No Eucharist until convalidation?

Help me understand this because I’m having a really hard time with it.

I left the Catholic Church in 2012. I was married in 2014, my husband converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 2017, and I returned to the Church in August of this year.

Our priest had mentioned that we needed to get our marriage convalidated, but never made it seem like a time sensitive thing. The other day, on another thread on this forum, I learned that for every day my marriage wasn’t convalidated, I was living in sin because I was living with my husband and being intimate with him while not officially married in the eyes of the Church.

I asked my priest in an email and today my husband had a visit with him. During the visit, the priest said that in our particular situation and given our specific circumstances, we didn’t really have much culpability about it, but now that it’s been drawn to our attention, and going forward, that is the case.

He said my husband and I should continue to live in the same house and not separate, but abstain from sex, and even if we do abstain from sex, we can’t partake of Eucharist until our marriage is convalidated, which could be about two weeks.

I’m completely devastated. I don’t know what to do. We have three pre-marital counseling sessions to do, a focus test to take, and then we can have the convalidation. TWO WEEKS. The Eucharist is my life. I don’t understand how I can be barred from taking it over something that two days before we had little culpability over and that clearly wasn’t a big deal considering our priest knew our situation, gave us Eucharist, and never mentioned it.

Your devotion to the Eucharist can be all the more motivation to not partake of it until the situation is straightened out. You are living with a person who you are not technically married to yet. This isn’t a condemnation of you, but it is something you should be aware of.

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When I returned to the Church I had to wait 6 months before my marriage would be validated because my wife didn’t want to have a convalidation. I had to receive a Radical Sanation - which takes much longer.

You only have two weeks. :innocent:

Also, keep this in mind… before the 19th century, Catholics would usually only receive communion once a month or once a year.

Infact, in the early 19th century, nuns used to have to get permission from their spiritual directors to receive communion once a week!

People receiving weekly and/or daily is actually a modern thing.

My point in all of this… please look at it this way:

  1. you are lucky you only have to wait 2 weeks
  2. when you receive - you will be very joyous your wait is over!

God bless and welcome home!

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Okay then why wouldn’t he just have us separate until the marriage is convalidated so that the living together isn’t an issue? It just seems like a drastic thing considering literally no one has made any mention of this and I had to find it out on a message board on an unrelated post.

Okay but why is this even a thing? Why would the Church bar someone from Eucharist over something they have no control over?

I don’t know why he didn’t say anything before. He really should have.

However, you would NOT have to move out of the house. You simply would have to sleep in different beds.

My great-grandmother had to do this in order to receive communion until my Great-Grandfather died in the early 1960s (my Great-Grandfather was divorced his first wife - without annulment - because his wife cheated on him and had a secret abortion that he found out about).

Again, I’m not sure why the priest didn’t tell you all of this. It seems that sometimes, SOME priests have a tendency not to tell people select sins are grave, that way the person only commits a venial sin instead of a mortal one…? :man_shrugging:

Okay but he also didn’t mention that. He didn’t say, “You can’t take Eucharist if you do these things, so don’t do these things,” but, “You can’t take Eucharist UNTIL you do these specific things, which could have been done by now if you knew about it when you first came to me saying you wanted to return to the Church.”
I’m really not trying to be angry about this. He’s been a really excellent priest and I really like him. But this feels like a bucket of ice water to the face as punishment for something he failed to tell me.

Out of an abundance of protection for your soul. St. Paul teaches in the Bible that to receive the Eucharist when not in a State of Grace, you eat death upon you.

Therefore, the Church has historically taught people to refrain from communion when their lives are OBJECTIVELY (not necessarily subjectively) not in a State of Grace.

Again, this is out of an abundance of caution to protect you from the mortal sin of sacrilege.

I pray I’m making sense.

God bless

Okay, but I already confessed leaving the Church and all the things that happened during that period, which included getting married. I confessed it, Fr absolved me, and I’ve been taking Eucharist since. If I wasn’t in a State of Grace, then why did my priest give me Eucharist knowing my husband and I were living together in a non-valid marriage?

