marriage today, and there is a strong probability that people won’t understand hard decisions. But I think we have to make hard decisions. And I think that it the decisions are explained well, people will respect them.
Oil - water.
Up - down.
Left - right.
Catholic - Lutheran.
This makes no sense.
Lutherans are considered “separated brethren” by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and not some form of pagan religion, contrary to a great deal of popular belief about this subject. Martin Luther died believing himself to be Catholic, but a better kind of Catholic than the Church of Rome was willing to demand. It is a standing joke that Lutherans are sometimes “more Catholic than the Pope”, in respect to observing the canon law and church rituals.
But a lot of this is up to the individual bishop. There are interpretations both ways on how best to handle such a “mixed marriage”.
The chief difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches is that the Catholic is a CHURCH (THE Church) while the Lutheran is just a sect. No matter how similar the modern Mass and modern Lutheran service LOOK two entirely different things happen.
Don’t do it. I thought it could be done, but if they are not Catholic they don’t get it. I wish I had married a Catholic
There are MANY more differences than what you mention.
You are actually evaluating things on the basis of appearance, rather than on reality and fact.
The issue here is that of marital integrity. A mixed marriage waters down the Christian convictions that can be taught to the children of such a marriage.
It’s a BAD idea.
As a Catholic, you can take the ELCA and shove it.
I understand the concerns expressed. My parents had a mixed marriage and my Mother became a Catholic with the help of my Dad and Fr Fulton Sheen.
Shouldn’t Catholics be open to non Catholics being exposed to our sacraments and teachings?
Is it not out mission to bring all people to Jesus Christ and follow his path?
I think I mentioned that I’m not a Lutheran and don’t actually have a personal dog in this fight. But thanks anyway for reminding me why in my saner moments I resist the impulse to try and get fellow Christians on this site to at least tolerate each other.
We also sang “A Mighty Fortress is Our God!”, which is in the music issue of the Missal (or was in 2004). The priest almost had a heart attack when I asked for that, and pointed out the page number in the missal. Father John got a good laugh out of it, though the organist (my cousin) did play the wrong arrangement. She played it in the booming organ style of my home church.
Exposing? Yes. Allowing them to receive that which they do not believe in and thus are not in communion with? No.
My wife, a non-catholic and myself a Roman Catholic by birth etc. were married with the benefit of a mass. Yes, only I received holy communion that day. It was a beautiful mass with the singing of Ave Maria in memory of my late grandmother.
Oh, did I mention we celebrated our 40th Anniversary last week?
And as we promised to my parish priest, our daughter was raised as a practicing Catholic.
“Dont do it.”
Agreed. I did it and have watched the ripples since. Studies show children tend to emulate their father’s in practicing faith. Women should pick very wisely.
There are no guarantees all your children will staunchly practice the faith you hand on to them; but you won’t torture yourself later wondering if their father’s example (your choice) caused them to fall away.
Tiny issues come up every day in a house divided. For example, one of my children must be my medical power of attorney because my spouse does not share my views on the sanctity of life.
Our pastor regularly speaks about the GIFT of your Catholic faith. It is a gift. There is nothing like it, it is the real deal.
seems like a bad omen to need a legal opinion before getting married.
Wasn’t Jesus interupted by the bleeding woman in last week’s Gospel and Jesus saw her faith and cured her?
I did not suggest that the Church change her policies on Communion, but that the Church needs to be open and welcoming to all.
I was fortunate to be baptized as a Catholic at birth, and I appreciate the gift of being Catholic and it has made me a better person. Many have not been fully exposed to our Catholic faith.
We need to encouage people to learn and participate in the Catholic faith and allow the Holy Spirit to spark their faith.
We need to allow God to determine their faith and whether they are in Communion with him.
I feel that all Catholics should be exposed to the Latin Mass as very Holy and solemn Mass that is part of our tradition. Most practicing priests have never said the Mass in Latin.
“Shouldnt Catholics be open to non Catholics being exposed to our sacraments and teachings?”
Sure, but would you use your marriage as the laboratory? I find it strange that someone attached to the Tridentine Rite would be marrying a Lutheran; if conversion is the goal then how about that gets worked out first. Too often children raised in families of one Catholic and one “other” results in children raised as neither (or the “other”).
God gave us free will to make good choices or bad choices.
People make choices as to whom they marry. There are many problems in marriage and bad choices.
I like to look at the cup is half full with many people making good choices, and not being negative about those who make bad choices.
God chooses not to force people to make good choices, and most of us have no control over what others do.
So I feel that the Catholic Church should be open and welcoming and encourage people to find God and follow the path of Jesus.
“So I feel that the Catholic Church should be open and welcoming and encourage people to find God and follow the path of Jesus.”
The Catholic Church is welcoming, but doesn’t cheapen The Faith by accomodating heresy. As far as marriage choices, many Catholics marry Protestants; it is unusual for a Catholic with attachment to the Tridentine Rite to do so. They take their faith more seriously than the Catholic population in general, so it is unusual.