Post # 1
I am having my wedding in a really beautiful garden in my hometown. We’re not doing the wedding ceremony in the church even though I am Catholic because of a number of complex family reasons. However, I very much want as Catholic a ceremony as possible in this setting — with bible readings, prayers, responsorial psalm, etc. and the sermon by the priest. Do Catholic priests offer the same kind of services to garden weddings as they do to church weddings? Can a Convalidation ceremony have some “nuptual mass” elements to it? Or does it have a different ritual structure? I am lost here. I haven’t even spoken to my priest yet about this, but I am eager to know from other brides if they are having a Convalidation ceremony in a garden instead of a mass ceremony in a church.
Post # 3
A convalidation is actually a ceremony performed after the wedding to bring your marriage into the church. It typically happens when a couple couldn’t (or chose not to) get married in a Catholic ceremony for whatever reason, and then decide later on that they would like to have their marriage validated by the church. The convalidation process is actually very similar to the process for a nuptial mass, which also means you’ll have a pretty hard time finding a priest willing to perform a convalidation outside of a church. Here’s a website that explains convalidation. Does that help any?
Post # 4
We’re having a convalidation a week after our civil ceremony. The way it was explained to me is that we go to mass (you know, regular ol’ mass) and then afterwards we stay behind, the priest blesses our rings, and that’s pretty much it. Don’t know if that helps. I’d love it if a priest could “unofficially” bless our marriage outside. Don’t know if they would!
Post # 5
I may be wrong, but I think a convalidation is a separate ceremony done in the church after a couple has a ceremony that for some reason (like marriage of a Catholic outside the church) was not a valid sacramental marriage.
A priest will not do a garden wedding. As for your wedding, I am sure that you can find an officiant who will allow you to add some Catholic-style elements. You can do a garden wedding with an officiant of another faith or a civil officiant or I’ve even seen some catholic (but not “Roman Catholic”) priests who aren’t in full communion with Rome that will also do garden weddings.
Unfortunately, no matter what officiant you use, if you are a practicing Catholic and marry outside the Church, your marriage won’t be recognized by the Church as sacramentally valid and you would still need to do a convalidation, should you wish to make it so. To have the marriage convalidated, it’s my understanding that you will still have to be free to marry, do the marriage preparation, etc. You will also be “asked” to live chastely until the convalidation ceremony. The ceremony is more of a vow renewal than a big wedding ceremony.
Post # 6
Oh. Well I suppose I feel sheepish. I was under the impression the convalidation was the same thing as a wedding blessing. Can a Catholic priest simply perform a wedding blessing in the garden? And we can have some kind of do-it-yourself Catholic wedding? With the priest just blessing it? I don’t care if the church recognizes it or not. I just want to perform the ritual the best I can even though I cannot be in a church. I just want to know if anyone else is doing a Catholic or Christian blessing….
But it sounds like maybe I should think about asking an Episcopalian priest these favors…
Post # 7
Your priest might do a wedding blessing for you; but you’ll definitely have to ask him since it will kinda be up to his personal preferences. Good luck!
Post # 8
Yes, it’s possible for a priest to do a blessing ceremony outdoors, though of course as everyone’s said it’s not recognized by the church. But I know for sure it’s legal and possible because my in-laws had one. I think it depends on the priest, what he is willing or able to do.