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#1 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this is best answered by a priest and we have an appointment with one but I'm just curious to see if anyone has any wisdom ahead of time.

Basically, if a couple is married outside of the church (civil ceremony) then that marriage is considered unsacramental and needs to be convalidated. But if the couple is baptized but not confirmed, will convalidation have to wait until RCIA is completed for confirmation? Considering we're not even moved to the place where we're going to be, and sometimes the classes can take up to a year, it might take more than a year or even longer to get confirmed. And of course, in the meantime it is considered to be "living in sin" if you're living in a nonsacramental marriage. That's an awfully long time for a young couple with children to live as "brother and sister". I'm not even talking about the sex part (although that's pretty long too) but just the whole, marital intimacy thing. Some priests even advise living apart for the duration, but that just seems a little radical as well; we are parenting young kids and it's not like our finances are so lavish as to be able to afford two places. It just seems like... I don't know. It seems difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that in order to be right with the church it would take such a long time. Weeks or even a couple of months, OK... but a year or more? I was taught (before) that marriage is a sacrament conferred on one another by the couple if their intentions are right (open to children, loyal, faithful, permanent, etc.) and we had those intentions, even though we didn't say the vows in front of a priest or minister. Might radical sanation be a possibility in this case or definitely not?

Thanks for the input, I know I do have to talk it out with a priest and all but it's taking a long time to actually be able to sit down with one!

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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#2 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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I think our situation was similar to yours.

I was raised Catholic, but left the church before I was confirmed as a teen. DH was never Catholic. We were married by a non denominational minister in 2006. After DS1 was born in 2008 we decided to join the Catholic church. We went through RCIA. The week of our confirmation we had a small ceremony in which our marriage was blessed by the Church, then we were confirmed at Easter Vigil and our son was baptized Easter Sunday.

I hope our time line helps. PM me if you have further questions!

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#3 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I find this all so confusing.

Not to hijack, but my situation is both dh and I were raised and confirmed catholic, both left the church and got married in a civil ceremony, now I've returned to the church but dh hasn't and will not.

So my options are "live in sin" or have a sexless marriage?

I struggle so much with this particular issue because I don't believe God would want us to risk our marital happiness and closeness by not being intimate. I can't force dh to change his mind, and I am not able to fully accept that I am at his mercy and my only choices are sin or to sacrifice a loving relationship with a man who has been a loyal and kind husband and excellent father.

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#4 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Backing up a step, I am *pretty* sure (my Mom is the person in charge of all sacramental prep in her parish) that it is not true - though it is widely believed true - that you must have received confirmation to have a Catholic wedding. So wouldn't the same be true in this case?

My point is, for the OP, I thought that as baptized Catholics your marriage could be blessed if you went through sacramental prep with the priest. Confirmation would be desirable but i don't believe required.

And both partners don't have to be Catholic to have a Catholic wedding - my sister had a Catholic wedding (not a Mass) & her husband is Quaker - So for Attila, have your discussed with a priest whether you have the option of having your marriage blessed the way a couple can have a Catholic wedding if both are not Catholic? Obviously your dh would also have to want this for your sake, I am not sure if it's possible.

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#5 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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But if the couple is baptized but not confirmed, will convalidation have to wait until RCIA is completed for confirmation?

Honey-lilac- My first suggestion is not to worry too much or think too much about others' experiences until you've talked to your own individual parish priest. Not every priest approaches a situation in the same manner and every family's circumstance is different.

My DH is Catholic (lapsed) and I was not ever baptized in any religion. We were married in a civil ceremony years ago. We wanted the boys baptized (they attend mass regularly), so our marriage was convalidated in a small ceremony. The priest not once mentioned anything about our behaviour towards each other or how we should conduct our sexual relations. Later, and separate from the convalidation, I completed the RCIA. Baptisms of boys will follow.

Some priests I spoke to said kids would be baptized first and then marriage convalidated.

Either way, the hoops haven't been too big a deal and as I said - no one has told us we were to abstain from sex, move out, etc. I'd have laughed if the priest had suggested such a thing? We've been married for 10 years and have two children and no money? Some of this talk about living apart seems really impractical. Again, I'd wait until I talk to your priest rather than project what might be.
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#6 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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A non Catholic and a Catholic can marry in a Catholic wedding.

