Do I need to be confirmed to be married in the Catholic Church?


#21

[quote=kag1982]Personally, I don’t see the big deal. It makes sense that someone wanting to have a religious vocation would need to be confirmed. Just wanting to get married… not so much.
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Marriage IS a vocation though. I think the best advice would be to more about marriage and understand it is a vocation and what it entails, and meeting with a priest is the best way to do this.

[quote=kag1982]In fact, I’d think that the Church would want to be a bit more open about its requirements for marriage given the fact that so many people aren’t getting married.
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This argument seems to be made for just about everything in the Catholic Church. People will say “If the church is having such a problem with people wanting to become priests then they should allow priests to marry or allow women priests” Now, yes the church does have the power to change things but it won’t. The church is rooted in tradition and I believe that is how it will stay.

[quote=SaintRita]None of this is even an issue if you yourself are not wanting to join the church.**…**Why do you want to get married in the Catholic Church if its not a church you want to become a full member of?
[/quote]

It is as simple as this if you do not want to initiate yourself in the church there is no reason to follow a vocation in the church.

[quote=JharekCarnelian]Agreed in this case, I find the attitude of the OP ambivalent and confusing as to how they view the Church. It is one thing at age 13 to realise that the Church is composed of sinful people and be dissapointed by that but the poster is now many years older and at some point the realisation that we are all sinners must set in and that there are no Churches without hypocrites.
[/quote]

The church is made up of sinners and yes there will be hypocrites and people who deny the faith and such but let us remember Peter denied Jesus twice and yet Jesus still gave him the keys to heaven and earth. I do apologize if anything seems to be “Hard” on you but I do not think any of us are trying to judge you we are just trying to give you honest straight forward answers. You will be in my prayers.


#22

Considering that my boyfriend isn’t connected to a church, that would make sense. My boyfriend is spiritual, but not really religious. He does enjoy the Spanish Mass I go to because it is quite active participation and quite happy. He spent time volunteering in South America, so his Spanish is better than mine. However, the Catholic Church has some practices that are quite odd to him, so I doubt he would want to convert. I’d like any kids I may have to be baptized and make their First Communions, but I would give them the same choice I had concerning Confirmation.


#23

[quote="kag1982, post:22, topic:329929"]
Considering that my boyfriend isn't connected to a church, that would make sense. My boyfriend is spiritual, but not really religious. He does enjoy the Spanish Mass I go to because it is quite active participation and quite happy. He spent time volunteering in South America, so his Spanish is better than mine. However, the Catholic Church has some practices that are quite odd to him, so I doubt he would want to convert. I'd like any kids I may have to be baptized and make their First Communions, but I would give them the same choice I had concerning Confirmation.

[/quote]

And how would you cope then with the fact that the Pope is strongly desirous of Communion been delayed till after confirmation as was historically the case until recently and is still in some places? What exactly was your boyfriend doing in South America, I get the impression of evangelising the natives been a strong part of that volunteering. If he finds our practices 'odd' then will that not become an issue when you have children? I am part of a mixed marriage and I took time to explore my wife's faith before marrying her and although she is part of another apostolic Church there are still some significant differences at times but I do not find them 'odd' once I understood their context. Perhaps this will be true for you boyfriend if he explores such matters, although that depends on the person.


#24

I think it’s a question of your own relationship with God . We all come across people and attitudes we don’t lke but faith isn’t about personalities. If you are considering confirmation and a fuller life in the church then consider… is it not just possible that God is calling you to do this? No lectures promise … but maybe some prayer and listening to Him would help.
When the Holy Spirit stirs us to act we can always find reasons to say no. Confirmation isn’t just a formality , it’s a challenge, to be a torch bearer! , to live your faith and be an active particiapant. Maybe your past experiences have made this a difficult choice now but
as an adult remember this is your church too . People don’t always get along with everybody but don’t be disocuraged by that. Have you thouught that maybe the church needs you.
I have known a few young adults who prepared for confirmation and received the sacrament discretely at the Easter Vigil. There were no classes as such just some one to time with their priest and some commitment from them
Hope you make the best decision for you and your partner. God Bless


#25

Oh, I think that I have a very adult version of my faith because I actually went on a faith journey. Much better than just being forced to do something so that I can get married. I’ll talk to the priest. He is generally pretty flexible but I don’t know the diocese requirements.


#26

'Faith journey', one of those terrible terms like 'relationship' that sends shudders up my spine due to they way the assault the English language.


#27

#28

I think talking to your priest would be best.
Sorry my comments about adults weren’t a judgement on your faith. I just meant that as an adult you might view things differently now.
It’s difficult for people who see the sacraments as gifts, as part of our ‘journey’ to step outside of that and understand why you think you are being forced to do anything.
Marriage is one of seven sacraments whiich catholics may recieve. Each one comes with grace to help us fulfill our roles in life and and in each one we meet God in a special way.
The way I see it you have an opportunity to receive two of these
You may not be ready for confirmation or you may have decided it’s not for you but that’s
your choice. There isn’t anything being forced . Sometimes we have to face difficult choices
I don’t think anybody here is judging you. It’s just difficult to understand why you would want marriage and not confirmation


#29

I’m about to become very judgemental here and it is nothing personal but you portray an attitude here of indifference to the faith and your own vocation. I don’t know what your future plans are, vis à vis stewardship of your parish, but you are going to have big trouble joining a liturgical ministry or actively pursuing things such as catechetical instruction or baptism for your children if you are not fully initiated.

Marriage is a life-changing vocation. Marriage lasts until death in the Catholic Church, do you understand that? It is just as monumental an undertaking as a religious profession, and that is why you must be confirmed, so that you are strengthened by grace to persevere in the role you have chosen for life. Right now you seem to be operating perhaps under some pressure from family to “get married and have kids” but that is not the goal of matrimony. Spouses are to give each other fully to one another in a lifelong covenant of love, and welcome children as God wills to be a part of your domestic Church, to raise them as Catholics, and educate them in the faith. The wife sanctifies her husband through the sacrament just as the husband sanctifies his wife.

You are already unequally yoked to your boyfriend, who does not share in the fullness of the faith. You will need to take a long and hard look at him, and yourself, to see if you are ready for marriage at all, and whether or not you are ready for marriage to him. Imagine yourself in 5, 10, 25 years. He is “spiritual but not religious”. When is your Catholic thing going to wear thin for him? When will he tire of going to Mass and seeing the children make their sacraments? When will he tell you you’re wrong for praying to the BVM, or gaining indulgences, or calling priests “father”? Are you going to have arguments about the Bible? If you do become strong in your faith, and I am not sure that you will, then you can definitely expect similar arguments between yourselves. How do the prospective in-laws feel about welcoming Catholics to their family? Not just you, but your parents and your children too? Their grandchildren are going to have to be Catholic, whether they like it or not. That should be discussed early and often, well before the baptism, well before the nuptials take place and it’s a done deal.

You sound like you are just checking boxes on a scorecard. “What do I need so that I can hop into bed with my boyfriend and have it all legal?” Study up on Matrimony. Read the Catechism. Re-read the Catechism. I can recommend a helpful website from my diocese. Talk to a priest, this is not optional. Have an in-depth conversation with a priest. My suggestion is to sign one up as a spiritual director, because all people discerning a vocation should have one. With your SD you should face head-on those difficult life questions that you have about the sacraments. Get one who is orthodox and trustworthy. This is your life at stake. Don’t do something you will regret. You are in my prayers.


#30

Elizium brought up some great points.

20 years ago I identified as a Pagan for a while and then an atheist. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be in the process of converting to Catholicism. I understood marriage as a social and legal contract that could be dissolved and believed I would be free to remarry later without any hassles at all. I married my ex in 1994 because we had a child together and I felt I owed it to my child. I knew inside that the marriage would never work, but no big deal, right? The divorce was final in 2002 and I remarried that year.

Here we are in 2013. I’m in my late 30’s. My husband (Catholic) hadn’t been to Mass in over 20 years. He was never Confirmed, either. He fell away from the Church and his faith back in his early teens.

We were evaluating our lives and trying to figure out why we had an empty place inside of both of us. We realized we were missing something and eventually figured out what we were missing was God. So, we began attending Mass. I decided to convert and my husband decided to be Confirmed. We are both taking RCIA with our oldest children. I am in the process of annulment so that my marriage can be convalidated and recognized by the Church.

Because of the terrible choices I made when I didn’t know any better, I cannot be Confirmed or enjoy the Sacraments (except Confession) until the annulment is (hopefully) granted. While he is married to me, because I have not gotten an annulment granted yet, my husband cannot enjoy the Sacraments, either. I cannot express how much this saddens us.

