RC marriage ceremonies in the Rectory

When checking out BF's mention about the Virgin Mary being physically present in the eucharist I looked on the internet for the person who seemed to have written such an article.
He was, in the 1940s, pastor of St John's church in LaFargeville NY. On searching further for his name I saw two articles from local papers of the time stating that the pastor had conducted marriages in the Rectory.
Now at that time I imagine that most RCs would have wanted the marriage solemnised in church and indeed with a Nuptial Mass.

Would an RC marriage in a church rectory indicate a marriage where there was 'disparity of cult' (one of the parties was Catholic and the other was a baptised non-Catholic ).


At the same time in Scotland at least Presbyterian marriages would regularly have been contracted in the manse (residence of the minister) rather than in church which was simply a meeting place for the religious community . It seems from American films that many marriages including religious celebrations would be held not in church but in private homes or in hotels.


Strictly speaking a Catholic marriage ceremony does not have to take place in church. In the past - over 60 years ago Catholic marriages where there was disparity of cult would in Scotland take place in the sacristy but I have never heard of them being celebrated in the presbytery (Residence of the priest) This is not the case now, of course - except in the case of the marriage of a Christian with a non-Christian.

Can anyone enlighten me and possibly others how common 'marriage in the rectory' would have been ?

Comments

  • I did know someone (an Episcopal Deacon) who was married in an RC Rectory because his bride was RC and, of course, he was not. (He was not a Deacon at the time of the marriage, but he was an Episcopalian.) This marriage very likely took place in the 30s or 40s. He had to sign a pledge that their children would be raised RC. Sadly*, shortly before his death he became so upset with his treatment by our Episcopal Bishop that he did finally join his wife and family and joined the RC church.

    *Sadly, because he felt forced to leave the Episcopal Church, where he had been active all of his life.
  • My husband's parents were married in the RC chruch, but behind the altar,ie where no one could see, because he was RC and she was Baptist. This was Burma in the early 1960's. I assume there was a promise made, but of the 3 children, 2were baptised CofE and one RC. None are practicing RC as adults,
  • In the Church of Scotland it's still reasonably common to conduct weddings outwith the church building. Here they're often on the beach if the weather cooperates.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Scottish law on marriage has always been different from that in England and Wales. Here, a wedding has to take place in an authorised building and be celebrated by an authorised person. Since the key legislation in the 1750s, from which everything since has been developed, was targeted at preventing clandestine marriages, weddings have to be in public with the doors open (or at least, unlocked).

    So no weddings on beaches, no weddings in private houses and no weddings in vicarages, rectories, presbyteries or whatever.


    As a tangent, current rules are so determined to put barriers in the way of fake marriages designed to get round immigration controls, that it's become quite a performance jumping through all the necessary hoops if either of the couple are not resident or not UK nationals. So although weddings are big business here, unlike many other countries, there is no market in wedding tourism. If you and your beloved are from somewhere else in the world but you've always dreamt of a wedding in a pretty English country church, forget it.
  • Which is why I get them opting for Scottish castles instead! When my devout (CofS) grandparents were married in the 1920s it was in a hotel as at that time "no one" was getting married in church in Scotland: my grandmother told me it was considered unlucky!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I've heard that because Scottish law is much more accommodating towards wedding tourism, Four Weddings and a Funeral did a lot for Scottish castles whose owner were on their uppers.

    I know of two churches in Somerset, one on an island in a little lake and the other in the grounds of a country house, which do quite a line in wedding tourism, but it's an opportunity that really is only available to indigenous tourists.
  • The Rector of a local US Episcopal church has told me that, decades ago, a parishioner who married a non-Episcopalian had to do so in the Rectory rather than the church. Not sure if that was a church-wide or diocesan policy or just the whim of a very conservative Anglo-Catholic rector. Obviously that is not the case now.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    So no weddings on beaches, no weddings in private houses and no weddings in vicarages, rectories, presbyteries or whatever.

    That's very limiting. What about non-religious ceremonies (said from a country where over 75% of weddings are non-religious).
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Until a few years ago, they had to take place in the Registrar's Office. These are usually in town halls, civic buildings etc.

    Now they can also take place in an authorised place with a Registrar present to perform the ceremony. Quite a lot of hotels now have rooms authorised for weddings. The same room must not also be used for the reception.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Again, very hard to understand why such tight restrictions need to be maintained. And why a Registrar? Certainly a licensed person, but not necessarily a government official. It has the feeling of second-best and second-rate.

