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The Reform branch of Judaism strongly discourages interfaith marriages, but there is no legal prohibition against it as there is in the stricter branches.Often, a Catholic-Jewish wedding is held at a neutral site – with permission from the bishop – so that neither family will feel uncomfortable. The couple needs to have a dispensation from canonical form for such a wedding to be valid in the Catholic Church.However, Hater adds, “Though they do not participate in the grace of the sacrament of marriage, both partners benefit from God’s love and help [grace] through their good lives and beliefs.” Marriage Preparation Good-quality marriage preparation is essential in helping couples work through the questions and challenges that will arise after they tie the knot.Questions that the engaged couple should consider include in what faith community (or communities) the couple will be involved, how the couple will handle extended family who may have questions or concerns about one spouse’s faith tradition, and how the couple will foster a spirit of unity despite their religious differences Of all the challenges an ecumenical or interfaith couple will face, the most pressing one likely will be the question of how they raise their children. that their marriages will be more challenging from the perspective of faith,” Hater writes. Special challenges exist as well when it comes to raising children in the Catholic faith.” Because of these challenges, the church requires the Catholic party to be faithful to his or her faith and to “make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power” to have their children baptized and raised in the Catholic faith.“On a wedding day, the fact that one-half of the congregation does not belong to the Catholic community [and, hence, does not receive Communion] cannot be a sign of welcome or unity on a couple’s wedding day.” It might be “likened to inviting guests to a celebration and not allowing them to eat,” he adds.If an ecumenical couple wants to celebrate their wedding within Mass, they must get permission from the bishop, Hater says.
It is generally recommended that ecumenical or interfaith weddings not include Communion.Related Topics: Dating & Engaged, Ecumenical Marriage, Engagement, Getting Serious, Interfaith Marriage, Marital Prayer and Spirituality, Marriage Preparation, Must-Have Conversations, Planning a Catholic Wedding, Wedding Liturgy / Nuptial Mass, Wedding Planning Until recent decades, the idea of a Catholic marrying outside the faith was practically unheard of, if not taboo.Such weddings took place in private ceremonies in the parish rectory, not in a church sanctuary in front of hundreds of friends and family.The marriage may be legal, he notes, but is it a wise choice?Those are questions that may also need to be explored in marriage preparation.