Disparity of Cult wedding pre-VII
It seems that in the NO Church, weddings between Catholics and non-baptized people are treated more or less the same as Catholic weddings (taking place in the church in front of the altar, etc.) Obviously, they're still officially recognised as being non-sacramental. It's very odd.

I've heard some things about the differences before the council. Apart from the obvious greater difficulty in obtaining permission (requirement of a grave cause), there also seem to have been strict rules about the ceremony, such as the priest only wearing a cassock and the marriage taking place in the sacristy or porch, not in the actual nave of the church or before any altar.

Does anyone have any links to documents or decrees detailing how such marriages were carried out in the Pre-Vat II days? Or any knowledge from family experience?

(05-05-2016, 09:35 PM)Martinus Wrote: Obviously, they're still officially recognised as being non-sacramental. It's very odd.

I learned something new today. I thought that if they were dispensed they were sacramental (I had to look it up because I didn't believe you... ha ha ha!).

What does it mean to the Catholic person in the marriage if the marriage is valid but not sacramental?

Ultimately what's the difference?
I heard that before Vatican II if the Catholic partner was marrying a non-Catholic then the wedding took place in the rectory.
My parents were married in 1950 in Wisconsin USA
My mother was Roman Catholic
My father was "Congregationalist"/nothing
They were married on a side altar, reception in the church basement.  Regular white wedding dresses/suits. maids of honor, etc.
My father had to sign a paper agreeing to raise the children Catholic, which he did, faithfully and cheerfully.
  All of his children went to the parish school and then on to Catholic high school.  One of the children also went to a private, Catholic college.
We went to Church every Sunday, the boys were altar boys.  I sang in the choir.
Dad stayed home on Sundays, read the paper, slept and watched professional ing and roller derby while we were at Church.  Dad went to Church with us on major holy days - he liked the fancy costumes and the production values.  He never once said a word contradicting the Church and neither did any of his family members.

It worked just fine.  But I can see why children who have a father who goes to church tend to stay with the faith when they are adults.  Dads matter.
(05-05-2016, 11:16 PM)PrairieMom Wrote: What does it mean to the Catholic person in the marriage if the marriage is valid but not sacramental?

Ultimately what's the difference?

The grace of the sacrament is lacking. Marriage predates the sacraments of Christ (it goes back to Adam and Eve) and so even today people can have a "natural" marriage.  Christ raised it to a sacrament for baptized people--and a sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace.  It becomes a supernatural source of grace.

It's indissoluable like any other marriage.  It seems the Pauline Privilege, which allows for dissolution when an unbaptized spouse walks out on a baptized spouse, only applies if they were both unbaptized when the marriage began. See Canon 1143, and 1 Cor.  7:12-17
My grandparents married in 1946 (I think).  My grandmother came from a Salvation Army/Protestant background.  She and my grandfather ran away - across state lines - and she lied about her age in order to be married by a civil judge.  Since my grandmother was 16, I think my grandfather could have been charged with kidnapping.  :)  Needless to say, my grandmother's parents were ticked off - and justifiably so.

At some point in those early years, they went to South America (where my grandfather's family is).  His mother was so upset by the highly questionable wedding certificate that she insisted on a church wedding.  My grandmother promised to raise her children as Catholics but was very hostile to the whole thing.  They attended Catholic schools, but at home there was no reinforcement.  Grandma questioned the faith even though she paid lip service to it.  I can remember her making fun of the priest at the local parish (when I was a kid - much later in her life) because he had a nice car.  From what I gather, there was outright derision for anything considered too Catholic.  Of their 5 children, only 1 believes and that's my mother.  Mom has little understanding of her faith and thinks she can pick and choose what portions of Catholic teaching she wants to follow.

I'd say there's good reason for the old prohibitions against marrying a Protestant.  Where there is a divided view on faith, the children can be confused, left in the dark, or left with no faith because there is no sense of a domestic church.  Does it happen that way every time?  No.  But the chances are higher when a couple is not unified in what they believe, even if the father is a practicing Catholic.

Consider the trend in our family:  a couple marries but is divided on faith.  They have 5 children who in turn give them 15 grandchildren.  So far, there are 12 great grandchildren but most of the grandchildren are not yet married or only newly so.  Just one of their children has any Catholic faith.  Just 2 of the grandchildren, and (thanks to the fact that Pilgrim and I have the largest family of the grandchildren) 5 of the great grandchildren are Catholic.  So out of a total of 34 people in this family (not including spouses), just 9 people are Catholic at all.  Some of them are more cafeteria Catholics than anything else.  If you factor in spouses, the numbers get worse.  There's a Buddhist, quite a few atheists and agnostics, and a whole lot of confusion. So far there are only 2 divorces.  Just one choice, made a long time ago, has created a family culture that is utterly devoid of anything Catholic save for one family of what is considered "weirdos."