    Quite a few times we've been having a coffee on a Saturday afternoon at a café near us, and opposite an attractive park. There's been a wedding in the rotunda and the couple, the celebrant and others have wandered over the road for an afternoon coffee before heading off for more photographs or the formal reception. Relaxed and a happy time for all.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    But somebody must be performing the ceremony, making sure the couple actually do end up married, then issuing the certificate and sending the record in to the Registrar. That's all done here either by a Rev or a Registrar. How is that done in a rotunda in the park? And who does it?
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    edited January 12
    It doesn’t have to be a Registrar in a religious building. One or more Authorised Persons can be appointed to register marriages.
  • In Scotland "anyone" can get a license for a day to conduct a wedding. At least in theory. In practise this is getting more difficult as the powers that be worry about forced marriages etc. But it is, I understand, a piece of legislation used by e.g. the Brethren and other religious groups who do not have clergy.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    But somebody must be performing the ceremony, making sure the couple actually do end up married, then issuing the certificate and sending the record in to the Registrar. That's all done here either by a Rev or a Registrar. How is that done in a rotunda in the park? And who does it?

    A civil celebrant performs the ceremony. There are courses available and those who qualify are registered. As to signing - a folding table works very well, and this particular rotunda is only a step or 2 from the ground. The parties and witnesses sign as does the celebrant. I'm not sure who gets the paperwork back, but it could easily be the happy couple.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Here the paperwork goes to the registrar and a copy to the couple. The church keeps its records in the registers - the big books with all the information in them. So the registrar then includes the information about the marriage into the national births, deaths and marriages records.

    There have been a lot of clampdowns on marriages, partly forced marriages but also marriages to regularise the situation for illegal immigrants, although that doesn't guarantee anyone can stay now.

    One of the weddings I picked up on was an attempt to do that; the illegal immigrant didn't have any of the right paperwork, so we couldn't marry them in a CofE church. (Real mess that one - I had to grass up the minister who hadn't checked the paperwork properly, and she had to go back to the couple and tell them she couldn't perform the marriage she'd booked in, which she should have done in the first place. The couple actually wanted an orthodox wedding, but that would have meant the registrar checking in advance, and they'd have picked it up too.)
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    It’s only since about 2015 that clergy have had to check the nationality of couples getting married. I’m getting better at doing it, but it’s still not automatic and for UK nationals under 30 without a current passport it can sometimes be very difficult indeed.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    This was before 2015, when clergy had to check the ID paperwork - passport and/or birth certificate. This guy had no paperwork and an Eastern European nationality.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited January 12
    Here the paperwork goes to the registrar and a copy to the couple. The church keeps its records in the registers - the big books with all the information in them. So the registrar then includes the information about the marriage into the national births, deaths and marriages records.

    The original would go to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages but I don't know who gets it there. An oddity is that the Registrar is an official of the State Government but the Marriage Act is Federal. The Registrar is authorised by the relevant Federal minister. One of those things. I assume money flows to the State to cover the cost. Basically all ministers of religion are authorised celebrants; most celebrants though are those who've qualified by completing an authorised course.

    What is disturbing is the ever-increasing proportion of civil marriages. Many churches would be lucky to get a wedding a month.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited January 12
    Enoch wrote: »
    But somebody must be performing the ceremony, making sure the couple actually do end up married, then issuing the certificate and sending the record in to the Registrar. That's all done here either by a Rev or a Registrar. How is that done in a rotunda in the park? And who does it?
    Not really a problem.

    In the US, marriage laws are matters for the states, not the federal government, so there is no single way that things are done. In this state, there is no such thing as a register of people authorized by the state to officiate at a wedding. The law is that any ordained minister/priest or other person authorized by his or her religious body to officiate may officiate. On the secular side, magistrates (county judicial officials) may officiate. There is also provision for formalization of marriages “after the manner of Quakers.”

    While most magistrate-officiated weddings are probably done at the courthouse, many magistrates are willing to do weddings elsewhere. I’ve been to outdoor weddings and weddings in homes that were officiated by magistrates.

    And many ministers are very used to weddings in places other than the church, unless church law forbids or discourages it. Our wedding was on the front lawn of my wife’s college. Three Presbyterian ministers officiated. Two family members had (in-state) destination weddings that were outdoors. In each case, the minister from the family church (and his family) travelled the 2+ hours to officiate. In such cases, of course, the couple or family pay all expenses for the minister (and family), including lodging.

