I have recently spoken to our Pastor and he said that we should (& could) have our marriage Convalidated. My husband was a fallen-away Catholic and I was nothing (we attended several protestant churches as I was growing up, but I had never been baptized) when we got married. My mother was having a stroke about us getting married in the Church and since my husband was not attending it was not an issue to us at the time (though we did not get married in a Methodist church as she wanted either; my husband did not know he needed permission to do this either). We found a non-denominational church and brought in our own minister.
Let me explain what went on and why I thought we were ok.
Almost 25 years ago we were married by a minister that was a friend of my uncle in a ceremony from the 1800’s (we wanted a traditional ceremony, and it even had the dreaded “Obey” in it, which I said). Before the marriage we discussed that no matter what, divorce was never a possibility, and while we used birth control at the beginning of our marriage it was clear that God was not behind it so we stopped (we eventually had 2 babies and 4 miscarriges in all).
When I was pregnant with our first child (had already had two miscarriages and stopped using birth control), I decided that I wanted to become Catholic. Our 1st son was actually baptized a few months before I was. The priest that ran the RCIA program at the parish we lived next door to at the time and basically said that we did not need to get remarried in the church and that once I was baptized we were good to go.
After falling away for a while, I have been regularly attending Mass for the past 4+ years. In that time I have learned that some of the things that priest told me were not quite accurate, like the no needing to get our marriage convalidated, that he felt priests would be able to be married in his lifetime (he was in his 60’s and he retired shortly after I became Catholic), basically said that it was ok to be a cafeteria Catholic (but not in those words) and that he believed that we all worship the same God, it is just how people are comfortable worshiping (including Muslims, Buddists…). This was over 20 years ago, in the early 90’s.
After hearing about the validation of marriages on Catholic Answers, I started wondering if we really were good to go. I spoke to our Pastor and he said the priest was incorrect, and we should have the convalidation ceremony, most people do it around their anniversary, it can be big or small… Personally I would be happy with just our two boys and our two grandchildren present, so the actual ceremony is not the issue.
This brings me to my question. My husband really feels we are married in the eyes of God but if it will make me happy he will do the convalidation ceremony. Our “25th” Anniversary is this year in October. My husband wants to wait until our anniversary to do the convalidation. We both know what it entails to wait, but are we being silly in waiting? I was trying to decide to either have our marriage blessed for our anniversary, or go away for a couple of weeks to celebrate our 25th. If we wait, then we can’t go away when we planned, which is not a big deal, we could just change our plans. We waited 2.5 years to get “married,” so waiting 9 months to be married in the Church is not that long to us.
The real question is waiting for 9 months to do it on our anniversary right? I would love some advice on this. Bless you and thank you for your responses!