Can a couple living chastely receive the sacraments?


A couple in my RCIA class is waiting to have their marrage blessed in the Church. Before that can happen there has to be an annulment. Our pastorial associate has informed the Catholic wife that she should not be receiving Communion until they are married in the Church. I agree, but if the couple agree to live as brother and sister until they can be married in the Church, can she still partake in the sacraments? I think she can but would like a definitive answer. Thanks!


Your pastoral associate is assuming that the couple will live as husband and wife until the annulment is obtained and the marriage blessed. Based on that assumption, the advice given the Catholic was correct: She should wait to receive the sacraments until her marriage is blessed. But if the couple is willing to live as brother and sister, then the situation is indeed different: So long as they are not engaging in marital relations before their marriage is recognized by the Church, the Catholic is free to participate in the sacraments so long as she otherwise remains in a state of grace. For that matter, in such a situation, her husband can also be received into the Church and participate in the sacraments, as well.

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