Post # 1
I have a question for all of you Catholic bees out there. My Fiance is Catholic, and I am Protestant. We are getting married in a Presbyterian Church (neither of us is Presbyterian). We basically had to take any church we could get because we are getting married on a Sunday and finding a church was an issue. When we were trying to choose a church, my Fiance said that he had to be married by a priest in a Catholic Church so he could receive (I don’t even know if this is the correct word to use here) the sacrament of matrimony.
Needless to say, I was very shocked. Only because he is non-practicing. He has not been to church the entire time we have been dating (4 years) and his family is not particularly religious either. He said that he has received all the others (sacraments that is) so far, and he wants to get them all, just in case he wants to be active in the church again someday. In the same breath, he has said that he does not care if our children are raised in the Catholic Church or not. Confusing, no? Getting married in a Catholic Church, however, was not really an option for other reasons, mostly because of my family’s views (completely ridiculous reasoning, but my father was raised in a staunch Irish Protestant family and carries all of those biases with him). My Fiance understands this and is okay with it.
Whatever his reasoning, I respect his wishes, and (kind of) understand where he is coming from. My question is this, can we get our marriage recognized by the church later, for his sake? I have read a little about some sort of later validation. I have no intention of converting, and hope that would not be necessary. Do any of you know? Thanks for reading my long post!
Post # 3
I am a Catholic that would go to church every sunday. My husband at the time wasnt. We got married at our local city hall. After the marriage, he started to come with me to church on sundays.. not because I forced him, he kind of just offered. Its been one year (this coming saturday) since weve been married & we are now in the process of going through all the necessary steps of getting our marriage validated (convalidation) through the Catholic church. We have been going to meet with the Deacon, he is counceling us & is a huge HELP for us. My husband also didnt have all the sacraments completed in order to receive the Sacrament of marriage.. so he will be taking faith formation classes in order to get that done.
Post # 4
So what I’m understanding from your post is that your husband is not a practicing Catholic and you are not getting married in a Catholic ceremony. But he would like to know there is an option for bringing your marriage into the church if he ever decides to start practicing again. Is that right?
Convalidation is the process for bringing an “invalid” marriage into the church. Basically, the Catholic church recognizes all marriages, no matter what venue the ceremony is performed in. However, sacramental marriages (i.e. valid marriages in the church’s eyes) only occur through a specific process. The convalidation process is a lot like the regular marriage process. You’ll need to meet with a priest, provide baptism/confirmation certificates for your Fiance, go through Pre-Cana, etc… The ceremony is usually somewhat shorter than a full nuptial mass; some people prefer to make it a private ceremony, but others use it as an opportunity to renew their vows or have a big celebration. It’s up to you. 🙂 If/when your Fiance decides to return to the church, he can ask his parish priest about convalidation to get the ball rollling!
Post # 5
@ Mrs. Spring–you are exactly right!
Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it!
Post # 6
No problem, Miss Olive. Good luck in your planning!
Post # 8
Last weekend I went to the required Conference for the Engaged in my diocese. I was amazed at the number of couples there who had already been married, but were seeking convalidation in the Catholic Church (at least 4 couples). So like Mrs. Spring said, the process seems to be very similar to convalidate as it is to get married.
However, I will say that I think one of the requirements to get married (or have your marriage validated), is the Catholic party has to agree to do all in his/her power to raise the children Catholic. So if that’s not something he wants to do (you said above that he doesn’t care) then that might be a block to being able to get the marriage validated.