Getting marriage convalidated - no confession?

I only recently began practicing my faith again. My husband and I are both Catholic, but had a civil wedding two years ago. We are in the process of getting convalidated, and have agreed to remain abstinent until our ceremony.

Our priest has informed us that we cannot receive the sacraments until this is over. If we have agreed to not have sex, should we not be able to receive confession and communion?

…I can only assume that you have been doing the married thing before your decision to marry in the church. So technically i suppose you have been shacking, err… doing the married thing outside of the commandments. (remember, i am assuming and you know what that sets me up for)… anyway you have to confess your assumed sins, say your sorry (act of contrition) firmly resolve to not do it again, and do pennance, receive absolution then “viola” your square with the world and God’s church and then you can come on in…welcome! :thumbsup:

Well, we were told that even if we don’t do… um… “that” we still can’t go to confession or receive communion. That doesn’t sound right…

I think the standard advice is that you should live separately until you are validly married. I know that may be difficult or impossible so hopefully it won’t be long until you have your marriage convalidated and can return to the sacraments.

My husband’s friend crashed on our couch when he was having marriage trouble. Maybe he has room on his own now… :smiley:

I have a latent cussing habit (including the occasional GD) and can mortally sin in traffic within minutes of leaving church. I NEED frequent confession, because I’m a TERRIBLE sinner (and I mean that).:eek:

I think the issue may be one of the possibility of scandal (giving bad example) to those in your parish who know you are not validly married and who assume you are having marital relations. It might give the impression that your pastor approves of such arrangements.

I have heard that some pastors will allow persons in this situation, after a complete confession and currently living as “brother and sister,” to receive Communion at another parish where they are unknown and there is little risk of scandal. I am not sure what the official position of the Church is on this.

If there is not a compelling reason (for example, children) for you to remain together, it would probably be best to separate until you get the marriage issues resolved.

In the mean time, you can receive many graces by making frequent acts of spiritual communion. This is from an article by Archbishop Raymond Burke:

Our late Holy Father reminded us that the practice of making a “spiritual communion” comes from our deep desire to receive the Body of Christ. “Spiritual communion” is the expression of our profound and enduring desire to receive the Body of Christ. The act of spiritual communion prepares us fittingly for the time when we are able to receive Holy Communion.

Whenever we experience a period of time during which we may not receive Holy Communion because we are guilty of a mortal sin which we have not confessed in the Sacrament of Penance or because we are, in some other way, not properly disposed to receive, then we unite ourselves to Christ in the best possible way by expressing, in prayer, our desire to receive Him. God always responds to our act of spiritual communion with the help of His grace. Regarding spiritual communion, Pope John Paul II quotes St. Teresa of Avila, doctor of the Church:

“When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.”

Follow your priest’s advice - he knows your situation better than we can.

I am betting that once the convalidation is done, he will be happy to hear your Confessions, and happy to give you Holy Communion at the very next Mass. :slight_smile:

So I won’t go to Hell if I’m run over by a bus today?:eek:

First, it’s unlikely that you will be run over by a bus today. And second, God knows your heart. You cannot possibly go to Hell by accident, or without His knowledge and say-so.

Be at peace! :slight_smile:


Thanks! I know I sound morbid, but I’m crazy and that’s all I can think right now.

Perhaps your husband’s friend could return the hospitality you showed him. Talk with your priest to be sure but I think it would solve all your problems.

So I won’t go to Hell if I’m run over by a bus today?

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the ordinary means God has given us for the forgiveness of serious sins. God can (because He is God, after all!) work outside the sacraments if He chooses to do so — He has given us the sacraments, but He is not bound by them.

In order to be forgiven for serious sins outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we must have perfect contrition for our sins. Rough definitions:
*]Perfect contrition arises from perfect love of God; we are sorry because we have offended Him whom we love above all things.
*]Imperfect contrition arises from fear of punishment (purgatory, hell) or other imperfect motives.
Imperfect contrition is sufficient for forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Outside the Sacrament, we must have perfect contrition (which may be pretty hard to come by). And since we may never know whether our contrition is truly perfect (we may have some imperfect motives mixed in, like fear of being run over by that bus), we don’t have the same certainty of forgiveness that we have in the Sacrament.

Even if you think you have perfect contrition for your sins (which should include a pretty firm resolution not to commit them again), you cannot approach Holy Communion until you have been sacramentally absolved.

Is there anything (such as an annulment process) hindering you from having that convalidation ceremony right away?

No, first marriage for both of us. We’ve been married for two years. He’s having us do an abridged version of the counseling new couples get.

God knows your heart and your desire to go to confession, and He will bless you for taking the steps necessary to have your marriage convalidated. Be patient. God is merciful, not vindictive.

Once you resolve to correct the sinful situation , I don’t see the issue.

That’s what my main issue is. I’m more than willing to spend a couple months on the couch if it means I can receive the sacraments.

Plus, if we’re in a “sinful state” regardless of whether we abstain, what is the motivation to abstain? We’re 27, it’s not an easy task.

If I’m still sinning even if we’re not having sex, why am I not having sex with my husband???:confused:

…isn’t the confession requirement for sins prior to the UM thing… because obviously it’s been a while since confession??? I don’t know enough here to comment… need more input… Hope it works out for you both…Peace

I’ve attended confession every week since I returned to my faith. I didn’t realize I shouldn’t be. If we abstain, I don’t see where the sin is.

And the point is he won’t ALLOW us to go to confession. Even IF we abstain.

If you saw a couple living together without being married and then saw them receiving communion at Mass, what would you think about the situation?

I assume that your priest’s concern is the possibility of scandal, but why don’t you ask him directly? If you live separately would he allow you to receive the sacraments? What about if you avoid sex and attend another parish?

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