Outdoor Weddings

Fr. Mike Schmitz explains why a Christian marriage has to be in a church. With the marriage vows we aren’t just committing ourselves to our spouse. We are also saying in a very specific way that we will follow Christ. Marriage is inherently connected to Christianity, and it’s not just about us. It’s also about the church community to which we belong.

Learn more about the sacrament of marriage through Ascension Press’ programs, God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage and Living a Joy-Filled Marriage.

  • Robert Oliver

    Great perspective – my marriage is a gift to the Church.
    Nitpick – there are other vocations besides married and religious. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

  • Cristina Tinajero Genung

    Love this, thanks! Great explanation.

  • AzMegan

    Awesome, awesome, Father Mike! Wonderful teaching of “The Church”, and all of what it means to be a Christian. I thank you for making it clear of why we are called by God in our vocations and to want to show our connection to the Church in marriage (a vocation). WOW! The Churchs’ teachings has so blessed my heart, mind and soul. God bless you Father Mike. I, for one, appreciate your teachings of the Catholic Church….plain and simple.
    Have a great day!

  • Christina Longoria Ortiz

    Great message. Never knew this.

  • Joselyn

    thank you Father Mike for this clear and concise answer. You are GOD sent! blessings!

  • Lydia Greco

    I’m sorry, Father Mike, but that dog don’t hunt. We the people are Church, not the building (i.e., church). As long as the vocation/covenant is proclaimed in public, surrounded by Church (i.e., witnesses) with an ordained priest representing God as principal witness and third party to the covenant, I don’t understand why there is an issue with outdoor weddings. If Mass can be celebrated in a baseball stadium, if bread and wine can be consecrated and become the Body and Blood of Christ at a campsite in the open air, why can’t marriage be consecrated out in the world God Himself created? So many families are torn apart because of regulations like this one which are no different that the Mosaic ceremonial laws that Saint Paul characterized as onerous and unnecessary in his Letter to the Galatians. Just as the Mosaic ceremonials laws became irrelevant to The Way, I hope and pray that under the leadership of dear Pope Francis, regulations against marrying under God’s heaven will soon be history.

  • Marilyn Sanchez-Henry

    I was born and raised Catholic all my life. When it was time to marry my husband, almost 20 years ago, we decided to do a destination wedding in Jamaica in order to keep costs down since we both had large families. I even invited my parish priest to come and marry us but he said that he couldn’t unless we were getting married in a Catholic Church and not the resort beachfront gazebo. My husband was not Catholic and to him it wasn’t a big deal but to me I was torn. Long story short, we did marry in Jamaica and 2 years later after attending mandatory Marriage Encounter classes, we had a very small private wedding ceremony conducted at the Basilica in Baltimore to officially complete the sacrament of marriage in the church. I feel we were doubly blessed although we only celebrate the 1st date for our Anniversary.

  • Pat

    I’ve never heard such a discipleship based explanation before. Thank you. Lydia’s comments evoke a question in me…Is there a difference in the scared space of the world that God created and the sacred space in a Catholic church? Jesus in his incarnation fulfilled but did not abolish the law. So is it the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in a church – along with the assembled community- that makes that space different?

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