Bringing my Marriage to the Catholic Church


I needed some help and insight on this subject, hoping get help with this. My wife and I have been married for 5 years, I am a baptized Catholic, however have not made my first communion yet. My wife has never been baptized, though she attended a Baptist church with her parents growing up, though again never baptized. We were married “Justice of the peace”. At that time, neither one of us really took religion of any sorts seriously.

We decided to bring faith in our lives 6 month ago, and have been attending church every sunday, we plan on starting the RCIA classes soon after the new year.

So will the church consider our marriage invalid? or is there a chance it to be blessed?

Thank you,
God Bless.

As a baptized Catholic you were required to be married according to the Catholic form of marriage. Since you weren’t, your marriage isn’t valid. But this is something that can be corrected!

Talk with your pastor about your marriage and what you will need to do to have it convalidated. He’ll be the one to guide you through this.

In the meantime, you can start RCIA. There will be time to work everything out.

What ways can a marriage be con validated?

Thank you so much the reply!

Basically convalidating your marriage means getting married in church. You will exchange vows in front of a priest of deacon. It can be a very simple affair – just you two, your witnesses, and the priest or deacon – or it can be as elaborate as you’d like to make it.


I just had my marriage convalidated this past July. It’s SUPER easy (altho I think you both need to be full Catholics first-- ask your priest, I’m not sure!). It’s not the same as having it “blessed”.

The church does nto recognize your marriage. As far as they are concerned, you are not married. You have to get married again-- in the church, but a priest or deacon. There was almost no prep for it (we’ve been “married” seven years before convalidating, so most of the typical premarital discussions about finances and hcildren were unnecessary-- we already knew where we stood on those issues). You have the ceremony again, in front of the priest.

We didnt invite people, except my best friend and our 2 year old daughter who served as a “flower girl” (basically she ran all around the church, chased by my poor best friend, while we said our vows again). The whole thing took about 20 minutes, and then we had celebratory ice cream afterwards :slight_smile:

Good luck on yoru journey! If you ahve questions about convalidation I’d be happy to asnwer them (if I can!)

First, congratulations to you and your wife for seeking to come into the Catholic Church…as full active members…and for attending Holy Mass every Sunday as well as seeking to have your marriage convalidated. You stated:

We decided to bring faith in our lives 6 month ago, and have been attending church every sunday, we plan on starting the RCIA classes soon after the new year.

A point for your consideration re your statement above…actually…you simply responded to God’s gift of grace…to his invitation to bring faith into your lives…and you can justifiably feel very, very good for saying…“yes!”. We simply can’t do anything like this without his grace (through the power of the Holy Spirit) prompting and inspiring us to move towards him…it is always and in every situation of “goodness” – thoughts and/or actions – that come into our mind or into our heart…it is his grace…and his grace alone that causes it…we are simply cooperating with it and doing his will…by saying “thy will be done”! All truth and all goodness reside in and come from Our Lord God…we are blessed that he allows us to participate in His Goodness…if we so choose to say …“Yes”!

The following contains two excerpts from an article (June 2004) in American Catholic website for Franciscans who produce the* Saint Anthony Messenger *magazine (I recommend that you take a look at the entire article…it is quite good).

Bringing Your Marriage Into the Church…Msgr.Joseph M.Champlin

“…Catholics who exchange marriage vows in the presence of only ministers from other religious traditions or authorized civic officials are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Later, those couples may seek to have their union officially recognized by the Church. In technical Church terms, this is known as convalidation of a marriage…”.

“The remedy of their [Tony and Maria–a couple in the article] situation was relatively simple. Both obtained baptismal records and completed a standard marriage-investigation prenuptial form. The actual exchange of vows before a priest took place at the main altar after a Saturday night Mass, with only members of their immediate family attending. Maria and Tony dressed in the same outfits they had worn for the Florida ceremony.”

“With considerable abbreviation and adaptation, the priest used the basic Rite for Celebrating Marriage Outside Mass. The service took about 10 minutes. Afterward, the family celebrated at a local restaurant.
Several years later, Tony and Maria are the parents of three young boys, actively participate at Sunday Mass, generously donate to charities and fulfill leadership roles in parish activities.”

Lastly, the best advice and most important…has already been given…see a pastor-priest and let him prayerfully guide you through this convalidation of your marriage in conjunction with your RCIA program.

Again…I am very happy for you and your wife…what a great blessing you are and will be for the Catholic Church…we need you in the family!

Pax Christi

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