Confirmation and Matrimony


I’ve noticed that sometimes young people are not receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation if they attend public schools. When I was young, we were confirmed at age 7, which I think is a good idea. The grace of this Sacrament is so important, and the younger children aren’t so resistant. The teenagers often are just not interested, and the parents are not very enthusiastic either.
This is a time when we definitely need the grace of the sacrament. Teenagers are bombarded with so many temptations. I am concerned that this may be a prelude to them leaving the Church. When these young people grow up and want to get married, they often focus on the secular festivities, the dress, the reception, etc, and don’t give the SACRAMENT a thought. It’s a very sad situation. If the young people decide to get married and don’t want to go through the effort of being confirmed, they sometimes just decide to get married outside the Church, and don’t even realize that this is a problem.
It’s true that we’re suffering a crisis in catechesis, but the deeper problem is that so many people are nominally Catholic, and don’t even care about what is really important.
The million-dollar question–How do we get people to CARE?


There would be no reason not to be married in the church if one is not confirmed; although confirmation is highly RECOMENDED prior to matrimony, it is not required.

I teach confirmation to 10th graders; I made my confirmation in the 6th grade (12yo) and I also believe that making it at a younger age is better - more meaningful. A large percentage of the kids that I have instructed for confirmation, in the past 20+ years believe that once confirmation is “done” that they don’t have to go to mass anymore. Many of them get this directly from their "PARENTS."

Let us keep them all in our prayers.


I was going through confirmation classes in the 8th grade when I dropped out and left the church. Now that I’m back in the church, I’m preparing to get my marriage convalidated and then I’ll be eligible for confirmation once again. I’m looking forward to both events! :slight_smile:

I wish I had never left the church in the first place, and I do blame poor/weak catechesis as part of the reason I did leave. I can’t say if I would have still fallen away or not, had I been catechized better, because there was a lot more to it than that. But it definitely was a significant factor.


Introduce them to Jesus.

It’s a simple answer, but not always so simple to accomplish. All our catechesis will not amount to much, though, if our students don’t encounter Christ.


That is not correct.** It is required.** Grave inconvenience does not mean can’t be bothered or don’t see the need for it or flat refusal.

Can. 1065 §1 Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before being admitted to marriage, if this can be done without grave inconvenience.


My daughter attends public school and she was confirmed during 7th grade. She attended weekly PSR (public school religion) classes. I’m not sure how I feel about earlier confirmation, I know that it used to be combined with baptism in the early Church, but I like the aspect of them choosing to be confirmed. Parental attitudes have a lot to do with whether the kids complete their catechesis. When parents can’t be bothered to take their kids to weekly mass, they most likely can’t be bothered with taking them to catechism classes.

I’m lucky, my daughter has a very strong faith, likes attending mass, will not miss weekly youth group meetings, but I think that’s rare among most 16-year old kids.


And yet, that is what happens.

My husband has never been Confirmed. And yet we are married.


but are YOU confirmed? My mother is catholic, was married in the CC and my dad was not catholic, yet it was a valid marriage. My sister also catholic was married in the CC and her husband is not catholic. Their marriage is valid.


Yes, I was Confirmed.

But that doesn’t matter since my husband was baptized Catholic. Which means, as a Catholic, he was “required” to be Confirmed before he was married.

He wasn’t.

Which means there are exceptions. And that the Church’s “grave inconvenience” isn’t always what we could call “grave inconvenience.”


But the very existence of an exception means that it is not required (by definition)

The Canon means exactly what it says, a Catholic should receive this Sacrament prior to attempting Marriage, unless there is a grave inconvenience.

I would agree that this is something that one should discuss with the pastor of the parish where the Marriage is going to be celebrated at, and the couple should follow his recommendations.



Canon Law does not say “should receive”. It states they “are to receive”. That makes it a requirement.

I disagree about exception meaning it is not required.
You are required to fulfill your Sunday Mass obligation upon pain of mortal sin but if you are sick you don’t have to attend. In such a case the obligation is dispensed with. It is, however, not dispensed with if you are too lazy to attend Mass or you feel it is not necessary to attend.


Okay, it is required.

But it really isn’t.


Just because your husband was baptized Catholic doesn’t mean that he is Catholic. The priest must have treated him as a non-Catholic.


Yes it is. Did the priest do the proper due diligence, i.e. did he directly ask your husband if he had been confirmed?


Yes, and requested information from his Baptismal church.

Here is my point.

Once someone is baptized “Catholic,” they are Catholic forever. Kind of like that song “Hotel California.” “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” (Just so you know, phil19034, there isn’t any way to treat a Catholic as a non-Catholic.)

That doesn’t matter to most that leave the Church. What do they care? When does it even come up? Their Protestant pastors don’t care. :shrug:

But for those that fall in love with active practicing Catholics, well, it comes up. It comes up when they want to get married.

And that is when you find out that some layperson’s grave inconvenience isn’t the Church’s grave inconvenience.

So, my husband is a Baptized Catholic. He is not a practicing Catholic. He has not been Confirmed. But he was married in the Church.

There are exceptions. And one reason for an exception is, “I don’t want to be Confirmed.”


Refusing to be confirmed is not a reason for an exception.


The fact that some choose to ignore the requirement does not change the requirement.


I don’t think the most liberal interpretation of “grave inconvenience” could be interpret "I don’t want to. " as grave inconvenience. The fact is, in your case and many others, the requirement is simply ignored.


A requirement that is ignored, isn’t a requirement. :shrug:

Which is all I was trying to point out.

Yes, we have Canon Law, which many here like to quote, chapter and verse.

The problem is, our pastors are dealing with people. And people don’t read like books. And although the “requirement” is for Confirmation to come before marriage, in practice, that is not what is happening.

And I think that is a good thing. When I was returning to the Church, my faith was fragile. If a pastor had not been welcoming or had been quoting chapter and verse all that I had done wrong, I would have walked away. And I think that is what Pope Francis is saying. We must have a pastoral approach.

Turning me away because my husband hadn’t been Confirmed would have turned me away for good. And what good would that have been??

And really? My husband saw no good in being Confirmed. He didn’t want to. Period.


Earlier confirmation was the rule until well into the 19th century. In some of the particular Churches the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the eucharist are still administered to infants. I would be happy if this was restored as the norm throught all of the Churches in communion with Rome but submit to the disciplines currently in fofce ,

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