Catholic Weddings

Is Convalidation not the Sacrament of Marriage?

So, convalidation came up on the Etiquette board, and there was a question of whether convalidation was A)a holy sacrament or B) a "procedure to correct something the Church viewed as a booboo."  It wasn't something we really studied at a K-12 Catholic school, so I'm not sure.  My presumption is that it is the sacrament of marriage, albeit belated.  Can someone more educated on the subject enlighten me?  

As far as TOS goes...I don't think I can link to the thread or to the user who I am sharing this query with, and this is not meant to attack her, merely to clear up a sincere lack of knowledge on the subject, on my part.
image

Previously Alaynajuliana


Re: Is Convalidation not the Sacrament of Marriage?

  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited July 2013
    Clarify terms first: valid and sacramental are 2 different but related things. 

    A man and woman, even 2 non-baptized people, can enter into a valid marriage. It would not be a sacrament, because both have to be baptized, but their marriage can still be valid. 

    2 Baptized people (including 2 non-catholic protestants) can marry validly, and in addition, their marriage is also a sacrament due to their baptism. 

    Catholics however, are bound to follow canonical form in their sacraments. (you must have valid form and matter for a sacrament to be valid). A catholic goes and marries at the courthouse with no contacting a priest or anything first... it is invalid because they did not follow form. Therefore, they are not really married.  To remedy this, there is a process called convalidation.

    A Convalidation is actually referring to how the priest or deacon is acting when he does one-- because he's not marrying the couple civilly, he is marrying them in the church, for Catholics, THAT is the power that marries them, NOT the government. 
    This is the real wedding for Catholics. This is their real marriage. 
    [Deleted User]+misslisa
  • This is helpful information. Can I add another question to the mix though?

    If a baptized (but nonpracticing) protestant marries someone who is unbaptized, and the unbaptized spouse later becomes Catholic, can they have a convalidation, or will their marriage never be sacramental unless both spouses become Catholic?
  • Any 2 baptized people (including non-catholics) can have a valid and sacramental marriage. 

    Non-Catholics aren't bound by canonical form. Their marriage is already considered valid when they marry (assuming there are no impediments). Once the unbaptized becomes baptized (in whatever faith), it automatically becomes a sacrament, no convalidation necessary. 
  • So it only counts as the sacrament if both parties are baptized, regardless of practicing or not?  So as long as both parties who participate in the convalidation are baptized, it is the sacrament of marriage, right?  
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • Yes...both people have to be baptized for marriage to be a sacrament. Baptism is the gateway that opens up the doors to grace. 

    Remember though, that doesn't mean that non- baptized people aren't in valid marriages. It just isn't a sacrament.
  • Baptized Catholic or baptized period? I'm glad that it generally speaking is a Sacrament.
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • Baptized period. There is one baptism. 
    [Deleted User]
  • So let's say you've got two baptized Catholics who get married in a civil ceremony.  Invalid marriage.

    If they go through the convalidation, does their marriage become both valid and sacramental? Or just valid? I think that's what the OP was asking and I was wondering the same thing from the E board thread. Sorry if I'm asking for the dots to be connected repeatedly. I was still a little confused.
  • For 2 Catholics to get a convalidation, it is the exact same thing as a wedding. They are actually, for real, getting married. It will be a valid marriage, and also a sacramental one, just like if they weren't legally married before. 

    For catholics, the civil marriage isn't actually a "marriage". It may come with some legal benefits, but its not a real marriage, because they are bound to canonical form. The government doesn't have the power to actually marry them.

    This may sound "snobby" but it isn't. The Church does not expect people of other faiths to follow canonical form (nor should they). 

    The reason is because in the Latin Rite, the couple is actually the minister to each other. They bestow it on each other.. the correct form for Catholics is because it is community/faith based, the priest/deacon is a representative of the church. However, for non-Catholics, they still hold the "power" to marry to someone. 


    [Deleted User]
  • I read the mess on the E board, and there's so much wrong and incorrect info on there. 
    [Deleted User]
  • @Agapecarrie thank you for sharing your knowledge! Also...the mess on the E board goes waaaaaaay beyond convalidation!  
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • Yeah, E-board got crazy with that mess. And just for reference, you CAN share links when it's like this -- you're asking for information or clarification. You can't share links if it's to make fun of the poster or drive other people over there to make fun of her. But if you're genuinely trying to be helpful, you're allowed to link. (I asked KP about it a while back, for a similar issue. I wanted to direct a new poster to an older post on EXACTLY the topic she was asking about, but I wasn't sure if I was allowed. KP says that if we're trying to be helpful or get information, we're allowed).

    And speaking of being allowed to link, @agapecarrie, you might want to lend your expertise to this bride: 
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    Ajuliana
  • lemclane thank you for the helpful tip, I just didn't want to step on anyone's toes or look like an ass.  
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • @Alaynajuliana You're welcome! I definitely understand not wanting to look like an ass or step on toes. But it's also nice to link when we can help, you know?
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Oh yeah @lemclane...I think we all need guidance sometimes, and I know I need it a lot!  ; )  
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • anyone have the link to the E board thread?
  • It's my impression that convalidation is really for either new-comers or those coming back into the faith. Its intent is not for a Catholic couple (active or not) that wants to get married on a beach or by a friend in a park or something to be able to then come back and get "Catholic-married," or blessed. Especially if that's the original plan. It's more so for those who have fallen away from the Church, gotten married, and want to again be in full Communion with the Church. Likewise, if a protestant or non-religious couple is married and then later converts to Catholicism, to me that's the real purpose of convalidation. Obviously, intent is a very gray area. I just wanted to add my two cents. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Actually, protestants validly marry. THey don't need a convalidation when they convert. 

    Convalidation is not to be considered just another credible option among many for Catholics. Doing so is presuptuous of forgiveness.


  • lisabeats - exactly.

    the intent to live a catholic marriage and life must still be there.  a couple who is not practicing can never fulfill that; therefore the convalidation would never be granted to begin with.  same thing with a dispensation - if granted, the couple still must be counseled on catholic marriage, life a catholic married life, and raise kids catholic.

  • Thanks for all this!
  • anyone have the link to the E board thread?
    I went looking for it, but maybe it all got deleted...there was a more heated exchange going on when one posted seemed to be comparing a PPD to a funeral for a miscarried infant.  I say seemed because she would beg to differ, and I was WAY not comfortable getting in on that part of the conversation.  
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards