Anyone have a marriage convalidated?


#1

I would like to know more about people's convalidation experiences. We want to have our marriage convalidated.

How long did it take to get your marriage convalidated? What steps do you have to go through? Did you have to take marriage prep courses? Who performed the ceremony? Do you exchange wedding vows if you are already civilly married? Do you need witnesses? Did you have a party after? Is there a new marriage certificate issued?

If anyone has any written information, that would be helpful too.


#2

We are in the process now. I have been informed that it can be done quickly. I have been advised that my husband and I both need our baptismal record. Mine is being mailed from another Catholic church and his is already on file at our church as he went through RCIA there 5 years ago. We both have to have 2 family members or long-time-friends fill out a form about our marriage and whether we have had any previous marriages. Forms must either be signed by a Priest or must be notarized. Our Priest is the one who performs the ceremony and we must have witnesses. I forget how many I was told...maybe 4 witnesses? As soon as the above forms are all received, it's just a matter of finding a date that works for everyone. I met with the Pastoral Associate who advised that we did not need any marriage prep courses but I got the impression that some people do and it really depends on the unique situation. For us, we have been married for 12 years and have 3 children and she did not feel it was necessary. I am not sure about exchanging vows or whether a new certificate will be issued but I assume that the answer is yes. I get the impression that there is usually not a big party but I know that some people do choose to have a party. We will not be having a big party. We already had a wedding and reception 12 years ago but it will be a very important day for us. I really wish that we had done it the right way to begin with.


#3

we did. it took quite a few months but I think that was b/c of priest was busy with other things like moving to another church. It actually should have not taken that long since neither of us were married before. Another priest who ended up taking over and finishing the paperwork said it was really should have been an easy process. We did have to meet a few times with the priest and both take a multiple choice test about marriage issues and what not. Then, we just had to provide our communion and baptism certificates etc...


#4

Ours was very simple. Once I had received my decree of nullity, we went to church and the deacon who had assisted me on the annulment matter performed a very simple exchanging of vows. My mother was there along with my Godfather and his wife and my wife's youngest son. (My dad looked on from heaven)

Peace
James


#5

[quote="AnneTeresa, post:1, topic:298863"]
I would like to know more about people's convalidation experiences. We want to have our marriage convalidated.

How long did it take to get your marriage convalidated? What steps do you have to go through? Did you have to take marriage prep courses? Who performed the ceremony? Do you exchange wedding vows if you are already civilly married? Do you need witnesses? Did you have a party after? Is there a new marriage certificate issued?

If anyone has any written information, that would be helpful too.

[/quote]

The convalidation is actually a wedding ceremony, and is effectively treated as such. Some paperwork is required, such as recent copies of baptismal certificates. Marriage preparation is required, though it is possible the couple might not have to go through the full blown pre-Cana. We simply met with the pastor and talked in lieu of pre-Cana, but he already knew us fairly well. The long and short of it is that it can happen in less than a month to roughly a year, depending what the pastor requires.

I'm also assuming that there are no marriage impediments. If an annulment is required, then that process has to be completed before any of the marriage prep can start. If either party has been married, the decrees of nullity, final divorce papers, and/or death certificates will be required.

To cover some of the other issues:

The Church considers it a new marriage, therefore vows are exchanged.

Witnesses are required.

How you celebrate is up to you.

The Church records the marriage. Whether or not a new civil marriage certificate is filed is dependent on the local civil laws.


#6

After my husband's annulment from his first marriage came through, we went to our priest who filled out an application for us. I wasn't baptized so he needed to get permission from the bishop for us to be married. My husband, being a baptized Catholic, needed to sign a paper saying that we would raise our children in the Catholic Faith. We had already been civilly married for 10 years and had a child, so we did not have to go through any marriage preparation. We also needed to list two people who would be witnesses. Then after all this was taken care of, the priest reserved a Saturday evening for us to be married in the Church. We said our vows privately before the priest and several witnesses (family in the pews), I wore the veil from our first wedding, I had a bouquet of flowers, and our son had a flower on his shirt. Afterwards we had cake and champagne at our house with family. One thing I do want to emphasize is that you are NOT simply renewing your vows. You are taking new ones...and you are pledging to a lifelong union, wherein you are faithful to each other and open to life. If any of these things are missing, your marriage may be invalid. You may have had a civil marriage but this is your TRUE marriage before God. Congratulations on the choice to have your marriage convalidated!! :)


#7

[quote="AnneTeresa, post:1, topic:298863"]
I would like to know more about people's convalidation experiences. We want to have our marriage convalidated.

How long did it take to get your marriage convalidated? What steps do you have to go through? Did you have to take marriage prep courses? Who performed the ceremony? Do you exchange wedding vows if you are already civilly married? Do you need witnesses? Did you have a party after? Is there a new marriage certificate issued?

If anyone has any written information, that would be helpful too.

[/quote]

As ValPal stated, a convalidation is treated as a new wedding so you can assume that that it will take a similar length of time as needed for a any wedding.

