Outdoor Weddings


Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz
and this is Ascension Presents. So, people will ask me, on a regular basis, Father, if we can have all the sacraments outside like baptism outside and you could have a
whole Mass outside and you can have confession wherever and you can have
anointing of the sick wherever, how come I can’t get married outside?
How come we can’t do weddings outside? Great question, camper. The first reason is pretty much
historical and is cultural. And what I mean by that is this: if you ever seen
the movie Braveheart? Probably. Yes. OK. In the movie Braveheart, at one point, William Wallace gets married to Murron in the middle of the woods, which is awesome, because why?
Because there’s prima nocta that’s been established and if they get married in public, then something has to happen. and so like, let’s get married in secret, on the side. That’s great for William Wallace because
he’s a really upstanding guy, but it’s not great when you have not upstanding
people in the world Here’s William Wallace, see? He’s the bad guy,
he gets married in Scotland, then he goes off to battle in England.
He’s been secretly married. He meets someone in England, says,
“Hey, I’m not married. You want to get married?” “Sure.”
“We have to get married in secret.” So then he gets married in secret to two people. So, one of the reasons,
historically speaking, people did this. So, one of the reasons why the Church says, “No, you have to be married in the Church,”
is because it can’t be secret. It has to be public, so that people don’t get hurt.
That’s, in fact, one of the reasons why if you’ve ever seen the old-timey movies where it says, “Does anyone here know of a reason why this person can’t get married?” The reason they asked the question is not because someone can stand up and say, “Because I love her, that’s why!” It’s so they can stand up and say, um, because that’s
my cousin and he’s already married to da-da-da-da. That’s the reason why they asked that question.
That’s why the reason why they have it in a public space. So, you say, “OK fine, that’s wonderful, public space. What about the lawn at the local park? That’s pretty public.” OK fine, it is public, but it’s not connected to
what we believe about Christian marriage. What do we believe about Christian marriage, Father?
I’m glad you asked that question. You guys are so smart. We believe that if you’re called to marriage, you’re called to that vocation by God to live out your vocation to be a saint, that you’ve discerned this is the way that God has
called me to follow him as his disciple. In this marriage and the family that
comes from this is the way that God has called me to live out my
discipleship of Jesus. So it’s intrinsically, inherently connected to
your Christianity. It’s inherently connected to being a follower of Christ
is this vocation of marriage. And so it doesn’t make any sense to say, “Well, I’m gonna get married on the beach,” because why? Because it’s significant to me.
Well no, but this vocation is not about you. An example: I’m a priest. I don’t know if you could tell. My favorite place … one of my favorite places in the world is, my parents have a place on a lake. I live in Minnesota and we’re like, “We love the lake,”
right, so my favorite place in the world is to be on the lake, so how much sense would it have made, if I would have said, “Hey bishop, um, I know we have this ordination coming up. My family’s place on the lake is so important to me.
It’s so just really special to me. It would mean a lot to me if you could just come over and it would just be a couple people, some family, some friends and just ordain me on the … at the end of the dock because it would really be meaningful to me.” The bishop would say, “Um, no.” Why? Because Father Michael or pre-Father Michael,
your ordination is not about you. This is about the Church being given the gift of
your vocation to the priesthood. That’s the same thing for a wedding.
OK, this wedding, Jack and Jill, this wedding, it’s not about you. It’s about the Church being given the gift of your vocation to marriage in the family and what you’ve discerned is that you’ve discerned God is calling me to live out discipleship of him in marriage and family, just like I discerned that God was calling me to live out my vocation to be a disciple of his through the priesthood. So, this vocation is not about me and your vocation is not about you. It’s about following Christ in the Church. That’s why our weddings happen in the church to remind us at the end of the day, that it’s really about giving him glory. Yes, creation, give God glory. The woods, woods, give God glory. The beach gives God glory, but when you get married in a church, you’re not merely saying in a general way, my vocation, my marriage is meant to give God glory. You’re saying it in a very specific way. It’s about following Jesus and being a gift to
the kingdom of God, being a gift to the world. Your marriage is about being a gift,
not only to your spouse and to your children, but to the world in Jesus Christ. That’s why we get married in churches as Catholics and that’s why you should too, unless you’re called to be a priest or a religious sister,
in which case, do that instead. So, from all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name’s Father Mike. God bless.