You don’t know where you will be and how you will feel in 20 years. Before you do ANYTHING, please talk to your priest and make sure you are fully aware of what you are doing. Take advantage of the pre-marriage counseling. I wish I had someone 20 years ago to explain to me the true nature of marriage and to help guide me in the decision.


#31

Yeah... Frankly, the last two posters have been pretty judgmental... Especially Elizium. Sorry, but there seems to be certain posters in this forum who tend to be judgmental.

  1. I don't want to join a liturgical ministry or teach Sunday school. We don't have any close Catholic friends, cousins, etc. to be godparents of.

  2. I highly doubt a parish would delay baptism of children because of lack of Confirmation.

  3. Yes I understand what matrimony is. I have quite a bit of Catholic school under my belt. And no I am not operating under family pressure. It is just very hard to find a good guy in my generation. Most guys my age who are still single have no aspirations. I really don't want to act as a grown man's mom. It is nice to have someone supportive of your goals as well as having goals of his own. Of course, I am going to snap such a guy up.

  4. My boyfriend is fine with having the wedding in my parish. It prides itself on being a welcoming an open place. When he attends a church service he comes with me. He does think that some Catholic practices are odd and doesn't want to convert. I don't believe in forcing anyone or nagging. He is fine with allowing any kids we have to be raised Catholic. And I have no idea where Catholics get the 19th century persecution complex from. Most Protestants I know are quite friendly people who don't judge based on religion. Mixed marriages are quite common. Of course, some conservative Protestants probably hold such views, but some conservative Catholics aren't any better. My rule of thumb is to steer clear of such people regardless of religion.

  5. I'd like to get married at my specific parish because it is an important to me. I enjoy going to Mass there. My boyfriend knows that I enjoy it. And yes I understand the requirements. Chicago requires classes. My parish generally recommends the retreat which I heard is quote good.

  6. This parish and the pastor are quite liberal. I live in Chicago for goodness sakes. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I really steer clear of the type of parish that concerns itself with lady foot washing, etc.


#32

I truly hope you understand I was not being judgmental. I shared a bit of my story to illustrate how much can change over time. Decisions made at one stage of life can have unhappy consequences that last many years and can cause much sadness.

Of course, I hope you and your BF have a life long happy marriage. But the reality is that people do change, sometimes radically, over time. It is always a good idea to discuss how you will both handle differences of faith and how those differences could effect your lives together. It's not uncommon for people who are thinking of marrying to be so in love and happy with each other that they don't think of some practical concerns that could arise and have no plan on how they will deal with those things as a couple. Finances, sex, child rearing and on and on. The details matter. A priest during pre-marriage counseling will likely bring up subjects you and your BF might not have thought much about.

I'll use your post numbers and maybe be helpful by giving you food for thought.

1) No desire to teach or join luturgical ministry - Sure, that is true right now. But things change. You may become close friends with fellow parishioners and find yourself asked to be a godparent. You may decide you want to teach children later.

2) Doubtful a parish would delay Baptism- I doubt that, as well, but I am one who likes to dot all i's and cross all t's. More now than when I was younger.

3) You understand the Catholic teachings on marriage and have found a good man - I am happy for you! Good men seem harder and harder to find. Of course you want to keep yours.

You understand than marriage is for life and that divorce is not possible from a religious standpoint. If the marriage were to fail for some unforeseen reason, it may not be possible for an annulment to be granted and you would be unable to remarry within the Church. If you remarried civilly and remained Catholic you wouldn't be able to receive the Sacraments and you'd be in the same boat I'm in. It's a cruddy boat.Your BF would be able to go on with his life and remarry at will with no problems from his church because he is Protestant. It's very important that he fully understand what marriage means to Catholics. As a former Protestant I can tell you there is a big cultural difference there. Most religious people do take vows before God seriously, but Protestants tend to keep divorce as a valid option in the back of their minds because divorce with no religious implications is so common.

4,5,6)** Welcoming place, no problem raising children Catholic and no Catholic persecution, location etc.** - It's wonderful you have found a church that you both like and that the BF is willing to attend and that he has no problem marrying there or with the children you hope to have being raised Catholic. However, it's not uncommon for a couple to make agreements before the children come along and to go back on those agreements later. Not because they were being dishonest, but because having a real child in the flesh is vastly different from having one in theory. It's very important your BF fully understands the rituals and traditions of the Church and how those rituals and traditions will effect the whole family on a daily basis. Not just a general idea, but full understanding.

