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To not want to take part in the religious part of a wedding........

(104 Posts)
SqueezyCheesyPumpkin Fri 16-Oct-09 23:22:10

OK, go easy on me. <fingers crossed>

Summary - friend having a catholic wedding. I am to be a witness. She is insisting that I do the whole religious ceremony thing, the bread, wine, crossing myself, praying etc etc. (am sorry, if there is a term for that, I don't know it). The wedding is abroad in a very catholic country.

I am totally not religious, don't believe in God. However, I respect that this is the wedding she wants and support her in that, but why do I have to do the whole religion thing? I'd feel like a complete hypocrite?

How do people get around this kind of thing?

TeamEdward Fri 16-Oct-09 23:23:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnotherFineMess Fri 16-Oct-09 23:24:31

I think the crossing thing is called genuflection.

What would you do if you went to a Sikh or Hindu or Buddhist or Muslim wedding? Would you join in or stand back?

HerBewitcheditude Fri 16-Oct-09 23:25:53

She is insisting?

Bridezilla alert. She has no right to insist. It's her wedding, not yours, she can do the genuflecting and crossing, no reason at all why she has the right to make all her guests do the same.

herjazz Fri 16-Oct-09 23:27:56

I disagreeTeamEdward

I think you can go and support yr friend's but not actively take part in the more personal aspects

I don't believe in god but I really wouldn't be bothered about going into any place of worship for purposes of weddings, funerals, christenings etc. I wouldn't be offering to do a reading tho. Its no big deal. Tis about yr mates - they are hardly trying to convert you

DuelingFANGo Fri 16-Oct-09 23:27:57

I wouldn't want to do it either. Don't know what I would do to be honest.

Am wondering would it really be that painful to go through the whole shebang just for the sake of letting her have the wedding she wants?

If you're a really good friend I think you should think about doing it, it might be a bit like going through the motions for you but it's just part of the theatre of religion really.

herjazz Fri 16-Oct-09 23:29:14

rogue apostrophe - ugh

SqueezyCheesyPumpkin Fri 16-Oct-09 23:31:33

Not going is not an option, I'm a witness and she is one of my closest friends. I've been to religious weddings before where it has been ok for non-believers to not take part. However, she said it could be embarrassing if DH and I are the only ones not taking full part in the religious side of it.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 16-Oct-09 23:31:51

What's a witness? Is it like a godmother?

If you're non-religious then all this stuff should be of no more significance to you than sneezing. Just go with it. Or like smiling when you don't feel like it etc. Or other small acts of hypocrisy we do on a daily basis. Half the congregation will just go through the motions like you.

bubblerock Fri 16-Oct-09 23:31:57

Stick with your beliefs, I have had so much pressure from family to get my DS's christened but I won't - I will let them choose what religion, if any, they want to be when they are older. I may also be asked to be god parent to a friends child which I will also refuse, I will sign anything they want if they need a guaranteed carer for their child if anything should happen to them, but I couldn't be a hypocrite and swear to 'God' when I don't believe (or don't know what to believe!)

scariboo Fri 16-Oct-09 23:32:51

I think you're not supposed to do all that anyway if you're not RC.

PeachesMcLean Fri 16-Oct-09 23:33:08

Your friend has asked you to take a special role on the biggest day of her life and you're worried about a bit of theatre.

Go along with it, you know there's no god out there taking notice, and it makes your friend happy. It's not like you're eating babies or anything. It's a bit of crossing yourself and kneeling with your head bowed.

Be glad you have a friend who wants you there and wants you to be something which means something to her.

SqueezyCheesyPumpkin Fri 16-Oct-09 23:36:24

That is the thing scariboo, it is for show, purely for the benefit of other people. Whereas I don't give a hoot what anyone else thinks. Me, not taking part shouldn't be offensive to anyone else surely?

The witness part is basically standing where a best man and bridesmaid would stand in this country, and then signing the book.

shonaspurtle Fri 16-Oct-09 23:37:00

If it's a Catholic ceremony and you're not Catholic then you can't do the bread & the wine - the priest won't let you.