Michael Martin

100 Responses

  1. In the Orthodox Christian Church, the ceremony for the Sacrament of Marriage can’t take place outside of a sanctified Orthodox Church or chapel. In fact, this rule is in place for all the sacraments, not just marriage. Sacraments must occur in a sanctified place.

  2. Thanks Father Mike. We showed this video to our Pre-Marriage class. The couples responded really well and I hope they check out more Ascension Presents YouTube Videos. Keep up the good work!

  3. This man cracks me up. I so appreciate that—so healing.

    I do not think many, maybe most of the things the Church asks us to do matters in the least. Certainly, in the cosmic scheme of things, the actual site of a marriage is trivial. BUT…it is nice to know the history and the rationale behind a rule. I would rather be well educated in my apostasy.

  4. My wedding is NOT about ME ( & my man)?? The church is just a building. Walls and a roof. God says wherever his ppl are gathered together THAT’s his church.

  5. No. The wedding is about me and my future wife. I don’t believe this is something jesus would have wanted. He probably would be like “let’s chill on these outdated and somewhat unneeded rules”. I don’t think the modern Catholic Church can call itself modern until these rules get revisited. They are effecting political views hat should not have any weight. I am catholic but I see that we hold onto old things that shouldn’t be.

  6. ** Catholic marriage, not Christian marriage. Plenty of Christians get married outside by ordained Christian ministers.

  7. I'm getting married in a United Methodist Church. Is this still considered proper in the Catholic tradition? It won't be with a Catholic priest.

  8. I just want to get married in a church with maybe 12 ppl. I don’t want no party just get married & that’s it

  9. Can you provide scripture to back this up? Trying to understand and ensure that it is not just a tradition – end up like the pharisees with useless traditions ending up as law.

  10. If the church is Christ's body (Ephesians 1:22-23) and we are Christ's body (1 Corinthians 12:27) than what makes "the church" a building, if marriage is giving vocation to the church it doesn't matter about the building, but about the people right?

  11. The rcc shoots it's self in the foot by idiotic decisions like not marrying people out side. I personally know of couples who got married by ministers from denominations I've never heard of because the rcc has this because I say so ruling. The have mass out side they have grave side burial outside. This whole thing makes no sense

  12. So basically its tradition… Because there is nothing wrong about being married outdoors.

    Everything you said while well presented was just a summary of why traditionally you should marry in a church. (Having it be a public display, and a symbol for the people of the church) Those reasons also can be applied to a lovely outdoor ceremony should you choose.

  13. Coming from a loving place and an open mind none of this is biblical. God is omnipresent meaning he is everywhere. Marrying inside a church doesn't make God more present then getting married in your living room. Where two or three are gathered he is in the midst. The covenant is made between God and your spouse to be a living example and demonstrate Godly love to one another (unconditional). Being in or out of a church has nothing to do with that covenant. Nor is it even biblical.

    Jesus was the sacrifice that religion could not fulfill. His blood is our atonement to purify us, by accepting that sacrifice on our behalf we are made holy and acceptable to God no matter where we are at.

  14. Location shouldn't matter. Why does the wedding have to be in a building since we are the church itself. We are the bride of Jesus, the groom. God isn't with us only when we are in a specific place or building, he is within us, living through the Holy Spirit we have received.

  15. I agree with the covering of our Father and having His blessing over a marriage. Period. The Holy Spirit is mobile, as long as it isn't in "secret". Remembering these are "Catholic" beliefs and if your under the "Catholic" beliefs you have to side with their "order". I do believe anyone believing in the living Christ and "living" to please our Lord and Savior will be just as EQUALLY blessed…. IF and only if…. a priest or pastor- knowing the couple are IN CHRIST JESUS.

  16. U guys shoot ur selves n the foot by not marrying people outside. People then find other denominations 2 marry them.

  17. The early churches were outdoors much like the early synagogues. Have you ever looked at the ancient Church of Ephesus?

    Also would it be premitted in modern times to get married in a Catholic cemetery? It's consecrated ground and is open to the public.