And, yes, there are people who have serious issues with Catholicism today. Protestants who think we're idol worshipers, atheists who think anyone religious is a nutter and that Catholics are the worst of the lot, people who genuinely believe the Church is evil and no one should be a part of it because of the sex abuse scandals, people who think that the Church's teachings on abortion, contraception, marriage etc. are outdated and who make fun of those teachings and so on. Kids, especially, can be cruel and it's not outside the realm of possibility that your future children may be open about their religion to the wrong person/people and get teased, picked on, made fun of. If you are open about your faith (using the general you) at some point at work, at school, on the bus...whatever...someone is bound do do or say something cruel. Those kind of people cannot always be avoided, especially in the workplace or public schools. I'm in MI, near Detroit, and I have run into some prejudice recently. You'd think people would behave with more tolerance and understanding in modern times, but you still get the occasional throwback.

Anywho, just some food for thought.


#33

#34

No one has said anything judgement at all.

It is apparent you dont understand much about catholic marriage by your replies. The fact that you see confirmation necessary for a religous vocation but not for marriage is one of the biggest signs. I have lots of years of catholic school as well and didn’t learn hardly anything about it–

Please read theology of the body for beginners by Christopher West.

And stop accusing people of judging you. Absolutely no one has commented on the state of your soul


#35

There is a difference between “judgemental” and “speculative”. My previous post was full of speculation, because all I know about you is what you have said here on the forum, and therefore I had to fill in the blanks by my prior experience and extrapolation.

I mentioned liturgical ministry and teaching catechesis as two primary examples of things which typically require Confirmation. There are many other activities in the Church which you will have trouble pursuing if you are not confirmed. In fact, if you do not find yourself limited by lack of Confirmation, then either your parish is too permissive, or you are not contributing enough from your time and talent to support your Church. It is one of the Precepts of the Church to offer support. Good stewardship is not just about tithing (which you should also be doing) but it is about volunteering and giving sacrificially so that others have a vibrant parish life to look forward to. Confirmation will give you the graces to carry out stewardship as well as qualifying you (one box on your checklist) for ministry.

Can you imagine a Jew who says “I sure would like to be a rabbi/cantor/sofer, but I’m not making my bar mitzvah because Judaism is filled with hypocrites!” It is just unthinkable that someone who is ostensibly committed to the Church, and wants the Church to seal a covenant of marriage, is unwilling to likewise seal her covenant of fidelity to the Church.

I refused Confirmation in my childhood as I was losing my faith. Like you, I felt the Church was full of hypocrites and I saw no value in receiving the sacraments anymore. Predictably, I lost my faith completely and for eleven years I was outside the Church. One of my first actions upon rejoining was to seek the sacraments again worthily. I made two Confessions before I received the Eucharist, and that same year I entered a Confirmation class and was confirmed on the Solemnity of Christ the King. I knew full well that this represented a permanent life decision. It was my “yes” to the graces of the sacrament that opened the Church back to me. To continue on with my life in the Church and discern a vocation and participate in ministries, without immediately seeking Confirmation, would have been nonsensical. It would have indicated that returning to Catholicism was just one more step on my path of seeking and bailing out of situations when they got unpleasant. For me, being Confirmed was my signal of filial devotion to God. It was the first sacrament for me which was made with both my eyes open and the complete consent of my will. And I will never regret it.


#36

Kag1982,

catholicdoors.com/misc/marriage/canonlaw.htm

Canon law says : **Canon 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.

**It’s up to the priest or Bishop to say what the definition of “grave inconvenience” is.
Marriage is a very serious undertaking and best taken equipped with the full complement of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
It seems to me that you might benefit from spending some time before the Blessed Sacrament and ask Jesus to help you continue on you faith journey in a more fruitful way. Perhaps with learning to forgive those who you perceive as having hurt you and not letting those experiences continue to hold back your spiritual growth. That is what you are doing by denying yourself the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Give it a try. A rosary or two wouldn’t hurt either.


#37

MJJean I was talking about the poster before you, not you. What confuses me about your situation is that you must get your marriage corrected to receive any other sacraments. Sadly, your case is complicated by a divorce. (I hope that works out for you.) However, I’ve never been married and up until a few years ago I was a “recovering Catholic,” I could have gotten married by a Elvis Impersonator in Vegas at 28 and then returned to the Church at 29 by talking to the priest, getting my marriage convalidated, and making a confession.

