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This provision of the 1983 Code of Canon Law is a change from the 1917 version, which required an absolute promise to have the children raised Catholic.Likewise, the non-Catholic spouse is no longer required to promise to take an active role in raising the children in the Catholic faith, but instead “to be informed at an appropriate time of these promises which the Catholic party has to make, so that it is clear that the other party is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party,” the code states.“Your pastor could be involved in the wedding by giving a blessing, but in Catholic-Jewish weddings, usually the rabbi will officiate,” writes Father Daniel Jordan, judicial vicar for the Tribunal of the Diocese of Burlington, Vt.As for the children of a Catholic-Jewish marriage, religious leaders agree that it is “vastly preferable for the offspring of mixed marriages to be raised exclusively in one tradition or the other, while maintaining an attitude of respect for the religious traditions of the ‘other’ side of the family,” the conference report said.A minister may offer a few words, but he or she may not officiate or preside at a joint ceremony.

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.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.“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.

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