My finance and I are both born and raised in the Catholic church.
We want to have a non-traditional destination wedding on a beach in Key West, but we want to make sure when we have kids they can be baptised in the Catholic church. Does anyone know if we don't necessarily get married in the church if that will mess any thing up for the future? We plan on having a catholic officiant at our ceremony. I just want to make sure if we should do anything to make our marriage "official" in the Catholic church. Any input on this would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Call your priest. I believe you can have a convalidation ceremony, if you want your marriage to be recognized as a sacrament in the Catholic Church.
I also think that you can just get married and raise your kids Catholic with no problem, even if you don't get your marriage convalidated.
@3xaCharm: You can just get a convalidation, true... but if you want the kids to go to a Catholic school, convalidation is not really an option. They will often want to see the certificate of Catholic marriage or convalidation beforehand. So you will have to get one.
The good news is that it's easier to get a convalidation than to actually get married in the church (I suppose they figure it's too late to be coy at that stage, seeing as convalidation happens after the fact). Takes about 10 minutes and is part of a regular mass service. Ask your priest for further details...
My parents got married in the Catholic Church literally 8 years ago. I was baptized Catholic, raised Catholic, had all of my sacraments, and went to Catholic school 1st-12th grade. No problems at all. I had no idea that there are Catholic schools that won't accept kids whose parents aren't married in the Catholic Church; that seems kind of cruel.
Convalidation is not necessarily a given, and your priest may try and discourage you from going that route, so make sure you talk to him beforehand like 3xaCharm says!
Talk to your priest. However, it shouldn't affect your children receiving sacraments or attending a Catholic school, at least, not in the area that I'm in.
I didn't even know convalidation existed! Or that you actually had to be catholic to go to a catholic school... I went to a catholic school prep-grade 6 and a LOT of the other kids were aetheist or anglican.
I don't think baptising your child if you're not married in a catholic church would be much of an issue in this day and age (as opposed to what it may have been 30 years ago), but I'd check with your local priest just in case.
This is a good question. My SO and I were both raised, baptized, and confirmed Catholic. Neither one of us practices now, but we're looking for a church that we'll like when we move next month. Let us know how this works, I'm sure I'll be looking for the same advice soon!
@Rachel631: That must depend on where you are and on the school itself. I went to a Catholic high school where many people were openly not Catholic. We even had a handful of Jews and a Hindu girl.
OP, I wouldn't worry too much right now about your marriage affecting your children's ability to go to Catholic school.
@Lauracpiper11: You will need to either get married in the Church or get a convalidation if you want to raise your kids Catholic.
Not sure what you mean by Catholic officiant - person who is Catholic officiating, ok, but a priest will not do a wedding outside a church. You will have to have another ceremony in the church or convalidation for it to be recognized by the church. However, for kids to attend a Cathlic school (here) they ask for their baptism certificate and one of the parents' baptism certificates... so you should check out the procedure in your area and the marriage may not matter. Though I guess if you are not married in the Catholic church they may see you not married and living together as a bad thing... is tricky, you should see the school application process.
@zerlina: I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm just wondering why? I, and plenty of other people I know, were raised Catholic by parents who weren't married in the Catholic Church but were baptized Catholic.
@HappierKate: In order to be in good standing with the Church, you have to have your marriage either through the Church or get your marriage convalidated. You're not even supposed to receive Eucharist if you're Catholic and married without the Church's permission. You're considered to be living in mortal sin everyday if you marry outside of the Church or do not get a dispensation.
I mean theoretically you may be able to get your kids baptized regardless, although I imagine it depends on the specific church and the priest. I just did a search and most churches actually do seem to allow it--but they also can refuse it on the basis of the parent living in mortal sin. But I wouldn't agree with baptizing your children in the Church when you as a Catholic are not in good standing--and I'm a pretty liberal Catholic.
Note that you are still in good standing if you get a dispensation or convalidation of your marriage. The couples that you mentioned and your parents may have gotten permission to marry outside of the Church, so their marriages would be recognized as valid. I don't know what these situations were, of course, but all that mattters is that the Church gives the couple permission to marry.
@zerlina: That makes sense. I'm pretty sure most of the people I'm talking about are cradle Catholics who just don't really practice, but still baptized their kids for the sake of baptizing them. I don't agree with doing this (I believe you should raise your children to be Catholic if you baptize them to be Catholic; you do make a promise that you will), but I know it's what my parents did with me until my sister was preparing for her first Communion and it changed their entire attitude about going to church. They still didn't get a convalidation until we were all out of the house, though, I'm not really sure why.
@bella128: Actually, Catholic weddings can be done outside the church although it is not preferred; such requires a special dispensation from the bishop, and you must meet certain requirements to qualify for this. Most people don't bother, or simply say it's not allowed because of the amount of hassel involved.
@Lauracpiper11: Reiterating PPs, check with your priest to see what options are available to you with regards to children/sacraments/Catholic education in your area. While some guidelines are set by the Church, how they are enforced/applied varies from place to place and is often left to the discretion of the pastor.
We actually can't get married in the church, because my parish doesn't allow for weddings during Lent (we are getting married literally 2 weeks before Easter weekend). I already talked to our priest about it, and he was very open to whenever we wanted to do the convalidation. We will probably do it sooner rather than later, before I switch parishes - I actually sing at the church, but I don't live close by anymore. I just chose never to leave :-)
My parents are a little happier in that situation anyway. I was baptized Catholic, because my dad is. However, the priest told my parents that he had to remarry them right then and there, my mom had some words with the priest, and long story short, my dad hasn't taken communion since.
My parents went to the courthouse to get married and wanted to baptize us kids and they said it was optional to get married in the church for us to be baptized. They wanted it to be recognized so they got married again. But it's funny, I was a single mom (engaged now) and when I called to have my daughters baptized they didn't even bother asking if I was married in the church, or married at all for that matter!
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