(Closed) Question about Convalidation

posted 7 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

A convalidation is not the Church’s way to allow Catholics to legally marry but to have a big frilly wedding after-the-fact for the sake of the thrill.  Canon Law actually prohibits convalidation to be a way for a couple to have two weddings.  Overall the convalidation exists because Catholics are not allowed to get married outside of the Church and if they want to come back into communion with the Church, they need a way to make their marriages right before God and his Church.  As such, its a way to fix a mistake that has been made.

My suggestion to you would be to look into other insurance possibilities before you are married and to talk the situation over with the parish priest.  While its important to keep medical coverage and to take care of our healths, its important not to allow the system to force us to take measures that degrade and devalue the institution of marriage.  Marriage should not be looked upon as primarily a way to gain medical benefits.  I mean, how is that different than two people marrying solely for the purpose of gaining citizenship?

I would encourage you rather to see if perhaps you can marry sooner with a smaller and simpler service in the Church and perhaps have a big reception later.  Honestly, I found my own reception to be a rather stressful event.  A lot of brides don’t even get to eat at their receptions.  I was so busy making sure I greeted all the guests and thanked people for coming, that my husband felt ignored.  Meanwhile our ceremony was wonderful and relaxed.  I felt so blessed to marry my husband in front of God.  It was such a special moment. 

My sister and her husband are having a second reception down in another State so that family members who weren’t able to come up north for the wedding can celebrate their wedding.  Its many months after their wedding, but it’ll be still fun to celebrate.  Consider what is most important, weigh it all out and realize that its just one day in your life.  Its what it means for the lifetime that makes it so special.  Honestly all my fantasies about the wedding day were just fantasies.  I’m not saying I didn’t have a beautiful wedding, but the frills are really overrated.

Post # 4
Member
133 posts
Blushing bee

@Cassandra13187:  If you’re planning to get married at the Vatican, the Vatican recommends that you get legally (not in a church) married in the US, first.  The reason is that the paperwork from the Vatican takes awhile, so it’s easier to have a US marriage certificate.

A legal marriage before a Catholic ceremony is perfectly fine as long as you act like you’re not married in the time between the civil and Catholic ceremony (because as far as God is concerned, you’re not married).  So any sex after the civil ceremony but before the Catholic one is considered premarital sex. Your wedding anniversary would be the date of the Catholic wedding, etc.

I would talk to a priest before doing it (the one that is going to marry you), but stress that the reason is for insurance until you can be married and assure him that you plan to act unmarried until the Catholic ceremony.  In addition to his approval, there might be other legal issues involved with holding a wedding ceremony for two people that are already legally married.

 

 

Post # 5
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

comments related to Catholicbee’s comments.  I’ve never heard this about marrying at the Vatican.  I would make sure to double check to see how your priest would be willing to accomodate you. 

My experiences with both my wedding and my sister’s wedding would have said this option is not a possibility.   I also know that Canon Law doesn’t seem to allow it.  Overall though you’re not going to know anything till you talk to the pastor.

Post # 6
Member
133 posts
Blushing bee

Canon law does not allow two religious ceremonies to take place one after the other because you can only be married once. However, canon law also does not recognize civil marriages.

In fact, in most parts of the world, you need to sign paperwork to be legally married then have a religious ceremony. The US is unique in that priests are allowed to act as representatives of the government when signing marriage certificates.

Post # 7
Member
44 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I am actually basically in this situation.  My hubby and I had a tiny civil ceremony in order to be married before he left for Air Force stuff, because he wanted me on his insurance and to be next-of-kin and all that jazz.  We had already been engaged for a year anyway.  We talked to the priest beforehand and he told us that basically, the legal ceremony has nothing to do with the Catholic ceremony.  Granted, our priest is very understanding and probably as liberal as a priest can be.  He’s going to marry us in the church come April, and was absolutely ok with everything.  Granted, he never mentioned that we were not supposed to act as a married couple until the Catholic ceremony, but he knew we already lived together and possibly thought that was a lost cause lecture 🙂  

So really, go talk to the priest who you want to perform the religious ceremony.  Each parish is a bit different since each priest is a bit different.  Good luck to you!

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