Contemporary Catholics are often searching for a non-judgmental, sacramental experience different from that offered by the institutional church. You may want to have a Catholic wedding but may not be permitted, for various reasons, by the Roman church. The American National Catholic Church offers you an alternative.
Those entering into second marriages, those experiencing religious and other differences with the church, will find openness and acceptance here. We provide marriage services in a joyful and loving manner.
Perhaps you have concerns about perceived barriers? We treat you with the same care Christ gave to all who came to him. The choice of location for your wedding is yours. Depending on weather and other factors, ceremonies may be held out-of-doors. You may hold your wedding at one of our chapels, or arrange to use another interdenominational church or chapel. Hotels, banquet halls, private homes, museums and other locales are other options. A wedding consultant or the yellow pages can yield additional suggestions.
- Personalization of Wedding Ceremonies: We will be pleased to assist you in personalizing your wedding ceremony. There are many ways in which this can be accomplished. Options for readings, both from the scriptures and other sources, which speak to marriage are available. Vows can be written by you or chosen from more traditional options. Ceremonies which speak to various ethnic groups such as the coin, rope and veil, hand fasting or jumping-the-broom ceremonies can also be accommodated. Unity candles, roses to parents and other more traditional activities can be easily included. Discussing your wishes with one of our priests is the best way to assure that your day is special.
- Nuptial Mass & Wedding Ceremonies: Your wedding ceremony will be very similar to that celebrated in the Roman church since we share the same liturgical forms. Because the American National Catholic Church is ecumenical in spirit, all people participating in the ceremony are invited to the altar for communion, regardless of religious affiliation. Wedding ceremonies can also be celebrated outside of the Mass.
- Previous Marriages: As Catholics, we believe in the sanctity of marriage; we also realize that we are only too human. When a marriage ends through divorce, it is often evidence that the essential element of marriage did not exist to maintain the bond. While we do not have an annulment or dispensation process, remarriage is allowed in order to avoid further human tragedy. From this perspective, we solemnize remarriages with the joy and the peace of Christ.
- Religious Differences: As an ecumenical community, the American National Catholic Church is inclusive. We encourage you to consider how religious differences might impact your relationship. It is not one of those easily overlooked issues. We only ask that you raise any children in a loving household and teach them to love God and one another as He loves us, wholly and completely.
- Marriage Preparation: Your marriage represents a change in how you see yourself and your relationship with others. It is both exciting and frightening. You can control only part of what happens to you. Your family and friends are here to support you and so is the community as a whole. Marriage preparation courses and individual counseling can help. We encourage you to take time to prepare yourselves for marriage and we will assist you as time and distance allow. Your marriage will work only if both of you are committed to making it work. Ideally, the priest would like to meet with you at least once before the ceremony.
- Recognition by the Roman Catholic Church: Each jurisdiction has its own criteria for recognition of sacraments. The American National Catholic Church is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Through apostolic succession we are part of the larger Catholic tradition, and we celebrate the same sacraments as those in the Roman and Orthodox communities. Your marriage will be legal with the state and a sacrament in the eyes of God.
How Do I Secure a Priest or Deacon?
To secure an ANCC priest or deacon, please email the Office of the Chancellor at Chancellor@ANCCmail.org. If we have clergy in your area, we will put you in contact with a member of our Church. For couples prepared to cover travel-related expenses, our members may be able to journey to your location.