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  #1  
Old Feb 2, '08, 4:43 pm
RedSoxFan RedSoxFan is offline
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Default When to have a marriage blessed?

Ok I have a question. I am about to go to mass tonight and there is going to be a marriage that is blessed also. This is for an older couple that has recently been converted to Catholicism. Assuming that neither is divorced do they need to get the marriage blessed or would it be considered valid?

I think this is just a nice touch, while the wife is saying that it must be blessed. I hope I'm right otherwise I owe her some push ups.
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  #2  
Old Feb 2, '08, 5:02 pm
Elizabeth2 Elizabeth2 is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

I think these things are an individual matter according to circumstances. Since they are having their marriage blessed and it's not a wedding, presumably the Church considers them married, but it is just (not merely just, but I think you know what I mean) giving them her blessing. There are lots of possibilities and one has to respect people's privacy. If they aren't saying, then it's no one else's business.
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  #3  
Old Feb 2, '08, 5:05 pm
StBenMom StBenMom is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Here's my personal experience. I am a cradle Catholic (revert) and my husband and children are not. My husband went through RCIA to prepare for conversion/baptism. When Easter Vigil was approaching, I went to Reconciliation and then two days later, we had our marriage convalidated in a small ceremony. Basically, it means that our marriage is now recognized in the Roman Catholic Church. It was always "civil" and valid from a legal standpoint but now we've received the Sacrament of Marriage. And, personally...... that sacrament makes my marriage mean more than it ever did. Not that I love my husband more now than before.......it's just that.... that ceremony really gave us a "visible" sign and it showed others a "visible" sign of God's Love and plan for us. The following week my husband and our daughters were baptized at Easter Vigil and I was Confirmed. Then..... the coolest part was that I got to take Communion WITH my husband..... instead of him crossing his arms over his chest. Now we get to take Communion with our 8 year old and the 6 year old is being prepared for it!

Hope I could give a little insight.
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  #4  
Old Feb 2, '08, 5:12 pm
StBenMom StBenMom is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth2 View Post
I think these things are an individual matter according to circumstances. Since they are having their marriage blessed and it's not a wedding, presumably the Church considers them married, but it is just (not merely just, but I think you know what I mean) giving them her blessing. There are lots of possibilities and one has to respect people's privacy. If they aren't saying, then it's no one else's business.
The Church considers the marriage recognized "civilly" only. So, yes the Church considers them "legally" married under the laws of the state. Until the marriage is convalidated, it is not recognized in the Church. Once the convalidation takes place, the marriage is recognized as "co-valid" -leagally and liturgically. Valid legally and valid in The Church. I experienced it.
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  #5  
Old Feb 2, '08, 5:25 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSoxFan View Post
Ok I have a question. I am about to go to mass tonight and there is going to be a marriage that is blessed also. This is for an older couple that has recently been converted to Catholicism. Assuming that neither is divorced do they need to get the marriage blessed or would it be considered valid?

I think this is just a nice touch, while the wife is saying that it must be blessed. I hope I'm right otherwise I owe her some push ups.
If neither was Catholic at the time of their marriage, their marriage was valid, and sacramental if both were baptized.

A couple of years ago I had a Jewish couple come through RCIA. Their marriage was valid, and became a sacrament when they were baptized. However, they wanted to celebrate it; so we had a mass at which they renewed their promises.
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  #6  
Old Feb 2, '08, 6:19 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSoxFan View Post
Ok I have a question. I am about to go to mass tonight and there is going to be a marriage that is blessed also. This is for an older couple that has recently been converted to Catholicism. Assuming that neither is divorced do they need to get the marriage blessed or would it be considered valid?

I think this is just a nice touch, while the wife is saying that it must be blessed. I hope I'm right otherwise I owe her some push ups.
neither you nor anyone else in the congregation will be informed why this couple is having their marriage blessed. the reasons are confidential and the business only of the couple and the pastor.

presumably there was some circumstance surrounding their marriage when it occurred that rendered it invalid, that situation has been dealt with, and now they are having the marriage convalidated. The procedure for different couples entering the Church will differ according to dozens of variables so speculation is useless and to no purpose. Simply rejoice for them in their encounter with Jesus Christ in the sacraments.

marriage is generally discussed on the liturgy and sacraments forum where you will find a lot more threads on this and related topics if you care to pursue them
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  #7  
Old Feb 3, '08, 6:02 am
Yerusalyim Yerusalyim is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Quote:
The Church considers the marriage recognized "civilly" only. So, yes the Church considers them "legally" married under the laws of the state. Until the marriage is convalidated, it is not recognized in the Church. Once the convalidation takes place, the marriage is recognized as "co-valid" -leagally and liturgically. Valid legally and valid in The Church. I experienced it.
The Church always presumes in favor of a valid marriage unless there is evidence to the contrary. If the couple were baptized Christians when they married the Church presumes in favor of a sacramental marriage. Remember, the ministers of this sacrament are the couple themselves...the priest or deacon only witness the sacrament.
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  #8  
Old Feb 3, '08, 6:42 am
tcraig tcraig is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

From my own personal experience:

My husband and I, both non-baptized persons, married in a civil ceremony with a Justice of the Peace.

Later on in our marriage, we were baptized (as protestants).

Still later, we joined the Catholic Church.

As it was explained to us:

Our marriage was (1) always valid legally and (2) became a sacramental union by virtue of our baptisms.

When we joined the Catholic Church, there was nothing that "needed to be done" in terms of our marriage. We were told that we could have it "blessed" if we so desired, but neither of us felt that that was necessary.

I've noticed that many people use "having a marriage blessed" as an equivalent terminology for "having a marriage convalidated". A "marriage blessing" for a prior protestant/other faith couple is pretty generic. Convalidation is a whole 'nother ballgame, and would have not have been required in our circumstances.

Convalidation is only required if one member of the marriage was a Catholic at the time of marriage who married without following the Church's requirements for Catholics.
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  #9  
Old Feb 3, '08, 7:28 am
cameron_lansing cameron_lansing is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

I agree with puzzleannie that, "The procedure for different couples entering the Church will differ according to dozens of variables so speculation is useless and to no purpose." Tcraig is quite accurate, and perhaps we might just keep in mind some notions or principles.

1. The word "blessing" in this context can be misleading. In the Latin Church, a blessing is not the same as a convalidation, even though the term "blessing" is often used to describe both in colloquial speech.

A blessing of a married couple is an invocation of God's protection or grace or beneficence upon them. It does not have legal effect. It presumes that the marriage is already valid. It does not involve the couple exchanging marital consent in order to establish the bond of marriage.

Sometimes on anniversaries or other special occasions, the couple will also "repeat" or "reaffirm" their original vows as part of this. But since a valid marriage already exists, it cannot be made any more valid by such a blessing. Up to now, there has not been an express ritual to do this, but I understand that the new Rite of Marriage will contain one.

2. A convalidation is a remedy by which a previously invalid marriage involving at least one Catholic is made valid by a new act of consent to marriage. A convalidation has a legal effect in the Church. It involves the couple exchanging marital consent to establish the bond of marriage according to the Catholic form of marriage.

3. The key to understanding convalidation it is remedies a marriage involving at least one Catholic that was invalid:

a) because of a lack of consent or an impediment (and the reason no longer exists), or

b) that it was celebrated with the appearance of the canonical form of marriage but really lacked something essential to that form, such as a priest who lacked the faculty or a lack of two witnesses or there was a problem with the vows, etc.

The simple convalidation involves the parties marrying properly according to the canonical form and placing a true and new act of marital consent.

4. Keep in mind that only marriages involving at least one Catholic party must be celebrated according to our canonical form of marriage, or the form must be dispensed from, or an exception provided in Church law must exist. Otherwise a marriage does not enjoy even the appearance of validity.

This also involves the parties marrying properly according to the canonical form and placing a true and new act of marital consent.

People often call this "convalidation" when applied to Catholics who "married outside the Church," but it technically is not a convalidation. This point has recently been re-iterated by the Apostolic Signatura. So while the actual ceremony would be the same as a true convalidation, there is a difference in how canon law assesses the situation.

5. Non Catholics can marry each other validly without the Catholic form of marriage. If both are baptized, the marriage is also a sacrament as Yerusalyim notes. They need only

a) be free from the impediments of divine law, which binds everyone, and

b) express marital consent according to any form required by their own religion (if any) and the state.
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  #10  
Old Feb 16, '08, 3:59 pm
Deacon Ed B Deacon Ed B is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

In reply to St Ben Mom on post # 4. BEAUTIFUL. Having one's marriage blessed, is a common misnomer used by some to have a marriage convalidated. Also, when a couple renews their vows on a significant anniversary, it does not mean that they had to re-marry, it is a way.of expressing your sacramental love before the community and to God, and to ask for further blessings.
Deacon Ed B
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  #11  
Old Feb 16, '08, 4:38 pm
st lucy st lucy is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Okay, I have a question. My husband and I eloped because we didn't want to have our parents worry about the expense of a wedding. I was Catholic but not really practicing at the time so I didn't think it was such a big deal. Years later when I came back to the church fully, I realized that I was not married in the eyes of the church. We ran into a lot of hurdles when the fact of my husbands not being Catholic would not come up. Finally I met a priest who said that we can have our marriage blessed by special permission from the bishop. So we had a little wedding ceremony, just our children who were 4 and 6 months, and a couple who happened to stay a little later after mass that night. (We didn't know anyone in the town yet - and I was a little embarrassed that it had took so long for us to get this done.)

So now I never know what to tell the priest when we move to new town (we move alot. ), when we register for the parish. Were we married thirteen years ago, the civil union, or seven years ago? And I was told by the priest that we were having our marriage blessed, was it a blessing or convalidation?
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  #12  
Old Feb 16, '08, 5:57 pm
Deacon Ed B Deacon Ed B is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

It was a convalidation.
Deacon Ed B
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  #13  
Old Feb 17, '08, 5:43 am
st lucy st lucy is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed B View Post
It was a convalidation.
Deacon Ed B
Thank you.
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  #14  
Old Feb 17, '08, 5:46 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: When to have a marriage blessed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by st lucy View Post
So now I never know what to tell the priest when we move to new town (we move alot. ), when we register for the parish. Were we married thirteen years ago, the civil union, or seven years ago? And I was told by the priest that we were having our marriage blessed, was it a blessing or convalidation?
there is nothing to tell. your baptismal certificate, when you request a new one, will record the fact of your marriage convalidation in the Church (which is what you had, not a "blessing") and the date and place. When you register for a new parish simply list the date of the convalidation as your marriage date, with place and minister if it asks. the status of your children is not affected in any case so does not arise. simply lists their names, birthdates, dates of baptism and other sacraments received.

I don't know why you got roadblocks to a simple convalidation, since the fact of your husband's begin non-Catholic required only a dispensation, which is easily granted upon request if there were no other barriers (previous marriage etc). Glad you ran into a pastor willing to give you time and straight information.
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