Post # 1
Planning far in advance, but curious…
My husband and I were married in a lovely, outdoor ceremony by a Catholic Bishop and a Rabbi in the presence of 150 family and friends. Two years later and months away from thinking about having children, I am more and more bothered by the fact that I did not get married in the church and, more so, that our marriage is not blessed nor recongnized by the Catholic church (we plan to baptize our children).
Recently, my husband and I have discussed going through a Convalidation Ceremony for our 5th or 10th Anniversary. A priest from my hometown who has a close relationship with my family said he would be part of the ceremony; however, he said that we would have to be residents of my home state, which we are no longer.
A few questions for the group:
- Has anyone every been through this ceremony? If so, what is it like? (e.g. Could I have my children and parents present? Can we renew our vows at the same time? Where does it take place?)
- Does anyone know anything about archdiocese laws? Can my hometown priest perform the ceremony at the Church in our town in a different state?
- Would it be inappropriate to throw an anniversay party following the ceremony with very close friends and family (looking forward to celebrating where everyone lives have gone in the time we’ve been married — having our children and husbands all together….)
Thank you for you thoughts, everyone.
Post # 2
The only question I can answer is about the priest marrying you. Priests marrying/preforming a ceremony out of their home parish is entirely dependent on the parish that you are getting married at and if the local priest believes that you have a relationship that warrents it. For example, the parish priest where I got married is pretty laid back, and the priest who married us was my uncle. That was pretty easy to get the go ahead for. It would be harder if the priest is not a family member. I have heard stories about people wanting to be married by the priest they both were close to in college who intruduced them that was turned down by the local priest. The established relationship is important.
Post # 3
1. You will have to go through all of the same marriage preparation as a couple getting married for the first time, since this is your first time in the eyes of the Church.
2. The parish that you do your marriage prep at should be the one that you are having the convalidation at, and will give you a chance to establish a relationship with your local priest.
3. I don’t see any reason why your hometown priest couldn’t be involved as a second witness just as visiting priests are involved in weddings even when the main priest is from the church you’re in.
4. Yes, your family can come and participate, if you want them to. Your priest should be glad that your convalidation is supported by your family.
5. I see no reason why you can’t celebrate having your marriage recognized by the Church!
Post # 4
I don’t have nitty gritty details about logistics, but my future in-laws had a convalidation ceremony many years ago. Their original wedding took place outside the church without official approval. FFIL is Catholic, and FMIL is Protestant. It was only later that FFIL learned that technically the church didn’t recognize the marriage because of the location. Per FI, the priest thought it was unnecessary for them to do it since they had been married for so long already, but they did it anyway.
Post # 5
I’m wondering how you had a priest officiate your wedding – I’ve never known a priest who would perform a ceremony outside the church since the church won’t recognize it.
Post # 6
Thank you, everyone. Sounds like I form a relationship with the local parish priest(s) over the next few years and see where that takes us. My father and mother are very close to our priest from home — he having helped my family through many ups and downs. If that’s not enough of a reason for our parish, perhaps just having him as witness would be the way to go.
The priest (bishop) who married us was technically “exommunicated” as he “came out” while in the priesthood. He is a priest for his own parish that is a more liberal (not recognized) Catholic church. We actually had formed a wonderful relationship with a Deacon who was going to preside over our wedding outside of the church. Two months into planning with him and prepping paperwork to send off to the Vatican, his son got engaged and they chose our wedding date! Wasn’t meant to be.