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JOP/Catholic Wedding

My fiance and I are both active duty military stationed overseas. We have our Catholic wedding set for next July, but as his deployment gets closer (this fall) we've started talking about going to a JOP to get legally married, and still have our religious ceremony when he gets back. I posted this on the Catholic board, but got a bit of criticism for it. I think it's hard for non-military couples to understand what we are going through, especially since we are dual-military. We aren't trying to be sneaky and do some sort of secret marriage, we just thought this would help with the legalities on the military side of things until we can go home for our actual wedding. Any suggestions? Or has anyone been able to do this and the church been ok?

Re: JOP/Catholic Wedding

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    Sammy0709Sammy0709 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I don't think anyone here has a problem with this as long as you are honest with your guests about the fact that you are already married prior to your religious ceremony. I have heard differing opinions on how a priest would react. Before you make a decision I suggest asking the priest you plan on having for your religious ceremony whether he would see any problems with this. I had a JOP for myself then a religious VR to appease my family but our minister was Lutheran so I dont know how a Chatholic priest would feel.
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    calindicalindi member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Hi and welcome!  We do see a lot of JOP and a later ceremony/reception to renew the vows or make it official in the eyes of the church.  However, where most of us seem to draw the line is lying about it to anyone, and it does not seem like that's your plan.  So yeah, I don't think you'll get flamed to death here!

    I would recommend talking to your priest about it who you intend to marry you in the church.  The Catholic church has a lot of issues with this sometimes, as I believe it's technically a convalidation.  They'll only do it under certain circumstances, and often require you to behave as if you are unmarried (not sleeping together, for example) until your church ceremony.  Different priests have different rules, so check with yours to make sure it's all okay before you go ahead! 


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    divinemsbeedivinemsbee member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    A very good friend of mine just got her convalidation and has been married for almost 5 years. They're mainly going through it to get the kids baptised (one is three and she's due in October with the second). They had a wedding with a non-denom preacher, even though she really wanted to just go to Vegas. Her situation is obviously very different from yours, but it's still been a pretty complicated process, finding baptismal certificates from her and her husband and lots of notarized paperwork. The convalidation was pretty much an errand run on a Saturday, over in 15 minutes, but I'd definitely say you need to go ahead and ask a priest.

    Convalidations can always be denied, and it's especially hard to get one later just because getting married in whatever way you originally were was "easier."  I say this as a Catholic who thinks a lot of things about a  Church wedding seem like a total PITA, but as I researched what it would take to do it afterwards and say, go to Vegas to begin with, it just seems like a lot of work for something that could be denied by an unsympathetic priest or bishop. Not sure if you are stationed together overseas, but it's possible a priest in your community would be willing to forgo certain pre-marital requirements for you due to military circumstance (which is not something I totally agree with, but could work in your favor).

    However, if it's not just about being married in the Church and having it sancitoned by the military, both of which you can do overseas as long as you are together and have a parish or a priest there, but also about being married in the Church and having a "big day" at home; then you may just have to roll your luck and see if a priest will consent to a "wedding"-type convalidation, which is not generally how they are done. I'm pretty sure there is absolutely no way you could have a small Catholic ceremony overseas and then have a bigger one at home,
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    LuluP82LuluP82 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Definitely check with your priest. They have very different rules. Most priests/parishes have a rule against JOP followed by a Catholic wedding, but some are understanding and will make exceptions.

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    IrishcurlsIrishcurls member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I frequent the Catholic board and here--so it's not necessarily that they don't understand what you're going through, but a lot of the ladies are very familiar with Canon Law over there. Depending on the parish, "helping with the legalities" might not be a valid reason for a convalidation. You really need to talk to you church asap before moving forward so you don't end up in a tougher situation down the road. 
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    iluvmytxrgriluvmytxrgr member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Just so you know, you can have each other listed on the notification lists to be notified if anything can happen.  You can also have each other listed for benefit payouts if something should happen to either of you.  Most people use these reasons as going ahead and getting legally married because they have no idea the paperwork can be done even if you are not married. 
    Like several of the PP's mentioned, some priests will not perform a marriage ceremony for couples who are already married.  Some will, however, perform a blessing of your marriage. 
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