Post # 1
I’m a Catholic and FI is not. He was christened in the Church of England, but nothing since then and he is not particularly religious. I did want a Catholic ceremony, but FI is uncomfortable with it, understandably. He is worried that he’ll be “left out” of a religious ceremony because they are not his beliefs and most Catholic rituals/readings are foreign to him. Fair enough, it’s his wedding too, and I want us to both be happy and comfortable, so we’re having a non-religious ceremony.
However it’s still important to me to have the marriage recognized by the Catholic church. Is there a way we can do this afterward? Have our marriage blessed or recognized by a priest in some way?
If it helps, FI has agreed to raise our children Catholic if I choose, and he has no intention of “converting me” or taking me away from my faith. He’s just not particularly into the idea of having a Catholic ceremony.
Post # 3
yes, you can totally have you marriage blessed/recognized by the church. it’s called a convalidation and it’s actually very common. every parish is different, so contact your parish/priest and they can give you all the details on how they handle it 🙂
Post # 4
You can, it’s called a convalidation. However, the church an be pretty strict in when they will do them. I would definitely talk to a priest to see what your options are. You can also have a Catholic ceremony but without Communion.
Post # 5
we are doing a convalidation after our ceremony because it is important to people in each of our families. you can absolutely do that, BUT i would be shocked if they let your FI through a convalidation process without being catholic, or at the very least “catholic”… you will have to do a marriage encounter class and i an guessing that your FI will nee to take some sort of adult communion/confirmation class.
i could be wrong about this, but from the research ive done my understanding of convalidation is that you are basically saying that you both regret getting married outside the church and both want to be recognized by the catholic church, so many parishes are slightly less flexible than they might be for a marriage ceremony between a catholic and a christian.
like PP said, its best to talk to a priest in your area because in the months of planning i have done i have gotten different answers on most things (when i got answers at all).
Post # 6
Definitely talk to your priest. You might also ask your priest to explain what a Catholic wedding ceremony without communion would be like. You might find that there are readings that your FI would feel comfortable with. Maybe he wouldn’t, but it’s worth a shot. But your priest will be your first stop anyway as each parish & diocese may handle convalidations differently.
Post # 7
FI is Catholic and I am not. We are planning on having a Catholic ceremony minus Communion, but we are also going to premarital counseling before our big day. Absolutely talk to your priest as it varies from parish to parish; I haven’t heard of any brides in my local area having issues with this though (:
Post # 8
We considered this because FI is Catholic and I am not and we want an outside ceremony. However we learned (according to his priest) that to have he marriage “blessed” and recognized he would have to go to confession because we would actually be living in sin according to the church because we wouldnt be technically married. We would have to technically “anull” our marriage in the eyes of the church and redo our vows. I was offended by this (FI confessing our marriage as a sin?… Seriously!?). So check with this priest!!!
However, it’s very important for FI for the marriage to be recognized sO he could continue to take communion, baptize our kids, etc. Our solution is to have a small immediate-family only Catholic ceremony the day before in the Catholic ceremony, and our big ceremony at our outdoor venue the next day. We will make that one more personal and fun (write our own vows, had our friend officiate) since we will be officially married already.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone! I know FI won’t go for a Catholic ceremony of any kind, even without communion, so that’s out..I didn’t realize he needed to be Catholic for convalidation 🙁 This is a nightmare. I want to continue to receive communion and raise my children in the church, but now I can’t unless our marriage is recognized, correct? And I can’t do that unless FI converts?? 🙁
I’m going to have to talk to my priest. Siiiigh.
Post # 10
According to Canon Law, he doesn’t need to be Catholic for convalidation. Bostongirl27’s priest may have insisted for some reason, but most of the time the non-Catholic half of the couple doesn’t have to convert in order to get the marriage convalidated.
Hollyberry4’s take on convalidation is also a little misinformed – not saying it’s her fault, I suspect the priest or her FI didn’t do a good job of explaining. The reason why her FI can’t take Communion and needs to go to confession ahead of convalidation is because in the Catholic church, marriage is a sacrament, and Catholics have a responsibility to get married in the Church. If a Catholic chooses to get married elsewhere, that then becomes a rejection of one of the Sacraments. When you reject one of them, you separate yourself from the others and you distance yourself from God. That’s why a Catholic who marries outside the Church can’t take Communion and needs to go to confession.
Post # 11
@KCKnd2: “ and you distance yourself from God”
Wow. That’s just…wrong.
Post # 12
@KCKnd2: “According to Canon Law, he doesn’t need to be Catholic for convalidation. Bostongirl27’s priest may have insisted for some reason, but most of the time the non-Catholic half of the couple doesn’t have to convert in order to get the marriage convalidated.”
and with that you proved my point that the entire thing is ridiculously confusing and prohibitively complicated so really OP’s only recourse is to talk to her priest and seek out other priests if hers won’t give her the info she needs. if what you are quoting is canon law, why dont all parishes have the same answer priests?
i have read many things that back up what hollyberry4 was told. thankfully no priest actually told us that or we wouldnt be doing it either.
Post # 13
@HerNameWasLola: Good luck! A Catholic ceremony with no Communion is probably not too bad for him; it does involve some prayer, so if he’s uncomfortable with any prayer at a wedding, it wouldn’t be too fantastic for him. We had the option of only doing one reading, but I think it had to be a Gospel with a homily afterwards? I’m not entirely sure, we opted for a full Mass so I didn’t pay too close attention to the one reading option.
Good luck pinning down the amount of prayer that you guys want in your wedding! It’s hard to reach a compromise, I know, but your priest will be able to help you figure things out.