Again, a non-catholic wouldn't be expected to genuflect. You would have the option of receiving a blessing rather than mass, but only if you wanted to.

As far as praying goes you could just stay silent. Think good thoughts for the future of the couple if you like.

If she's wanting you to pretend to be catholic and receive mass then she's being v.v.v unreasonable and disrespectful of her religion.

MadBadAndWieldingAnAxe Fri 16-Oct-09 23:37:59

On a factual thing, I believe that only baptised and confirmed Catholics can take communion (bread and wine) in a Catholic church. So, whatever your friend wants, you wouldn't be allowed to (assuming you weren't baptised and confirmed years ago).

SqueezyCheesyPumpkin Fri 16-Oct-09 23:38:30

Yes shona, you have it in one. She wants me to pretend and TBH, I feel really uncomfortable about that.

HerBewitcheditude Fri 16-Oct-09 23:38:57

God this is so much part of what is wrong with the wedding industry.

Why on earth would you want to make one of the great moments of your life a pantomime? One of the moments which should be about honesty and sincerity?

Is that what modern weddings are? A theatre, a pantomime?

God, I could rant about this until midnight but seeing as how DS is taking his 11+ tomorrow I think I'll go to bed instead.

I bet this thread will get to 1000 postings OP, so you'll get lots of input. grin

shonaspurtle Fri 16-Oct-09 23:39:21

I'm not Catholic but I think that's very, very wrong and makes a bit of a mockery of her wedding tbh.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 16-Oct-09 23:40:32

HerBewitcheditude - good luck to your DS tomorrow.

PeachesMcLean Fri 16-Oct-09 23:40:48

Her wedding, her choice. Doesn't make her Bridezilla.

if there's something actually not in line with her religion which she's asking you to do, that's another issue. But it's an issue for her not you.

HerBewitcheditude Fri 16-Oct-09 23:41:25

Would she ask you to do this if you were a muslim? Or an Anglican? Or a Buddhist? Would it be reasonable to expect someone of a different faith to go along with the theatre?

And if not, why is it OK to have less respect for the beliefs of an atheist?

And now I will go to bed. grin

<Drags self away from keyboard>

ravenAK Fri 16-Oct-09 23:42:15

I think I'd ask her if she'd be comfortable taking part - as in a full, worshippy, participation type part - in a religious worship which didn't jib with her own beliefs.

& I might also say that I believe that religious observance is for sincere believers, & it devalues it if non-believers are bobbing & mumming along for social reasons, eg. not standing out at a wedding & embarrassing the bride.

Also, as an atheist who attended a catholic primary school, I seem to recall you aren't supposed to participate in Holy Communion unless you've been baptised into the church.

Realistically - given she's your mate & you want to smooth her big day - I'd just say 'I'm sorry, you'll just have to tell everyone that dh & I are non-Catholics'.

Which everyone else at the ceremony will almost certainly be fine with. She's just being a touch Bridezilla-ish.

shonaspurtle Fri 16-Oct-09 23:43:34

It shows a lack of respect for your beliefs, a lack of respect for her family's (presumably) beliefs, a lack of respect for the person who will perform her wedding ceremony's beliefs. Can't really think more Bridezilla than that. hmm

ninagleams Fri 16-Oct-09 23:44:27

Presumably she isn't very big on faith either because she doesn't care that she's effectively damning you to hell!

JustAnotherManicMummy Fri 16-Oct-09 23:45:16

I think it will be perfectly acceptable for you to sit out the communion bit.

My grandmother, who was CofE stopped taking communion after my grandfather died (don't know why and she's dead now too so can't ask) and she would just not go up during the communion.

Personally I think it is more disrespectful to believers to pretend than to be honest.

Regarding your friend I would go for something along the lines of "It's such a special day and so important that I honestly could not lie. It would make a mockery of the whole proceedings and I couldn't do that to you"

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