A blessing ceremony, like what DH and I had, in which the Church recognizes and blesses the existing civil marriage of one or more Catholics, does not cost any money. DH and I did it after Mass one day.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honey-lilac View Post
Basically, if a couple is married outside of the church (civil ceremony) then that marriage is considered unsacramental and needs to be convalidated. But if the couple is baptized but not confirmed, will convalidation have to wait until RCIA is completed for confirmation?
This is true if one member was baptized as a Catholic. I suspect you could have the marriage convalidated before confirmation - it is technically ok from a sacramental POV, all you need is baptism, and as you were baptized Catholic you are already a member of the Catholic Church.

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#8 of 16 Old 05-22-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#9 of 16 Old 05-23-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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I had my marriage convallidated before I was confirmed and my husband is not catholic.

Heidi
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#10 of 16 Old 05-23-2010, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the replies! It seems there is hope, after all.

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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#11 of 16 Old 05-24-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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I just received the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil (baptism, confirmation, holy Eucharist). My dh is an atheist and I had just returned to Christianity after a few years as an agnostic. We had a small wedding officiated by a judge. They told me that it was not necessary to have my marriage convalidated before or after converting. It is something that I would love to have done but dh feels we were married just fine the first time.

Best of luck to you.
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#12 of 16 Old 05-24-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by springmama View Post
I just received the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil (baptism, confirmation, holy Eucharist). My dh is an atheist and I had just returned to Christianity after a few years as an agnostic. We had a small wedding officiated by a judge. They told me that it was not necessary to have my marriage convalidated before or after converting. It is something that I would love to have done but dh feels we were married just fine the first time.

Best of luck to you.
Since you were not baptized before, you didn't need to convalidate.

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#13 of 16 Old 05-24-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
Since you were not baptized before, you didn't need to convalidate.
Just wanted to add to this, since I did have to have my marriage convalidated when I converted because I had been baptized prior to my conversion through a Protestant denomination.

It gets rather confusing to be honest. It is my understanding that I have a valid marriage (due to the convalidation ceremony) but not a sacramental marriage because my husband is unbaptized and not a Christian.

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#14 of 16 Old 05-28-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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Not an expert by any means but my experience:

Legal marriage in July followed by a Catholic wedding in November. I didn't have any problems. I had a confirmation but my husband had not although he was raised Catholic. The priest had married my parents and baptized me and it was the same church I made all my sacraments at. I don't know if that helped, but he didn't really seem concerned about the legal marriage prior to the marriage there.

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#15 of 16 Old 05-28-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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First of all, I highly suggest making an appointment and talking to your priest but I will add in my experience as well.

DH is a cradle Catholic and lapsed for a number of years. I was baptized in a Protestant religion when I was teen. We married in a civil service in 2007. I had started the process of RCIA in 2005 but due to work conflict I had to stop. I studied a lot on my own and regularly attended Mass. After talking with our priest in the fall of 2008, it was decided that I would be confirmed on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with the Bishop's approval and then about a week later, we had our marriage convalidated. So going through RCIA is not necessarily one of the steps. My priest felt confident in my knowledge of the Church and I had been attending Mass and keeping holy days for almost five years although not taking Eucharist. All he had to do was ask for permission from the Bishop since I was already baptized and I could be confirmed at any time.

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#16 of 16 Old 06-14-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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Just another perspective on this... there's the letter of the law and the spirit of the law... I'm not entirely sure what the letter says in this matter, but let me give you my parents as an example of following the spirit.

My dad is a cradle Catholic, mom was raised and baptized in a non denom. church. They had both previously been married and divorced when they met. Mom got pregnant (oops) and my parents decided to get married. Mom decided to join the church at the same time. The priest required annullments for both of them. Dad's annullment was pretty quick, mom's took longer for various reasons that I won't go into here. Anyway, her annulment came in on Holy Thursday 8 months after I was born and the same year that she was coming into the church at Easter Vigil. Their priest came to them after Holy Thursday service and said, "let's get married on Saturday." So Saturday morning, mom and dad had their Catholic wedding and later that evening mom was initiated into the church. Fast forward 20 some odd years... Mom now works for the church and the priest at the church where she works teased her once b/c technically, their Catholic marriage is not valid... since you are not supposed to celebrate a sacrament between the end of Holy Thursday Mass and Easter Vigil (unless it's a life and death situation). Anyway, mom and dad have no plans to convalidate their marriage b/c they have been living sacramentally in their marriage for 28 years now, even if the ceremony wasn't technically "legal." And the priest that mom works under is very pastoral and when he mentioned it to her, it was in teasing and he sees and understands that mom and dad are living the spirit of the church's teaching on marriage.

Ultimately, you will need to talk to your priest and search your conscience and pray hard to make the decision that you feel is the right decision to make.

Disclaimer: I am no longer speaking from a Catholic perspective. I left the church when I was in college. My parents and most of my family are very devout.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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