But there will be special factors that come into play. The priest will look at the reasons why the couple never married validly in the first place. The priest will consider whether or not one or both of the persons requesting marriage will be baptized/received into the Church. And the priest will look at the length of time the couple has been civilly married. The priest will consider any children the couple has and what sort of religious education the children have had and/or will need. These factors could result in an increase or decrease in the length of time before the couple is married.


#8

It depends on the priest and what the diocese requires. I know a young couple who are having their marriage convalidated on Saturday. It took no time at all. “We are having our baby baptized can we have our marriage convalidated at the same time?” “Sure, no problem.”


#9

[quote="SMHW, post:7, topic:298863"]
But there will be special factors that come into play. The priest will look at the reasons why the couple never married validly in the first place. The priest will consider whether or not one or both of the persons requesting marriage will be baptized/received into the Church. And the priest will look at the length of time the couple has been civilly married. The priest will consider any children the couple has and what sort of religious education the children have had and/or will need. These factors could result in an increase or decrease in the length of time before the couple is married.

[/quote]

These factors came into play with us, which is why we were convalidated so quickly. We had been civilly married 11 years, had two adopted children that were baptized in the Church, knew the pastor (in other words, he knew the details of our situation already), etc.


#10

We had ours done after I came back to the church. Had to have my wife's first marriage declared null, which was pretty easy (lack of form). Once that happened, the deacon performed the ceremony in the chapel on a week night. We had to have 2 witnesses, one for each of us. My sister in law and her husband did that, they are catholic. Nobody else was there, empty chapel. It took about 20 min tops, we said the vows, the deacon officiated, and it was all done. Got a new certificate of sacramental marriage. Then we went out to eat. Didn't cost anything for either the annulment or the wedding. We didn't do any precana classes, or anything like that. We were married for almost 5 years civilly before that, so they didn't bother. That was that.


#11

My wife and I had our marriage convalidated last month. It took about 8 months from the beginning of the process to the end. Our parish had us running in circles a bit. A lot of filling out forms, waiting, calling, calling again, waiting some more.

We were allowed to skip some of the marriage prep events as we had already been married civilly for some time. That was a pastor's judgement call.

In the end the ceremony was nice. We had a blessing without a Mass. It was a simple service and took about 30 minutes. We only had about 7-8 other family members with us. Two of them were listed as witnesses.

We all went out to eat afterwards. My wife and I liked that it was such a small and close-knit ceremony. You can do a large service within a Mass if you want. Apparently some people pack a church with people for a convalidation.


#12

We went through this process in February of 2010. My husband is a cradle catholic, and I was actually baptized in the Catholic church but my family moved to a Methodist church when I was a child. We were married in 1998 in the Methodist church, since he was not an actively practicing Catholic at the time and I honestly never identified myself as Catholic. Neither of us knew the church’s rules on marriage, so it made sense at the time to get married in the church I had been raised in.

We had stopped going to the Methodist church and didn’t really have a church for several years when we decided to go back to the Catholic church. We went back in January of 2010 and made an appointment to meet with the priest right away. Since we’d been married almost 12 years, the only preparation he made us go through was doing a survey that we took separately and then he reviewed the answers and we talked about anything where our views seemed to differ. We got our baptism records (mine were local, his had to be sent over from his hometown in the UK), and then planned the ceremony. We opted to have just the Liturgy of the Word portion without a full Mass. We had my family and another family that are good friends of ours come to the ceremony on a Saturday morning in the chapel. Afterwards, we had a nice lunch at a local restaurant that let us use a private dining room. We just wore nice church clothes, and I wore a white chapel veil. We did get a ring bearer’s pillow, and one of our boys carried our rings in and then the priest blessed them. I also made up some little programs with our names and the date on the front, since none of our guests were familiar with a Catholic liturgy or how to use a missal.

All in all it was a very quick and easy experience for us. Neither of us had been married to anyone else and we were both baptized Catholics already, so there wasn’t much red tape to wade through.


#13

[quote="AnneTeresa, post:1, topic:298863"]
I would like to know more about people's convalidation experiences. We want to have our marriage convalidated.

How long did it take to get your marriage convalidated? What steps do you have to go through? Did you have to take marriage prep courses? Who performed the ceremony? Do you exchange wedding vows if you are already civilly married? Do you need witnesses? Did you have a party after? Is there a new marriage certificate issued?

If anyone has any written information, that would be helpful too.

[/quote]

We did it 35 years ago. It didn't take too long (about 6 months I think) because we had a civil ceremony and both were free to marry in the Church. I remember taking PreCana, but thats all. The ceremony was preformed by my pastor, who was also a close friend of the family. Since we were both rather young, we had a regular, small, wedding ceremony of about 20 family members and guests; my best friend from high school was maid of honor and a friend from my husband's the ship was the best man. I bought a gown and my husband rented a tux; if we were doing it today, I would ask the priest to do it after one of the daily Masses and save the hassel, but it is really up to you how big of a fuss you want. We had a small reception with a cake, it was really fun and ment a lot to my parents to be there. We still have our orginal (legal) marriage certificate, but I did get another certificate, later, from the church with the new date. If you are thinking about it, you should make an appointment with your priest, he will be able to guide in the process.


#14

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