  18. See the conflicting concept here; for me at least, is that when we turn to Christ the Holy Spirit (God) fills our soul. So what I’m saying is say for example, there’s a beautiful church yard—I’m talking flowers, a gazebo, the works; and it’s technically on church property, if god is in our soul and hearts, why can’t we marry there? I believe that we can!

  19. How was the Catholic Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert, allowed a Catholic wedding in the courtyard of his palace?

  20. Your videos have been so helpful Thank you Father ! My Fiance is Dutch Christian Reformed and I am Catholic do I still need permission from the Bishop ? Due to the act in 1971 ?

  21. I’m sure 5000 years ago weddings were not in a church. Remember it’s about your heart. God is not contained to some building

  22. I usually dig your videos, but I definitely dissagree. Jesus made it pretty clear that we don't need a building for worship at all. Also, it doesn't matter what physical steps you take, what matters is what is in your heart. If in your heart, you glorify god in your marriage, I don't see how getting married outside is a problem at all. Like I said, I usually like your videos, but honestly, this time, your ideology is ridiculous and unbiblical.

  23. What if one wall falls down during the wedding? What if someone accidentally leaves the doors open? What if it's really windy and the whole building flies away in the middle of the ceremony?

  24. Brother of Christ I can teach you more on that if you like to listen reply back to me.

    Matthew 13:52 He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."

    Jesus is my father – Heavenly Jerusalem is my mother.

  25. The structure is not the church, The people are the church. An ordination or wedding could happen if you were surrounded by witnesses outside of a structure. The structure has no power the structure has no meaning, only the people who bear witness to Christ as followers.

  26. More crappy rules to control other people's lives… So, NOT ONE BIBLICAL REFERENCE WAS MADE IN THIS VIDEO!!! NOT ONE! (But he did quote "Braveheart") In all honesty, I can see an extraordinary disconnect here between reality and the world that priests have made for themselves. A wedding is about two people becoming one in the eyes of God, it is literally about them going through the process of going before Almighty God to become "ONE". The excuse that it is a "profession", a "job", well, with such pathetic descriptions of what marriage actually is I can see why so many consider it something they can just quite…….

    Ya know, marriage to an actual corporeal human being (ya know, someone with a pulse), might require assistance from one who will actually or has actually gone through the process. Just sayin'. Not that a priest can't have an opinion or good advice, they also will never have any skin in the game…

    Now, Fr. Mike has exposed something here. It would seem that Priests have the same view of marriage as they do vocation (not that a marriage is not work). They see their choice of vocation as no different as a man and women going before God to become one. This looks like a real source of problems down the line…., oh wait, "this looks like a real source of problems since a forever".

    Ya know, if Priests viewed marriage properly and could relate to the rest of humanity in their view, something tells me that there would be a bit fewer scandals……

  27. Thank you, Father Mike! I have struggled with this question, mostly in trying to explain the Church's instruction to marry in a church and with the proper form (Can 1108 – 1123). This puts it on such a personal and truly pastoral level.

  28. Though it would be a rare event, imagine the groom's mother is in ICU and her recovery is very poor at best. The groom wants his mom to be there at his side and the wedding is now being rushed and will proceed in ICU since she cant leave. Would form still prevail over substance? I pray not. Blessings…

  29. Oh brother! Now we can't get married outside? Jesus did most of his preaching outside. He was baptized outside. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that two people must exchange vows of marriage in a church. Father Schmitz once again proves he is only capable of spouting the standard Catholic propaganda with which he was brainwashed in the seminary.

  30. Is it bad/sin if someone chooses to be alone and doesn't get married or ordained for priest/monk/nun?

  31. "Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift a stone and you will find me."
    I tend to go with that. It's so deep. I see no theological reason not to get married outside if that's where you feel God's presence the most. It's mainly a traditional reason and the motivations for that are questionable in this case. If properly done, I see no problem with outdoor weddings at all.

  32. You can get married before God and the body of Christ outside of the Church Building. Quit Worshipping the Church building. There is nothing special about brick and mortar. The body of Christ is the people of Christ. That is religion at its finest. Following man made rules and completing a checklist doesn't get you into heaven. Relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior does.

  33. Been Catholic all my life Father. I agree with being married in the church. Seems so hippieish to get married on a non church setting.

