Once again: civil marriage before ceremony in church

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@inspiration86:  It’s the Sacrament of Marriage regardless of when it happens. The words “wedding” and “convalidation” are pretty inconsequential. I wouldn’t focus on them. You are recieving the Sacrament if the church ceremony is your legal one or comes afterward. Why get hung up about it? 

Post # 4
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@MexiPino:  is right. Even if you are married by the civil authority, the ceremony you have at the church is still what counts from a spiritual perspective. The terminology doesn’t really matter, you don’t have to put “convalidation ceremony” all over your programs or anything. It is something new, it is NOT a vow renewal but a NEW act of consent on the part of the bride and groom.

It really does depend on your diocese and/or parish how elaborate they will alllow you to have your ceremony if you are already legally married.

I went to a wedding several years ago where the couple had been married legally for months due to military issues. It was an elaborate, Southern Georgia, snow-white wedding Mass/convalidation! And it was at their parish church where the priests are EXTREMELY strict and conservative. I think part of it was that I believe the couple were waiting to have sex until their “real” Catholic vows.

Meanwhile, back in my Northern home diocese, there are official rules requiring that convaldiations not even have bridal parties.

Post # 7
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I wouldn’t worry about this. Marriage is a one time thing in Catholicism. The religious marriage occurs when you say your vows in a church. This is why the Catholic convalidation forms say “date of ‘attempted’ marriage” when you declare your date of civil marriage. If you are both Catholic, this prior civil marriage is just an attempt… not the real thing!

I know plenty of people who couldn’t get a license to be married in a church, and who therefore got their civil license first and had their religious ceremony afterwards. you are not alone.

Post # 9
Member
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@inspiration86:  You do that with various offices- DMV, Social Security, etc… that doesn’t actually happen at the wedding. It’s different in every county, so I would suggest looking up the rules for where you live. 

Post # 10
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@inspiration86:  If you are in the United States you can change your name whenever you want. After your civil wedding or 5 years after your church wedding.

Post # 11
Member
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@inspiration86:  If it helps they also have the 2 ceremonies in Mexico due to legal requirements (in many Mexican states you cannot be legally married in the eyes of the gov. unless it’s performed by a judge). So many Catholic mexican’s end up having a civil marriage at the courthouse and the “real” wedding ceremony & reception at the church with their family, friends, & priest…. 

Post # 12
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@inspiration86:  It’s up to you. Changing your name is optional, and is a legal thing, not a religious thing, like PPs say. I never changed my name, for example.

However, I do know that many people prefer to wait until after their church ceremony to change their name, because they think the church ceremony is the “real” ceremony.

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