How did my parents have two weddings?

My parents told me that they had two weddings in two Catholic churches: one for my mother’s family in one state, and another a few days later for my father’s family on the other side of the country.

I told them I doubted that one could receive the sacrament of matrimony twice, and that the second ceremony was probably a blessing or something, but they insisted it was a complete service.

Could you shed any light on this?

While a married couple could have a marriage blessed later, a second marriage is impossible. Any attempt to do so would constitute an abuse of the sacrament of matrimony. It is doubtful that the second ceremony in which your parents participated was a marriage ceremony; it is more likely that they did not recognize the distinctives that separate a marriage blessing from a marriage ceremony. That, however, would be a failure in itself of proper marriage catechesis on the part of the person or persons who prepared your parents for marriage since your parents obviously believe that they had two marriage ceremonies.

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