I'm confused. Is my marriage valid and sacramental?


After reading a couple of topics in Ask An Apologist, I’m now slightly confused.

Here’s my story: I was baptised Church Of England, my husband was baptised Catholic. We married initially in a civil ceremony because to my shame, at the time I was not religious. Two years later we received a Catholic Blessing of our marriage. I understand that in the eyes of the Church our marriage was not valid until that point.

What I am wondering is, if our marriage is now valid and sacramental?

Also, I had not converted to Catholicism yet at the time of our marriage blessing, does this invalidate our marriage in the Church?

I’m sorry if this is confusing to everybody else too.:blush:


A marriage can be valid in the eyes of the Church but non-sacramental. I’m not sure about your situation… by receiving the Church’s blessing do you mean your marriage was convalidated?


But a marriage between baptized persons cannot be valid except that it be sacramental. The OP and husband are baptized; If their marrige is valid, it is necessarily sacramental.



Yes, sorry, I suppose that is what I mean. The word ‘convalidated’ was never used to us but the priest was aware of our situation and was aware that we wished to make our marriage valid in the eyes of the Church.


It sounds like you’re good to go, as long as the priest submitted all the necessary paperwork.

When in doubt, contact the priest who performed the blessing. Just tell him you were doing some reading online and wanted to make sure you did everything right.:slight_smile:


Take a look here too: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=155587

But a marriage between baptized persons cannot be valid except that it be sacramental. The OP and husband are baptized; If their marrige is valid, it is necessarily sacramental.

**From USCCB.org:
2. Do Catholics ever validly enter into non-sacramental marriages?

Yes. Marriages between Catholics and non-Christians, while they may still be valid in the eyes of the Church, are non-sacramental. With permission, a priest or deacon may witness such marriages.**

I read it wrong – I thought it said “Marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics.” :o So – a marriage can be valid in the eyes of the Church but not sacramental necessarily, but if both are Christians (not necessarily Catholics) and baptized, the marriage is sacramental as well? (I’m still doing a lot of learning – only been Catholic for a year! :slight_smile: )


Thank you. I’ll try and do that. We lived in England at the time but now do not. Would the information have been recorded exactly as for a ‘normal’ marriage ceremony? We did sign a register.


I’m a Catholic convert too and even though it’s been 8 years, I’m still learning! I did have a long period away from the Church mind you.

Thank you for the link.:slight_smile:


Yes. A marriage in which at least one of the parties is not baptized may be a valid natural marriage.

But between baptized Christians, if the marriage is valid it is sacramental. (Baptism being the gateway to the rest of the sacraments). The Catechism says:

1601 “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”



have no idea what the civil law requirements are in England. In the US a couple convalidating must apply for a new marriage license from the state as well, and the priest or deacon completes the paperwork.


I had a valid non-sacramental marriage. Husband was Catholic I was a non-baptized Christian (non-denom) (but to the church I was a non-Christian)

I did not know it wasn’t sacramental until I started reading these boards about 2 years later (1 year before my baptism)

Now it’s sacramental because now I’m Catholic :thumbsup:


I don’t get it though. DH and I are married, had our marriage convalidated and I still don’t know if it’s sacramental or not even though I’ve been told it is by canon lawyers.

DH was Catholic by baptism, 1st Eucharist and confurmation. At the age of 7-8 his mom converted to JWism, and he’s now a baptized JW but never wrote a letter to the bishop renouncing the faith since DH didn’t think it was necessary.

Because we were both validly baptized I’m told it’s sacramental, but because he’s “not” a Catholic any more, would it be sacramental?


You already have your answer from a canon lawyer but you don’t believe it? I am not understanding your question. If you have both been baptized, and your marriage is valid, it is also sacramental. What more is to discuss? Your husband was not “un-baptized” when he changed religions, baptism is once and forever.


It’s just that I was told by a priest here on CAF it wasn’t sacramental because DH made the decision to baptize as a JW.


Your husband was baptized as an infant, a pre-requisite for receiving first communion, confession and confirmation. His convertion to JW was and act of defection considered a public renouncement of the Catholic faith - at least for his parents. But technically he officially defected by his continued membership and/or JW baptism. Here’s an interesting point about the irrelevancy of the JW baptism. The JW do not baptize with the trinitarian formula (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins) as I baptized my oldest son when he was 9 in 2004. JW baptisms are not valid at all because they do not believe in the trinity and thus renders their baptism invalid. In 1983 a new udate to the Code of Canon Law went into effect that loosened up the definition of defecting to include an official act of defection that could include baptisim in a new faith, officially joining, etc. It is a public act of defection.

Please don’t be offended by my statements. It’s just what a group of people believed and includes some struggles that we are trying to figure out how to deal with.

You marriage is sacramental and valid. And the priest’s comments seem to be very misguided. Maybe he misunderstood something. But we all should know that you can not undo a valid baptism. It’s impossible. Just as it is impossible to undo a valid ordination or a valid marriage.(even thoug annulments in America have approached this to the point of the Holy Father threatening to require that all annulments be sent to the Vatican because the U.S. seems to be abusing the process.)

PAX tecum.


Yes, the convalidation validated the marriage. The marriage of two baptized persons is a sacrament, therefore your marriage is both valid and a sacrament.



Canon lawyers are experts. Why do you doubt what they have told you?

Because he has not made a formal act of defection, as outlined by Church law, he** is **in fact a Catholic whether **he **considers himself one or not.


I have another question to pose in the same vein as this subject. I have a friend from college days that wants to have a radical sanation of her marriage. She does not know whether her husband has been baptised or not. What difference would this make?


No, it doesn’t make a difference. I’m assuming your friend is Catholic, only one party has to be Catholic. Another thing is that if her husband was baptized, the marriage would be noted on his baptismal certificate. The only way to find out is if she asks her husband… unless she’s not informing him of the sanation.


Are you sure that in the US a couple must apply for a new marriage license from the state? My husband and I had our marriage convalidated several years ago. Our priest completed all of the paperwork and such, but we did not have to apply for a new marriage license from the state. That doesn’t sound quite right to me, the state already viewed our marriage as legal, which is all the state is concerned with.:confused:

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