Interfaith Mixed Marriage Wedding Muslim-Catholic

Today's wedding is one of those unscheduled "just came up" kind of a wedding. It was late when I was called to be wedding mass commentator. I was actually wondering why or how the parish accepts these late insertions in its wedding schedule.

Still, I came early and upon arrival, there was no sign that there was going to be a wedding inside the church. Ordinarily, I would already see the middle aisle bedecked with flowers on plant stands that are joined with linen. In fact, the guard noticed the same "emptiness" and remarked, "looks like nobody's getting married"

But a few seconds later, the church utility persons were carrying and positioning the wedding kneelers and chairs. There were less then ten guests that were inside the church at the front pews.

No Choir Came for the Wedding

Apart from the sparse arrangements, I was horrified to realize that there was no choir. If a previous wedding even had a string quartet for the wedding in addition to the church choir, this wedding didn't have anyone at the choir loft.

Yup, the choir loft was empty.

It scared me a bit because that meant someone will probably be singing solo, and that would likely be me!

I asked the mother-butler to get help from the church's organ player and she said she'd asked the priest. A few minutes later, she informed me that someone was sent to fetch the church's organ player, Lino.

But just the same, I rummaged through the church's lyrics songbook stored in the shelf of the lectern. I've never used that songbook before and I was frantically searching for possible liturgical songs to sing for the wedding mass.

There would be no music accompaniment so I suppose the old familiar church songs popularly sang on weekdays would suffice for acapella.

Muslim-Catholic Interfaith Wedding

When I looked at the marriage contract to get the names of the wedding couple, I read the groom's religion as "Muslim" and the bride is a Catholic. How could that be, I thought.

But then I learned later that mixed marriages or interfaith weddings, in this case Muslim and Catholic, are possible in Catholic weddings in churches. The Catholic needs to get dispensation from a local bishop though.

I saw Fr. Marty talking to the couple just before the wedding mass. Presumably he was interviewing the couple as it is a mixed marriage wedding. It was also to bide time while waiting for Lino the organ player to arrive.

Alas, after ten minutes, no organ player came and Fr. Marty decided to go ahead with the interfaith wedding.

Differences in the Muslim-Catholic Wedding

When I learned of the mixed marriage wedding, I didn't think there would be a difference in the way the wedding mass would proceed. I was wrong.

Here are some of the differences I observed with this wedding compared to the usual:

  • During the marriage rites, as usual, I asked for the ring, arrhae and bible bearers to come forward for the blessing of the ring, arrhae and bible. I discovered that there was no bible.

  • After the marriage rites, I asked the couple to kneel. The priest motioned me that it was not necessary. The couple simply remained standing when the kneeling posture was called. I suppose there is no kneeling posture for a Muslim groom.

  • The groom didn't perform the usual Catholic gestures like the sign of the cross and the three crosses (forehead, lips and chest) while reciting "Glory to You, O Lord" prior to the reading of the Gospel. The Catholic bride performed these gestures.

  • Although the bride received communion in two forms, host and wine, the groom did not.

Everything else went normally as usual and the wedding ended without any problems.

Fortunately too, Fr. Marty didn't ask me to sing the mass songs. The wedding mass responses that were usually sang were just recited.