More frequently, though, they opt for a wedding ceremony apart from the Eucharist — i.e., with prayers, Scriptural readings, petitions, the exchange of vows and blessings — and this is what I normally recommend.I believe that a wedding ceremony ought to highlight what unites the couple rather than what divides them.If we were not weak and wounded creatures, we simply wouldn’t need the annulment process. This sacred truth is so important that an explicit process to determine whether marital consent should be declared “null” is absolutely necessary. To maintain the other side of that coin—those occasions when marital consent to consent to marriage, every effort must be made to honor that attempt.Even in cases in which it’s obvious that an impediment to marital consent existed before the attempt, it is the desire of the Church that such an attempted union actually be couples who are capable of a valid marriage, and whose attempt at marriage didn’t actually achieve it, to seek all appropriate avenues to make good on that attempt.First, what you told your nephew’s grandmother is incorrect.If he were to go ahead and get married in a non-Catholic ceremony without Catholic approval, his marriage would not be recognized by the church.When two Catholics marry, ordinarily they do so within the context of the Mass, since the Eucharist is the supreme act of worship and the couple is seeking the fullness of God’s blessings.
Can I assume that this is still considered a valid sacrament of marriage? You raise a host of issues, and since a fair amount of confusion reigns among Catholics regarding interfaith weddings, let me try to answer your questions one by one and as plainly as possible.Though still a Catholic, he would have separated himself from full participation in the church and should not receive Communion.His going to confession would not “cure” that situation, because he would still be living outside the church’s guidelines on marriage. If the wedding has not yet taken place, they can be married in the Methodist Church (with or without a Catholic priest present) and have it recognized by the Catholic Church — provided that neither one has been married previously and that they meet in advance with a priest and provide him with the information he will need to seek diocesan permission for the wedding.Because his family has had trouble with their parish priest, who has not been welcoming to them, they are going to be married by a minister in a Methodist church.If my nephew wants to continue practicing the Catholic faith and goes to confession, can he still receive holy Communion at Mass after he’s married in the Methodist church?