Is Confirmation a requirement for Marriage?

Good afternoon,

My fiancee and I are going to be married on July 11 and I received a frantic call from her this afternoon that she had gotten a message from the Deacon stating he was not sure if we could be married…

I will start from the beginning:

I am Catholic and my fiancee is Methodist. We were engaged on January 6, 2007 and after deciding that we wanted to be married in the church I had grown up in and received all of my sacraments in. A few weeks later we met with the Deacon and picked a date and went over all of the rules and requirements. At the time we brought up that my fiancee had actually been baptized Catholic but was raised Methodist. He stated that would not be a problem and that it would actually make things easier because we would not have to seek a dispensation from the Diosese. He offered that if she wished to pursue Confirmation that she was encouraged to but it was not a requirement. We had discussed this several times before meeting with the Deacon and my fiancee decided that she was content with her Methodist faith and did want wish to seek Confirmation.

Over the next 16 months we obviously attended church regularly, met with the Deacon a several occasions, attended Pre-Cana, answered the FOCUS questions, etc. During at least two of our meetings the topic of my fiancee’s Catholic Baptism was brought up and it was never mentioned as a problem. In our last meeting we gave him the name of the parish she was baptized in and again he made no mention of there being any problem. He simply stated that he would need an original copy of the Baptism certificate.

Back to today. I dropped off the certificate yesterday and today my fiancee received a call from the Deacon stating that he either didn’t realize she was baptized Catholic or we never told me this and that our wedding could not go forward unless she received confirmation. Additionally, since the wedding is five weeks away he was not sure if that was possible. We are waiting to hear back from him with more information.

Needless to say, my fiancee is extremely upset. We have relied on the Deacon as a primary source of reliable information as to what we needed to do to prepare for the wedding and this is all very alarming.

Is it possible he is mistaken?

Thank you in advance,


Hi Mike,

You deacon IS in fact mistaken. Canon 1065, section one states: “If they can do so without serious inconvenience, Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before admitted to marriage.” That’s “if without serious inconvenience”! My parents were married without my father having been Confirmed.

I think you need to get the pastor in on this. You can contact me privately by clicking on my name if you need to. You are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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