  34. My father was not Catholic but my mother was. They got married with a small group of family and friends
    in her Manhattan apt in 1945.
    A priest married them. He was chattering about why my mother wouldn't marry a Catholic up to the ceremony. My aunt said "This is the man she is going to marry Father" Mixed marriages couldn't
    be done in the Church.
    I was a wedding photographer for
    20 years. At some weddings there were
    a priest and minister or rabbi in a Protestant church
    One wedding had all three.
    The rabbi said " And now over to the other station" as he handed the mike to the priest
    I did outdoor weddings with a priest if it was a mixed wedding.
    You see, the mixed weddings are banned in the Catholic Church.
    A little arrogant, don't you think?
    The more enlightened and tolerant
    clergyman participated together
    indoors or out.
    Some allowed photos during the ceremony, some did not. It was very educational to compare and contrast.

  35. and if the world knew anything and everything about St. Padre Pio in two places at one time in front of my eyes, they would recall his discust when Cardinal Bevilaqua stArted these money making movements of his mom this time around, St. Katherine Drexel,who by the way had a cousin married to one of my moms brothers kids who ddo not show up billionaires or multi millionaires. Also, he hated the thoughts of Mayor Street and CARDINAL BevilAQUA roamed to Drexel University with him insteAd of someone appropriate like rAFAEL THE aRCHngel, Mike Daily, who is a graduate in Me chanical Enginneering from there and also graduated from Ryan Catholic High School.

  36. I think with everything being posted on you tube these days, even if someone is married in the woods, it’ll get slapped publicly on the internet at some point.

  37. Doesn't make sense. Baptisms aren't about the baby, nor is Mass about the congregation, yet they can be outside. Stop talking out of both sides of your miuth

  38. My counter argument proposed in the form of a question: What if one desired to have a quiet ceremony only advertised to immediate family inside the walls of the Catholic Church? How is this any different than having the same ceremony performed 20 ft. outside the doors of the Church on the grassy shaded area where the soon to be bride and groom originally met as they crossed paths when frequenting this area to pray and reflect , as a perfect place to celebrate Gods plan for them? I agree with many of your teachings Father. But I respectfully must challenge the arguments presented here. I truly remain open to clarification.

  39. As a 20-year-old Catholic, I never understand why Catholics had to get married in a church. I would it would be much more lovely to get married in a garden or on a beach; until I saw this video! I learnt so much!! Thank you Fr Mike for a great video!

  40. My boyfriend and I can't get married because I get ssi and ssd and my boyfriend gets ssi and if we do get married we will loose our benefits but we live together

  41. I've wondered this before since I've watched a lot of those beautiful wedding videos and love the explanation that Fr.Mike gave. Makes total sense!

  42. As a follow up I would ask all priests to preach on the vocation of marriage more often…
    It takes years to be a priest, …One year to receive Holy Communion and Confirmation….
    but only 6 Pre-Cana meetings, to receive the Sacrament of Marriage…Not good enough!
    Personally, I wouldn't have needed an Annulment, if I had the proper instruction back in the day….

  43. Original meeting places in the Bible were the houses of those who believe, the Church is the believers , not a building .

  44. I grew up Protestant (Presbyterian) then became Catholic as a adult (15 years, Eucharistic minister and Catholic school principal) I now have come to believe that almost every thing Fr mike said here was BS. Christ is everywhere (Baltimore catechism). I don’t know who I trust least now, conservative evangelicals or Catholic priests. All misguided weirdos.

  45. But the church is not merely a building. The church is the assembly of Christian believers. So I'm not understanding this explanation.

  46. All this rules about marriage but is so easy to offer someone the sacrament of confirmation even though they don’t know the faith. That’s wrong!

    My cousin married in the church. Never practiced Catholicism. He seems to be an agnostic yet he traveled to Nicaragua, they confirmed him and marry him. 2 years later he wanted a divorce, why because he doesn’t know the faith yet they were quick to confirm him.

    We have all this rules but many times the clergy is not using common sense.

