The Process of Becoming Catholic for Brides-to-Be
Converting to Catholicism was something my husband and I discussed before we got engaged, and I think it is very important for all couples to do the same. I was Presbyterian growing up, and my family and I never went to church. However, I was very open and supportive of my significant other's commitment to his faith. When we got engaged, I made the official decision to convert, so we could have a complete Catholic mass wedding.
You Do Not Have To Convert to Have a Catholic Wedding
You do not have to be Catholic in order to marry a Catholic. You can still have the Catholic mass, but communion will be omitted and the ceremony will be shorter than a traditional Catholic wedding.
The Conversion Process for a Catholic Bride-to-Be
Here is what you can expect on your journey to becoming Catholic.This is not something that can be done in just a day.
What to Expect During the Conversion Process
- Letter to Your Priest
- Sponsorship and Permission
- Baptism and Confirmation
The converting process can take 1 year to 1.5 years due to the amount of classes you have to attend. Each class I attended was one hour long and was once a week for 8 months. For the three months leading up to my baptism and confirmation date, it increased to twice a week. Keep in mind that the following mentioned are based on my personal experience and may not be exactly what your Catholic church will do for you.
What My Catholic Classes Consisted Of:
- Attendance was mandatory unless you were very sick or had something that day that was unavoidable.
- The instructor gave every student a syllabus of the class, a binder, a Bible, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church book.
- There were students of all ages in the class.
- Worksheets were handed out to the students each week to fill out as the instructor talks about the topic of the week.
- I was taught how to read the Bible and how to be a good Catholic.
- I was taught how to pray and how to pray with a rosary.
- I was taught about Catholic masses and why certain things are done in a certain way.
- Any kind of questions were always encouraged by my instructor. If you did not feel comfortable asking your question in front of the class, you were encourage to ask the instructor after class.
2. Letter to Your Priest
You will be required to write a letter to your priest asking for permission to convert to Catholicism. I was given a sheet of paper by my class instructor that included a template of what to say to him. The template was very helpful. If a template is not given to you, ask your instructor for guidance on how to start your letter or what to include in your letter.
3. Sponsorship and Permission
Before you officially convert, there are some things that are required of you outside of your church class. Your instructor will have you pick out someone Catholic in your life to be your sponsor during the process. When I went through the process, I chose my husband's parents. If you do not know anyone who is Catholic, the people of your new Catholic church are more than willing to be yours.
You will also be required to attend a ceremony/mass with your sponsor(s) where you get blessed by the Bishop and ask him for his permission for you to convert. This is done with the other students in your class who are also converting.
4. Baptism and Confirmation
If you have already been baptized, you do not need to go through this process again; you will just need to go through confirmation. Both of these were done together for me in one ceremony with the rest of the students in my class.
You will also be required to choose a confirmation name prior to this ceremony. The confirmation name I chose for myself was María. If you are having a hard time choosing or finding your confirmation name, there are lists on Google that you can refer to.
This Is Your Decision
Converting was completely my decision. I never once felt pressured by my husband and his family to do so. Of course they were hoping I would convert, but they were very supportive of the possibility that I would not convert. Make sure that this is something that you actually want and feel comfortable with. No one should be pressuring you in this decision.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.