I guess what I’m getting at is, is it or is it not an objective sin?

It’s grave matter, and now you know.

But I have no desire to do it any more. I want to be in a State of Grace. By definition, doesn’t that make it not a grave sin? If I die right now, am I doomed? All because it will take 2 weeks to figure it all out?

Basically I just feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to be able to confess it and be done with it but I can’t even do that.

I can’t speak for him.

However, I had something similar happen to me before (totally different situation though).

It was like this:

  • In order for a sin to be a mortal sin, the sin as to meet three requirements
  1. the sin has to be a grave matter (aka break one of the 10 Commandments or Church teaching based on the 10 Commandments)
  2. the sin has to be committed voluntarily (aka you can’t be forced to commit the sin)
  3. and one must know it’s a grave sin

So let’s look at your situation

  1. Fornication is a grave matter sin.
  2. It’s is something you would voluntarily, objectively speaking of course, be doing as husband & wife
  3. However, you didn’t know you were committing a grave sin.

So, perhaps the priest figured he would not tell you since you didn’t know about #3. He figured, you didn’t know you were committing sacrilege, so you wouldn’t be guilty of it. Therefore, he didn’t tell you would not be guilty of sacrilege and fornication.

HOWEVER, once you read and your husband talked to Father, you now knew. Therefore, if you continued to receive, your sin would now be mortal instead of venial.

MY GUESS is that’s why it transpired the way it did.

Again, for me, it was similar. When I realized that I shouldn’t receive, the priest agreed with me. But had I not known, he wasn’t going to tell me not to receive.

NOTE: I’m NOT trying to discredit this priest. I’m just trying to theorize (based on personal experience) why he didn’t say anything before.

I hope I’m helping you & please do not get upset with father. Please simply pray for him and offer this time up to our Lord as a personal sacrifice.

God bless

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I should give a bit of my own story, because I had a similar experience. I was a lapsed Catholic. I married a non-practicing Protestant in a Protestant ceremony. My wife converted. I attended RCIA catechesis with her at the invite of the DOE. I didn’t realize our marriage was an issue until I flipped through the Confirmation gift “Catholicism for Dummies” my wife was given. I wrote an email to my pastor the next day. We got instructions similar to yours and our marriage was convalidated two and a half weeks later.

I can’t speak for why we didn’t find out sooner. Maybe it’s an awkward topic to bring up (not that it makes it right), and this does seem to impact a lot of lapsed Catholics these days.

I know it can be tough. For me I just wanted to make things right once I knew what the issue was. Being frustrated with other people’s oversights doesn’t help and it doesn’t undo your current irregular situation.

The silver lining is now you know. You have the opportunity to get those sacramental Grace’s you didn’t know you lacked. Things are becoming right even if the path wasn’t as straight as it could have been.

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I think you’re fine right now as far as that goes. You are working to make it right. It’s scheduled. You have it worked out with the priest. God knows these things.

But I’m not fornicating any more.

I can only speculate, but the priest may have thought temporary separation such a high a burden thar you and your spouse wouldn’t consider it. Would you? If so, maybe talk to your priest about it.

Just tell all this to God and refrain from sex and communion for two weeks. Then, after your convalidation CELEBRATE!!!

Try to think of it like this… you are going to be able to receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony for the first time in two weeks and in many ways, that same day will be like First Communion all over again!

In two weeks, you will be created as one flesh with your husband and be able to receive the Eurarchst in a way you never could before, because now you will be united with Christ to your husband.

So I pray… please look this from the the other side.

Also - for myself… when I finally was able to receive again, I cried with joy! Absence of the Eucharist truly makes us want to receive Jesus more.

In the long run, this will be wonderful you… as long as you are open to looking at it from that point of view.

God bless

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That’s good. However, that’s also why I was saying “objectively” not “subjectively.” Objectively speaking, when a couple sleeps in the same bed, it is assumed they are having sex.

That’s why the Church typically bases her general ground rules on objectively instead of subjectively. It’s usually much easier for all of us to think objectively vs subjectively. So the Church uses objectively in order to be safe.

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