It is painful to gather with the family, especially at Christmas time (more so now that my grandfather is gone - God rest his soul).  Silent Night and other traditional carols that we used to sing are made fun of.  My sister got yelled one year because she left early to attend mass.  I remember a time when the whole family gathered on Christmas morning, dressed in our best, to attend mass together.  Now Christmas Eve is a festival of conspicuous consumption conducted in jeans and sweaters.  I miss the old days when my grandfather was alive.  We dressed for dinner, sang carols and remembered the real point of Christmas before exchanging gifts until 2 am (it is a big family after all).  Every year at midnight, he would serve champagne and cookies in celebration of it finally being Christmas.  Now, gifts are tossed out in a rush - nobody really knowing who got what from whom - and, while there's plenty of alcohol and food, it doesn't feel even remotely the same. 

It was my grandfather's favorite holiday.  He prepared the whole year for Christmas when all his children and grandchildren would gather together.  We all made a special effort to be there because we knew the love and care that went into this special family time.  He spent weeks on the tree - placing his nativity and ornaments just so (he kept lead tinsel and reused it every year - that alone is a story), wrapped every present carefully (inventing special codes to hide who was getting which gift), came up with silly games and riddles for the family to solve, shopped for special treats months in advance, and generally planned every detail with love and care.  There are so many beautiful memories of Christmas that it now feels hollow and empty to participate in a family charade wherein few believe in the entire reason we are celebrating and every element that made it special is gone.  My grandfather always managed to keep it beautiful, reverent, and a powerful statement of who we were as a family.  Now, none of those elements remain, and the faith that my grandfather attempted to communicate is lost as well.  I miss him and the old days. 

The saddest part: neither his wife nor his children wanted his crucifix.  It came to me because I'm the only one of the grandchildren who is truly passionate about the faith.

Wow.  I don't think I realized how much I miss him.  Now I know why I try so hard not to attend family Christmas anymore.  Please forgive the fact that this post went off track.  I really can't see deleting the stuff about my grandfather.  I guess, in a way, it shows that he did have a family influence.  But now that he's gone, so much of what he tried to do for the family is gone as well.
I don’t want to hijack the direction of this thread but Fontevrault this post really moved me.  Almost to tears!  I'll make this short but sweet for the integrity of this thread (and that some pills are making me loopy...)

I had a similar experience with my maternal grandfather.  Since he has passed on, almost ten years, a lot of the traditions that surrounded holidays went with him.  At his funeral, I remember the parish priest stating how my grandfather's faith was so strong and he was such a reliable member of the parish.  Without him and my maternal grandmother, my mother wouldn't be Roman Catholic and I wouldn't know the beauty of the One True Church.  It truly makes us wonder how familial decisions change family life for generations.  I too have my grandfather's crucifix and it is one of my most treasured possessions.  :)  Big hugs to you. 
Zubr, thanks!  :)  This is the same grandfather who was quite opinionated and pushy.  But, as I've said before, it all came from love.  He was an old curmudgeon and a hard man to deal with, but he loved us all dearly.  I will readily confess that I was crying as I wrote that post.  I blame pregnancy hormones, but the truth is that, even after 3.5 years without him, I'm still struggling with missing him.  Maybe it's because I missed his funeral (I was ready to pop with my miracle baby about that time). 

If truth be told, I don't enjoy Christmas.  As a kid, I loved it.  But as an adult, I've struggled with the rush across the country to spend time with the barbarian hoard and the lack of a real understanding of the season.  When my grandfather was hail and hearty, he would never have tolerated the disrespect that came in his later years.  He would have refused to start dinner until folks were dressed properly for Our Lord's birth.  As he got older and began to slip, little by little our Christmases slipped away too.  Now they are completely unrecognizable. 

Now to keep this thread on track - since the departure from it is entirely my fault - I add this shorter, more focused observation.  :)

I think you are quite right: the influence of my grandparents (for better or for worse) has been profound.  In their case, I know the love and emphasis on family was always there; the faith part was lost for most of us.  That's why I think it is so very important for a couple planning to marry to be on the same page when it comes to their faith.  The church used to emphasize this for very good reasons.  Of course, in a spirit of Vatican II world with ecumenicism run a muck, there really is no justification for it anymore.  That's a real shame because our Catholic culture can only be preserved when families live their faith and allow it to infuse their lives.  How can that be done in a family where one parent disagrees?
(05-06-2016, 10:09 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: The grace of the sacrament is lacking. Marriage predates the sacraments of Christ (it goes back to Adam and Eve) and so even today people can have a "natural" marriage.  Christ raised it to a sacrament for baptized people--and a sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace.  It becomes a supernatural source of grace.

Well, that explains everything about my marriage. What a freakin' joke. Better just not marry people at all unless you're gonna do it correctly. Priests who don't do their jobs should be excommunicated, or at least tried and demoted.
During the 1790s Bishop Penlaver refused to grant dispensations for Catholics wishing to marry non-Catholics.

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