    Before the wedding, the couple obtains a marriage license from the register of deeds of the county in which the wedding will occur. (Despite the name, the register of deeds also handles birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates.). Prior to the ceremony, they give the license to the officiant. After the wedding, the license is signed by the officiant and two witnesses, traditionally the best man and the maid/matron of honor. The officiant then returns the license to the register of deeds.

    Done.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited January 12
    @Nick Tamen presumably the couple also get given some sort of official certificate that they are married. Is it the licence endorsed in some way, or is it something else?

    How does the procedure stop people either performing fake weddings, or issuing themselves with fake certificates of weddings that never happened?

    And what is the requirement corresponding to our publication of banns or putting up a notice outside the Registrar's office that the wedding is to take place, so that somebody who claims they are already married to one of the parties can find out and object?
  • LolaLola Shipmate
    This was before 2015, when clergy had to check the ID paperwork - passport and/or birth certificate. This guy had no paperwork and an Eastern European nationality.
    Is there any flexibility in the system at all? Your point about hoop jumping performances rang very true.

    Mr Lola had some irregularities with some of his documents and his others, which were all perfectly legal, were somewhat unusual looking. He went to quite a trouble to correct the mistakes made by third parties in the most standard ID but I did have some sleepless nights convinced that someone was going to refuse to marry us!

    My own paperwork was impeccable and I wanted to be married in the church I had been regularly worshipping at for over a decade, all the while flagrantly living in sin with my now husband who is not a Christian but was personally known to the person checking the paperwork.

    I did sometimes want to ask what the chances were that we were planning a sham marriage as part of a highly elaborate and long term immigration fraud! But your comments seem to make me think it’s more common than I realised!

  • Enoch wrote: »
    @Nick Tamen presumably the couple also get given some sort of official certificate that they are married. Is it the licence endorsed in some way, or is it something else?
    The original returned license is filed with the register of deeds. Anyone can find the record of it there. The couple can get a certified copy for a modest fee—$10, I think. In 30 years of marriage, we’ve needed a copy of our marriage license two times that I can recall, for my wife to change her name with the Social Security Administration and on her driver’s license.
    How does the procedure stop people either performing fake weddings, or issuing themselves with fake certificates of weddings that never happened?
    Criminal penalties. Frankly, I’ve never heard of such a thing happening.
    And what is the requirement corresponding to our publication of banns or putting up a notice outside the Registrar's office that the wedding is to take place, so that somebody who claims they are already married to one of the parties can find out and object?
    There is no such requirement here, nor anywhere else in the US that I am aware of. It is a misdemeanor to provide false information when applying for the license, including information about whether one is already married. In some instances, proof that a previous marriage has been dissolved may be required before the license will issue.

    BTW, I realized that one thing I said above has changed. A marriage license issued in any county is now good anywhere in the state, but it must be returned to the county register of deeds that issued it. Licenses are good for 60 days.

  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    The situation has got much worse since 2015 - FT link, following concerns about sham marriages hitting the news, and various clergy being prosecuted for taking part in them.

    This particular marriage didn't sound as if was a sham, just an attempt to regularize the situation to prevent the groom, who was an illegal immigrant, from being deported away from his partner and child. Churches are not allowed to marry people without permission to stay or without a special licence. Even a wedding in a local church with the daughter of regulars coming home for the wedding and flying back out again afterwards needed a special licence.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    ... The original returned license is filed with the register of deeds. Anyone can find the record of it there. The couple can get a certified copy for a modest fee—$10, I think. In 30 years of marriage, we’ve needed a copy of our marriage license two times that I can recall, for my wife to change her name with the Social Security Administration and on her driver’s license. ...
    Different countries, different customs. It sounds very odd to us not being given a marriage certificate on the spot.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited January 12
    Oops! I posted by accident. Please delete if you can.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    ... The original returned license is filed with the register of deeds. Anyone can find the record of it there. The couple can get a certified copy for a modest fee—$10, I think. In 30 years of marriage, we’ve needed a copy of our marriage license two times that I can recall, for my wife to change her name with the Social Security Administration and on her driver’s license. ...
    Different countries, different customs. It sounds very odd to us not being given a marriage certificate on the spot.