FAB Thank you for your wonderful answer. My parish is pretty liberal, but I was concerned when I peeked at the requirements for marriage and saw that they wanted a confirmation certificate. This confused me even more because their sister parish across town only required a baptism certificate. I was confused with the conflicting answers that I got online and was even more confused when I realized that if I left the Church, that I would have to get my marriage regularized before I received any sacraments.


#38

[quote="kag1982, post:37, topic:329929"]
FAB Thank you for your wonderful answer. My parish is pretty liberal, but I was concerned when I peeked at the requirements for marriage and saw that they wanted a confirmation certificate. This confused me even more because their sister parish across town only required a baptism certificate. I was confused with the conflicting answers that I got online and was even more confused when I realized that if I left the Church, that I would have to get my marriage regularized before I received any sacraments.

[/quote]

The reason your sister's parish only asks for a certificate of baptism is because your confirmation is listed on that. Regardless of which parish you are in when you are confirmed or married, that parish will notify the parish where you were baptized and a notation will be made in your baptismal record. Thereafter, any time a certificate of Baptism is issued it should also include the date & place of confirmation and the details of any recorded marriage.


#39

There is a difference between “judgemental” and “speculative”. My previous post was full of speculation, because all I know about you is what you have said here on the forum, and therefore I had to fill in the blanks by my prior experience and extrapolation.

Suggesting that someone would only get married because of their parents’ pressure or that I only wanted to get married for sexual reasons is judgmental.

. There are many other activities in the Church which you will have trouble pursuing if you are not confirmed. In fact, if you do not find yourself limited by lack of Confirmation, then either your parish is too permissive, or you are not contributing enough from your time and talent to support your Church. It is one of the Precepts of the Church to offer support. Good stewardship is not just about tithing (which you should also be doing) but it is about volunteering and giving sacrificially so that others have a vibrant parish life to look forward to. Confirmation will give you the graces to carry out stewardship as well as qualifying you (one box on your checklist) for ministry.

I’m sure that my parish is too permissive for you. However, I’m not sure why I need to be confirmed to participate in the parish activities… for instance, the soup kitchen. And no I cannot tithe; I do put a few dollars in the collection plate. My money goes to pay the rent. My boyfriend owns a condo in the area and ideally we’d have quite a bit more with two incomes.

Can you imagine a Jew who says “I sure would like to be a rabbi/cantor/sofer, but I’m not making my bar mitzvah because Judaism is filled with hypocrites!” It is just unthinkable that someone who is ostensibly committed to the Church, and wants the Church to seal a covenant of marriage, is unwilling to likewise seal her covenant of fidelity to the Church

I’ve been to friends’ Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s and it is more of a cultural thing than anything else. Many didn’t go to synagogue, etc. Confirmation was the same for many years. I think that it is more widely accepted that this is an actual “adult” sacrament and that a child can say no. I believe in Milwaukee you have to be a junior in high school to be confirmed. Saying no, exploring ones faith, and having doubts are good things. I have deep reasons for my choice and you have yours. Let’s just leave it at that


#40

It is true that in the course of marriage prep a copy of the baptismal record is required and once married the record of the marriage goes to parish that you were baptised.
The main reason for asking for the baptismal record is part of the investigation to see if you are free to marry. If there were a previous marriage in the Church it would be reflected on the notations as well as any annulments granted.
Very often the confirmation record is not included, just depends on how complete the secratary at the parish issuing it is.

Go to the preist or deacon of the parish that you belong. It sounds as thou they are very pastoral and will walk you and your fiance through the process.
Marriage is a huge step in a couples life. The Church wants you to go through the investigation and prepartion to find out about your faith, but also to see your maturity and readiness for marriage. I have had couples that as they went through the process found that they were not ready. This is alright. It’s better to know know than to be married and find out later.
I question couples on as many issues as possible that a couple will face in a marriage, require them to go on a retreat and attend instructions on natural family planning. I always stress the importance that their faith as it concerns the marriage and that the marriage needs to be built on a strong foundation of faith. That they need to pray in their home together , attend mass weekly get involved in parish ministries and work to follow the church’s social doctrine. Also I encourage that they develop and continue a personal relationship with Christ.
There is of course a discussion concerning children and the importance that are also raised in the faith anf that they as parents are the first teachers of the faith and the parish is there to assist and support them.

Deacon Frank


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