Wedding Woes

COVID and Catholic Church Convalidation

Hi everyone,

Has anyone had experience with convalidation in the Catholic Church in the context of covid? I've read that priests/parishes usually only perform it in certain situations and to me, Covid is definitely a situation that I believe should be accepted.

A little more context: My fiancé and I were supposed to be married on June 20 of this year but decided to postpone to June 18, 2021. We live near Philadelphia and it was looking more and more like we were not going to be able to have the wedding we planned/hoped for (250ish guest list, a lot of VIPs from overseas).

We would still like to legally get married this year but the wedding coordinator at the church mentioned that a wedding by a justice of the peace is not recognized by the church. After doing some research, I found out about the process of convalidation and how you have to talk to your priest/parish to see what they will do. 

I also had read the the convalidation ceremony is usually not as big as a traditional wedding ceremony but with my fiancé and I were hoping to still have a the big ceremony/reception next year. All our guests are already aware that we still wanted to get married this year so next year, everyone would know that we were already married. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you in advance and I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Answers

  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi everyone,

    Has anyone had experience with convalidation in the Catholic Church in the context of covid? I've read that priests/parishes usually only perform it in certain situations and to me, Covid is definitely a situation that I believe should be accepted.

    A little more context: My fiancé and I were supposed to be married on June 20 of this year but decided to postpone to June 18, 2021. We live near Philadelphia and it was looking more and more like we were not going to be able to have the wedding we planned/hoped for (250ish guest list, a lot of VIPs from overseas).

    We would still like to legally get married this year but the wedding coordinator at the church mentioned that a wedding by a justice of the peace is not recognized by the church. After doing some research, I found out about the process of convalidation and how you have to talk to your priest/parish to see what they will do. 

    I also had read the the convalidation ceremony is usually not as big as a traditional wedding ceremony but with my fiancé and I were hoping to still have a the big ceremony/reception next year. All our guests are already aware that we still wanted to get married this year so next year, everyone would know that we were already married. Any thoughts on this?

    Thank you in advance and I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

    I'd discuss this with your priest.  I'm located in a bit of a hotspot but my parish is still as open as it can be (daily mass celebrated and posted on the parish page, food pantry/emergency help still available, priests have the parish cell on 24/7 if anyone needs to talk, etc.).  What's happening at yours?  If I were in your shoes I would ask the priest if he'd celebrate a convalidation on 6/18/21.  And get married on your original date 6/20/20 by a JOP, or whatever date, if you'd still like to be legally married this year.  Good luck- I'm sorry that your original plan was sidelined by the pandemic. 

    OliveOilsMom
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    banana468 said:
    ei34 said:
    Hi everyone,

    Has anyone had experience with convalidation in the Catholic Church in the context of covid? I've read that priests/parishes usually only perform it in certain situations and to me, Covid is definitely a situation that I believe should be accepted.

    A little more context: My fiancé and I were supposed to be married on June 20 of this year but decided to postpone to June 18, 2021. We live near Philadelphia and it was looking more and more like we were not going to be able to have the wedding we planned/hoped for (250ish guest list, a lot of VIPs from overseas).

    We would still like to legally get married this year but the wedding coordinator at the church mentioned that a wedding by a justice of the peace is not recognized by the church. After doing some research, I found out about the process of convalidation and how you have to talk to your priest/parish to see what they will do. 

    I also had read the the convalidation ceremony is usually not as big as a traditional wedding ceremony but with my fiancé and I were hoping to still have a the big ceremony/reception next year. All our guests are already aware that we still wanted to get married this year so next year, everyone would know that we were already married. Any thoughts on this?

    Thank you in advance and I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

    I'd discuss this with your priest.  I'm located in a bit of a hotspot but my parish is still as open as it can be (daily mass celebrated and posted on the parish page, food pantry/emergency help still available, priests have the parish cell on 24/7 if anyone needs to talk, etc.).  What's happening at yours?  If I were in your shoes I would ask the priest if he'd celebrate a convalidation on 6/18/21.  And get married on your original date 6/20/20 by a JOP, or whatever date, if you'd still like to be legally married this year.  Good luck- I'm sorry that your original plan was sidelined by the pandemic. 

    A lot of this.   I'd also ask if you could be married in the church with just the priest and a witness or two and then have a ceremony a year later for the family where you renew your vows.   Then you'd be married both legally and in the church. 


    I have a friend who just got married in the Church on her original date and was limited to 10 people. I think they're hoping to do a big reception later. There should be no reason why you can't do a small private wedding in the Church.
    MobKazMesmrEwe
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In the Chicago Archdiocese, funerals and weddings may continue with restrictions and guidelines.  In our particular parish, reconciliation is also being offered by appointment. 
    MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    banana468 said:
    ei34 said:
    Hi everyone,

    Has anyone had experience with convalidation in the Catholic Church in the context of covid? I've read that priests/parishes usually only perform it in certain situations and to me, Covid is definitely a situation that I believe should be accepted.

    A little more context: My fiancé and I were supposed to be married on June 20 of this year but decided to postpone to June 18, 2021. We live near Philadelphia and it was looking more and more like we were not going to be able to have the wedding we planned/hoped for (250ish guest list, a lot of VIPs from overseas).

    We would still like to legally get married this year but the wedding coordinator at the church mentioned that a wedding by a justice of the peace is not recognized by the church. After doing some research, I found out about the process of convalidation and how you have to talk to your priest/parish to see what they will do. 

    I also had read the the convalidation ceremony is usually not as big as a traditional wedding ceremony but with my fiancé and I were hoping to still have a the big ceremony/reception next year. All our guests are already aware that we still wanted to get married this year so next year, everyone would know that we were already married. Any thoughts on this?

    Thank you in advance and I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

    I'd discuss this with your priest.  I'm located in a bit of a hotspot but my parish is still as open as it can be (daily mass celebrated and posted on the parish page, food pantry/emergency help still available, priests have the parish cell on 24/7 if anyone needs to talk, etc.).  What's happening at yours?  If I were in your shoes I would ask the priest if he'd celebrate a convalidation on 6/18/21.  And get married on your original date 6/20/20 by a JOP, or whatever date, if you'd still like to be legally married this year.  Good luck- I'm sorry that your original plan was sidelined by the pandemic. 

    A lot of this.   I'd also ask if you could be married in the church with just the priest and a witness or two and then have a ceremony a year later for the family where you renew your vows.   Then you'd be married both legally and in the church. 


    I have a friend who just got married in the Church on her original date and was limited to 10 people. I think they're hoping to do a big reception later. There should be no reason why you can't do a small private wedding in the Church.
    Definitely your first call needs to be with your priest.  Chances are that they would rather have you get married in a private ceremony and have a vow renewal next year than deal with the paperwork for a Convalidation.  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Catholic churches by me aren't doing weddings, but after reading PP advice I alter mine to align with everyone else.  Check with your priest, if churches in your area are doing weddings I'd get married on the original date in the church, with your parents/however many guests are permitted to attend, and have your reception with all the guests at a later date. 
  • Thank you everyone for your insight!

    We spoke with our priest and we are actually planning to get married in the church this year so next year will be a vow renewal.

    He clarified that convalidation is the term for the church blessing the marriage when you get married outside of the church.

    In both situations, he confirmed it could be just like a traditional wedding with the bridal party and everything so my fiancé and I are so relieved!

    Thanks again!
    missJeanLouiseshort+sassyOliveOilsMomMesmrEwe
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