    With us the couple collect the schedule from the registrar and that is what is signed on the day. This has to be returned to the registrar within three working days or the whole thing is invalid, and then the certificate is posted out to the couple.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Until a few years ago, they had to take place in the Registrar's Office. These are usually in town halls, civic buildings etc.

    Now they can also take place in an authorised place with a Registrar present to perform the ceremony. Quite a lot of hotels now have rooms authorised for weddings. The same room must not also be used for the reception.

    I believe these types of ceremonies have to be completely areligious. The couple can't have any song or words or rituals that are deemed religious. The British Humanists are trying to change this.

    Note the no locked/closed doors means that full Mormon weddings which have to take place in a temple with only members of that faith who have a temple recommend present can't double as legal weddings in England.

    I see the requirement that weddings in England/Wales have to take place between 8am and 6pm has been dropped in 2012 (before that I think only Quakers and Jews were allowed to have their weddings outside those hours since Quakers and Jews were specifically exempt from the 1750s law that set among other things that requirement). BTW why were they exempt?
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Until a few years ago, they had to take place in the Registrar's Office. These are usually in town halls, civic buildings etc.

    Now they can also take place in an authorised place with a Registrar present to perform the ceremony. Quite a lot of hotels now have rooms authorised for weddings. The same room must not also be used for the reception.

    I believe these types of ceremonies have to be completely areligious. The couple can't have any song or words or rituals that are deemed religious. The British Humanists are trying to change this.

    Note the no locked/closed doors means that full Mormon weddings which have to take place in a temple with only members of that faith who have a temple recommend present can't double as legal weddings in England.

    I see the requirement that weddings in England/Wales have to take place between 8am and 6pm has been dropped in 2012 (before that I think only Quakers and Jews were allowed to have their weddings outside those hours since Quakers and Jews were specifically exempt from the 1750s law that set among other things that requirement). BTW why were they exempt?

    Because the Quakers were stroppy but largely trustworthy and the Jews were non-Christian and the latter. Everyone else was suspected of being a Jacobite if they refused to conform to the established church. I may be oversimplifying a little.
  • In my US state the marriage license (once filled out, signed, and filed with the recorder) IS the "official certificate"--that is, the paper you need for legal purposes. There is a fancy bit-o-fluff so-called certificate that also comes in the packet for the celebrant to sign and hand over, suitable for framing, but it's of no legal value, as everybody gets told. I'm aware of one case of marriage fraud where a jackass had his way with a young immigrant girl (and got her pregnant, of course) after waving that thing in her face and asserting that they were now married (despite having gone through no ceremony) but that degree of naivete is rare.

    When we filled out the fluffy version, we made certain to include sufficient contact information so that anyone investigating the marriage later and having only this piece of fluff would still be able to track down the legal and ecclesiastical records.
  • The Rector of a local US Episcopal church has told me that, decades ago, a parishioner who married a non-Episcopalian had to do so in the Rectory rather than the church. Not sure if that was a church-wide or diocesan policy or just the whim of a very conservative Anglo-Catholic rector. Obviously that is not the case now.

    I had read of instances of this in (Canadian) Anglican churches in the 1920s when the local CoE in Canada (as it then was) cleric was of the ignore-the-existence-of-dissenters point of view-- the minority status of Anglicanism and the fury of parents made this an insupportable practice. I made an enquiry of a feminist legal historian of my acquaintance who tells me that pre-WWII weddings were often held in manses/rectories/private homes rather than churches. In rural areas, it was often in the church as no other adequate space was available but there were no churches in many dispersed areas, so any room would do in a pinch. In the Yukon during the gold rush period, NWMP offices served, even if the holding cells were within reach.

    Until the mid-60s, mixed marriages (RC and non-RC) were usually held in the presbytery unless the bishop provided special permission to the contrary. In my part of the province, this was used to shame the (usually bride) for marrying outside the Franco-Ontarian population.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    My parents were married in 1929. The wedding was to take place in the afternoon. That morning my father went to the courthouse to get the license. He was told that the license could not be issued unless both parties were present. My mother was in the process of having her hair done; she hastily threw a scarf over her head and went to the courthouse.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Until the mid-60s, mixed marriages (RC and non-RC) were usually held in the presbytery unless the bishop provided special permission to the contrary. In my part of the province, this was used to shame the (usually bride) for marrying outside the Franco-Ontarian population.

    My parents were married in 1939, six months before the war. They had a mixed marriage, my mother beng Anglican and my father Presbyterian. Not all that common then.
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