Confused---can I receive Holy Communion?

I’m a poorly catechized cradle Catholic who’s in the process of returning to the Church after not practicing the faith for about 10 years. I went to confession last night, and the one main hurdle I have left is to have my marriage convalidated in the Church. My husband and I were married in a civil court 7 years ago and have a convalidation date set for early March.

I was so nervous about going to confession after all this time, and when it was over I was so relieved that I forgot to ask the priest about my ability to receive Holy Communion going forward. Now that I’ve been to confession, am I back in a state of grace? Or do I need to wait until after the convalidation ceremony? If it makes a difference, my husband and I are “playing by the rules” and abstaining from sex until after the ceremony. Thanks!

I would say yes.
You confessed, have been absolved, and your priest obviously knows your situation, and if your “playing by the rules” you have no reason to keep yourself from the Eucharist.

A word of warning:(

  • you will probably get a lot of conflicting opinions on this matter, the only one that really matters in this case, is that of your priest, do whatever he tells you, and don’t worry about what others say.

To the Best of my knowledge as long as you and your Husband are livng for lack of better words as brother and sister till the marriages is convalidated you can recieve.

Hi first of all congratulations on your return back home.

I am wondering why you have to wait til march to have your marriage blessed? I also came back to the church going on ten years now. My husband and I were civil married also, we had to wait on the bishops approval but that took about a month and a half because we were not living in the state I was baptised at. I wonder if you ask for it to be speed up if it could be.

Good luck

As has already been said, you have been absolved of your sins, so aslong as there is no excommunication (which in the case of abortion, the Priest would have lifted anyway), you are free to receive, aslong as you and your husband remain celibate untill after the convalidation ceremony, play by the rules, and your free to receive ;).

Thanks, everyone, for the great responses. :slight_smile:

I am wondering why you have to wait til march to have your marriage blessed?

We could have it done more quickly than the date we picked, but it’s important to me that my family be there and since they all live out of state, I wanted to give them enough notice to make travel plans and such.


Actually, the only opinion that really matters is your own honest and considered opinion. The Church has always held that a man and a woman marry each other and the priest is there to witness the committments made. If your intention is to live together within the bonds of Holy Matrimony then in God’s view you are already married in a Sacramental union. The ceremony is a public declaration whereby the Church bears witness to an event that has already taken place. God made the Sacraments, we humans make rules to help us understand and be worthy and prepared. The rules are not designed to be hinderences to the Grace of God. Examine your conscience and if you are truly committed to living your lives together then be happy in His love and live as man and wife as He designed us to be. He did not make you as brother and sister. Honor Him by your public proclamation of Sacramental union.God loves us and delights in our love for each other. It is no sin for a man and a woman to accept God’s gift of our physical lives and to thank Him for that gift by living good lives. Show this to your priest and he will confirm it for you if you feel the need.

Oro pro societas

This is not church teaching. at all.

Yes this makes difference. If the priest gave you absolution in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy spirit, then you are in the state of sanctifying grace and you can receive communion. Sex may disrupt this state, and you cannot receive the Eucharist without confession.

That is highly doubtful, because the advice you gave, goes against the teachings of the Church concerning valid and sacramental marriages.
OP, you have received excellent answers so far, but this particular reply is not something you will want to take into consideration.

This is incorrect.

From what you have stated above, it sounds as though you are going about this the right way and you should be able to participate in Holy Communion prior to your convalidation as long as you can “play by the rules.” Welcome home and God bless both of you! :thumbsup:

And since there was not a priest to wittness the marriage it is not a valid sacrament. therefore not married.

This is not the teaching of the Latin Catholic Church. A man and woman are the ministers of the sacrament of marriage. If both the man and the woman are validly baptised their marriage is a sacrament. If one of the spouses is a Latin Catholic they are required to be married according to canonical form unless they are granted a dispensation. The OP said that they were married in a civil ceremony. If they are having a convalidation we can infer no dispensation from canonical form was granted. Therefore they are not validly married. In these circumstances their marriage cannot even be classed as putative. Thus they must abstain from sex until their convalidation; otherwise they commit a mortal sin.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit