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Catholic Weddings

New Here, needing advice

I am sorry to butt in on this board; I am getting married next year and need some advice.  I was raised Catholic (my family is very religious) but my fiance is not Catholic.  We are going to be married by his brother (a protestant minister) in a non-denominational chapel on a college campus but I would like to have some sort of recognition from the Catholic Church.  I heard that it is possible to have a marriage blessed by a priest but have not found any information about this anywhere.  Does anyone have any advice for this type of situation?  Thank you!
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Re: New Here, needing advice

  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    you woudl need to have done what is called a Convalidation in order to have your marriage recognized by teh Catholic church.  until this is done, your marriage will be considered invalid in the Church's eyes, and you will be "living in sin".  in order to have a convalidation done, you need to have a pretty compelling reason as to why you were not married in teh Church the first time.  you will still have to meet with the priest and do the usual marriage prep/pre-cana. a "blessing" is not a convalidation.  a "blessing" does not give you the sacrament and legitimize your marriage in the church's eyes. what if you get married by a catholic priest?  you can apply for a dispensation (whcih may or may not be granted) to use the chapel on campus as planned.  you could then have the protestant minister assist in some way with the ceremony.
  • edited December 2011
    The Catholic Church is rather unbending about its rules regarding the sacraments.  In most cases, you have to be married by the Church in order to be recognized by them.  There are definitely exceptions such as the ones Calypso described, but they are usually dispensed in rare circumstances.You have to decide whether or not you see the Catholic Church playing any sort of role in your (or your future childrens') lives.  If not, don't even worry about this part; what would you gain from having a religion you don't ascribe to bless your union?  If you do, then you might want to consider having your wedding under the Church's rules.See the post below yours regarding dealing with parents' religious expectations for you.
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I would personally make an appointment with your Catholic priest ASAP and talk about your options. There are the convalidation ceremonies, but those are usually intended for people who had a secular or non-Catholic religious wedding earlier in life, and then decided later that they wanted to get back into their Catholic faith and wanted the Church to recognize their marriage.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the help!  If I am not married in the Catholic Church, and thus considered to be 'living in sin', would that affect whether or not my future children could be baptized?
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  • edited December 2011
    If you are looking to continue in your Catholic faith and raise your children Catholic, I would suggest doing as PPs have suggested and talk to your priest.  I'm not sure about the baptism thing, but if you are looking to raise your kids Catholic, you should have a Cathloic ceremony and involve his brother somehow. My FI is not Catholic either. We are having a Catholic ceremony without Communion.  FI thought he had to totally convert to be married in the Catholic church, but once I explained that all we had to do was the pre-Cana, he was totally ok with getting married in the church.
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  • edited December 2011
    Will do.  Thanks again.
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  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    We just attended a baptism for parents who were not married in a Catholic church (the husband had been divorced once before). So take that for what it's worth.
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I'm not sure what you mean by "blessed by a priest".You can have  your wedding in a non demoninational chapel on a college campus or military base in most cases.  You would need a priest to participate in the wedding along with his brother.  Talk to the priest in your paris about this, he can get clearance for you.  This would be recognized in the eyes of the church.Just a blessing after a non Catholic wedding?  I've only seen this at a civil ceremony of two friends of my parents, divorced and in their 50s.  The pastor from the church where the bride had lived for 20 or so years was a good friend and said a blessing after the ceremony.  This was a personal blessing, not an "official" blessing by the church.It was very touching though as this priest had been to hell and back with the bride after her divorce.  ODed kids and all, he was always there for her.Marry in the church if you believe, not because your family believes.
  • tafayetafaye member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    in reply to the baptism thing...My parents were not married in the church, my father had been married and divorced.  My 2 sister and myself were all baptized, and went through conformation.  My mother also received  all her sacraments but being married in the church, and was buried in a catholic cemetery. The catholic church believes in redemption, and will not ban your children from being catholic just because your union was not 'valid'.  The best thing to do is consult your priest, different parishes and diocese have different rules and varying degrees of strictness.  It also varies by the type of priests you have.  We have Franciscans and seem to be lax about certain things, but much stricter about others.Good Luck!
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the help! If I am not married in the Catholic Church, and thus considered to be 'living in sin', would that affect whether or not my future children could be baptized?possibly.  If you intend to raise the child catholic, then tehy should still baptize it.  if you do not, then they may refuse to baptize it (and i have seen this).teh problem lies here.  if your marriage is not valid, then you really shouldnt be receiving communion.  while you can still attend Mass, the priest may question you on your ability to raise your chlid catholic if you are not able to receive communion and be an active participant in the faith.really, its abotu setting the example.  how do you baptize and raise your child catholic when you yourself arent following the faith?  this is where you ask yourself, are you marrying and baptizing your children in the church becuase YOU believe it or your parents believe it?  as oot said, dont do tehse things for them.  do what you believe.
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