Heres the question. My daughter and her husband were married 5 years ago in a Civil ceremony. They have always intended to have the marriage Blessed in the Church, but live has been giving them financial difficulties and they have never followed throug. Until now. They have just had their 3rd child. The other two have been baptized. This time they would like to have their marriage blessed as well as having the baby baptized.
They are both full Catholics, perhaps not practising as much as they could.
Are there any road blocks they may run into in getting the marriage blessed and the baby baptized.
the sacraments for the child are so often the occasion of grace for the parents, your prayers are being answered. There is no financial barrier, the cost should be nil if they simply have their marriage witnessed in the context of a regular daily Mass. The cost is in obtaining paperwork, usually, including recent baptismal certificates showing all sacraments received, civil marriage license, and whatever marriage preparation the diocese provides–focus test, usually one day retreat for civilly married couples plus meetings with the deacon, priest, sponsor couple (the latter is usually no charge).
In the parish the cost for all that assuming they have not lost any documents is about $200, if they wish to have a full wedding, which they are entitled to, use of the church is another $250 (100 is returned as a deposit) and it can happen in as little as 3 months if all the documents are at hand, even sooner if the pastor knows the couple. Missed appointments, failure to provide documents, delay in taking and reviewing the foccus test, waiting for the next retreat, and waiting on the convenience of family members and witnesses are the usual reasons for delay.
Assuming neither has been married before and the relationship is healthy and solid, there are no barriers. They need to visit their priest now because he may wish them to establish a relationship with the parish before baptizing, because he needs to see evidence they will raise the child Catholic. During this time they will be assisted to prepare for confession before the marriage, and to return to Communion. They can also begin confirmation class if either needs that sacrament.
Finances should never be the reason, or excuse, for delay in returning to Christ and his grace, since even these minimal costs can be waived in case of real need.
concern about cost of aa wedding reception, dress, flowers etc. is no excuse to delay a sacrament of the Church and to continue living in an irregular relationship, separated from the sacraments, which is the worst thing that can happen to a Catholic. Perhaps since this is a moment of grace when they are receptive, you can help them understand this, for the health of their marriage and family.
No there is no reason once they have been properly prepared and have everything in line that the marriage could be convalidated and the baptism performed at the same time, during or after a daily or Saturday evening Mass would be very appropriate. They, not you, need to visit their pastor today to get things moving, and in that initial interview state their plans and wishes. God bless you for being there to help them and encourage them through this.
If they cannot afford the various cultural customs that surround such sacramental celebrations, they can simply forego them and invite everyone over to the house for soda and chips.