Convalidation question

This has probably already been asked, or it’s a very silly question. We met with our parish priest tonight and he asked if we knew who our witnesses would be. Oddly enough my wife blurted out her friend’s name while I sat there and totally drew a blank. I did say “What about my Mom? She’d probably like it.” What I got in return was “You want your Mom as a witness? (In jest) Is she gonna be your best man too?”

So I was thinking on the way home, it really doesn’t matter to me, unless we get something that they sign and would be hung on our wall. So if they signed the form and it just got filed in the archdiocese office I really don’t care one way or the other who signs it, but yeah, I don’t want my Mom’s signature on our wall.

The question is do they give you something like a marriage license for a convalidation or is it just paperwork the archdiocese keeps?


Your mom would certainly be fine, if that’s who you want. All the convalidations I’ve seen (admittedly few) had a married couple serving as the witnesses–husband with the new husband, wife with the new wife.

No idea about the paperwork.

The pastor should give you a certificate. Whether or not you hang it on the wall is up to you.:thumbsup:

These records are usually only seen on a “need to know” basis, so no one else will see it (other than the pastor, secretary, etc.). They aren’t confididential, but in general terms, people don’t see the marriage records of a parish without having some legitimate reason to look in the book in the first place (like recording the next marriage, or giving you a replacement certificate if you need one).

Interesting reaction. Where I grew up the usual witnesses at a wedding were the fathers of the bride and groom. A male relative usually stepped in if the father was absent or deceased.

the sacramental records books of the parish are confidential seen only by the pastor or the person he delegates to keep up the records, or the officiant of a sacrament when he signs the book. No one can come in ask to look at the record, even their own. No one may receive a certfied copy of the record except that person, or the parents of a minor.

ps. you guys need to talk. no matter how quiet and low key convalidation is still a wedding and there are details. and it can be planned in a couple of hours, but you do have to talk

My Dad would be the easy choice but he passed away in November. Unfortunately most of my friends live out of town along with all of my brothers. I’ve been texting back and forth with my brother who was my best man and I’m going to explain it all to him tonight on the phone (my fingers were getting tired!).

For the record, the ketubah is hanging in our bedroom but I know the marriage license we got from Dallas county is in a box in the basement.

Regardless I think I’m either going to get my brother or my buddy that lives an hour away.

After our convalidation, we got a lovely certificate from the church, suitable for framing, including the names of our witnesses. Not sure if this is the custom in every parish, but that’s the story for us!


Catholic Poet

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