  47. As someone that grew up catholic,this just doesnt matter to me any more w everything that's happened w the archdiocese in the past years.theres other denominations that let you get married outside,plus the fact he says they dont want you getting if t by at person ends up being married to some other person ha that's laughable considering the church has let young people get hurt the past decades.this is why I dont give money any more to the archdiocese,nothing but hypocritical people!

  48. Wow is he that dumb And I’m glad Jesus isn’t. It’s about the covenant between man woman and God. The building or location is irrelevant. He isn’t living in a box. How many outdoor weddings are in the Bible. I could think one very important one. False condemnation if you ask me.

  49. So crazy that this just happened to pop up on my recommended watch feed because I am going to my brother-in-law’s out door garden wedding next weekend LOL I don’t think I’ll show him this

  50. Couldn't the church go to the beach and celebrate marriage of two people? Still a family affair. I get it the history about being married in private and the implications. But if the church is invited to the ceremony that is in a public atmosphere, how come that would not count? Church is the people, not a building. Just curious.

  51. It’s got to do with something about money. Just like when you are a victim who had no control over abuse and had to get a divorce to save your life. You have to pay money to get married again.

  52. I'm a Baptist, yet I really enjoy your videos. I don't agree with all of them, or even many of them, if I did I would be Catholic instead of Baptist. This is one however I wholeheartedly agree with one hundred percent. My mother is Catholic,. I went to Catholic school for a time (jr. high years), yet I am Baptist. I learn a lot from your channel. Your points here are well made and spot on. Every Christian young couple should see this. Catholic, Protestant or Eastern Orthodox. Thank you.

  53. You can get married anywhere . Remember god judges the heart , he looks at a mans heart , not materials or deeds .

  54. I would get married in a church but those who have proposed to me never mentioned anything about getting married in a church but rather offered the court house…um…nope lol.

  55. Timeout, but this logic ties the definition of the church to a building and not to the actual people who are the church. If one is married in public by an ordained minister of the Gospel surrounded by the church, inside or outside, then that marriage is valid and true and pleasing to God.

  56. Father, I am the chair of my parish council. I pray every meeting that our elected group can be guided by god to do his will within our small parish. Can you do a video on this specific group and what our duty can be and mean to just a small parish?

  57. Sorry, but I'm disappointed.  All we have is opinion, and nothing to back it up from an authoritative reference.  Like Rooster Cogburn said, "Chapter and verse sister, chapter and verse."  Psalms 24 says, "The earth is the Lords, and all that is in it.  The world and those that dwell therein."  It's all His!  Where do you think that Adam and Eve were joined?  To borrow from someone, if an ordained minister is performing the marriage out on a mountaintop, it should be just as valid in the church as if it were in a cathedral.

  58. Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament in every church. How it is possible that a Catholic doesn't want to get marriage in the church, in front of tabernacle? Are such Catholics are aware of what they believe in?

  59. my parents got married (by the Parish Priest} in the rectory,not in the church,way back in 1939 Besides the priest and my mother and father,2 other people were there.

  60. I THINK THAT IN CATHOLIC CHURCH CAN BE REFORMED IN TERMS HOW INDIVIDUALLY DIVORCE FROM CASE TO CASE.CAUSE IF HE LEFT BECAUSE OF RASISM OR THAT WANT TO LISTEN HIS MOTHER ME WHY IS MY FAULT??

  61. I had an uncle (Catholic) who married a protestant in the 70's. They had an outdoor wedding on a lake, but they have a private ceremony with witnesses with the priest in the church just prior to the outdoor wedding. So the private ceremony was in the church – and the public ceremony was on the lake (again, with the priest). Was that all legitimate within the church? I am assuming so – how common is this if a person does want an outdoor wedding?

  62. I’ve been trying to find something to help me figure this out. But maybe somebody from here can help me out with my question.

    My question is what is considered or what does he mean by …need to get married in a “church”? Does it mean a Catholic church specifically or any church?

  63. Dear father Mike😀
    Im 39 years old and I was baptised in the Catholic Church as a baby but I turned against the church as a kid as I was told by a couple of nuns as a kid that I was evil,so it made me feel like maybe god doesn’t love me. Fast forward many years I have now come back to my catholic roots. I was married at 21 outdoors and then divorced 5 or so years later. My question is can I get married again ? And if so can I marry in the church?

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