Receiving the Eucharist when marriage is not valid?


#1

I have been searching through old posts on this topic but am still unsure as to what is correct. I am a craddle Catholic and my husband was raised Protestant. He went through RCIA 5 years ago and is now a practicing Catholic. We were married in a Protestant military chapel 12 years ago by a Navy Chaplain. I did not realize at the time, that I was required to marry in a Catholic church. My husband was not told during the RCIA process, that he needed to do anything with our marriage. Upon learning this information, we are now in the process of having a convalidation. In the meantime, is it ok to receive the Eucharist? We have been doing so. We have not been to reconciliation on this matter. We are currently living as brother and sister and have been for some time. We have 3 young children at home. Neither of us has ever been married before. I met with the Pastoral Associate to request a convalidation and she did not mention anything about not receiving communion.


#2

As far as I know you in mortal sin by being married outside the Catholic church.

So no you should not take communion nor confession till the marriage is blessed by the Catholic church


#3

[quote="Bismarck, post:2, topic:298771"]
As far as I know you in mortal sin by being married outside the Catholic church.

So no you should not take communion nor confession till the marriage is blessed by the Catholic church

[/quote]

Slow down Bismarck, not your place to be deciding who is in mortal sin. This is something that should be discussed with a priest.

That being said, by her statement, that she didn't know she needed to be married in the Catholic Church would indicate a lack in one of three elements to be mortal sin.


#4

But I would still recommend talking to a priest about it.

Also, why couldn't they go to confession? Did you miss that they have been living chastely while waiting for convalidation.


#5

My understanding is that if you receive the sacrament of Reconciliation and continue to live as brother and sister, you may receive Holy Communion. If you go to the sacrament, you might want to ask the priest about this.

I've heard this advice given to a couple who was civilly married,but unable to con-validate their marriage in the Catholic Church. I can't remember their exact circumstances now. In their case, I think one of them was divorced. I think they had small children, and they thought it could be emotionally difficult on them to have their Mom or Dad just move out of their house.

Congrats on taking the steps at convalidating your marriage!:extrahappy:


#6

Thank you all for responding! I will have the opportunity for confession on Tuesday but some of the comments I have read suggested that even that would not be allowed (no Sacraments). Others have said one must have confession before receiving the Eucharist. I have continued to read and it sounds as though Sacraments are ok as long as long as we are living in a celibate way - forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=146317

It shouldn't take long to get the convalidation done. Hardest part will be scheduling b/c my husband is in the military and has an unusual schedule requiring him frequent overnights on the ship each week (different days each week). I have already requested my baptismal record be mailed to my church and they already have my husband's as he went through RCIA there.


#7

It never occurred to me that I should not have been receiving. If it had, I would have asked the Pastoral Associate at our meeting. I will ask on Tuesday but I appreciate that you all have responded as I was feeling an urgency to know quickly!


#8

Please talk to your priest about this.


#9

Please give us an update when/if you are able. I hope things work out for your family.


#10

The marriage is not valid in eyes of Catholic faith, therefore until that happens I am sure a priest would not want to offer confesssion when the act has not stopped. That is one of the key elements of confession.


#11

It is correct that as long as you and your husband are living chastely, you may still receive the sacraments. I was in a similar situation and was allowed to go to reconciliation, be confirmed and take the eucharist while awaiting my annulment and convalidation as we are living chastely and have a child at home.


#12

[quote="Bismarck, post:10, topic:298771"]
The marriage is not valid in eyes of Catholic faith, therefore until that happens I am sure a priest would not want to offer confesssion when the act has not stopped. That is one of the key elements of confession.

[/quote]

"The act" HAS stopped. They are no longer engaging in marital relations. I don't know if they have children or not, but the Church often allows a couple to agree to live chastely while awaiting convalidation, especially if they have kids at home who would be disturbed by the separation of their parents. So, as far as the Church is concerned, they are not living in sin and may accept the sacraments. However they should convalidate as soon as possible.


#13

[quote="zenith15, post:12, topic:298771"]
"The act" HAS stopped. They are no longer engaging in marital relations. I don't know if they have children or not, but the Church often allows a couple to agree to live chastely while awaiting convalidation, especially if they have kids at home who would be disturbed by the separation of their parents. So, as far as the Church is concerned, they are not living in sin and may accept the sacraments. However they should convalidate as soon as possible.

[/quote]

Exactly. They have been living chastely since finding out that they needed convalidation. Also, yes, OP indicated that they have 3 young children at home. There should be nothing to prevent them from going to Confession. Either way, that should be up to the priest to determine not Bismarck who seems to have jumped in without actually fully reading the Op.


#14

[quote="zenith15, post:12, topic:298771"]
"The act" HAS stopped. They are no longer engaging in marital relations. I don't know if they have children or not, but the Church often allows a couple to agree to live chastely while awaiting convalidation, especially if they have kids at home who would be disturbed by the separation of their parents. So, as far as the Church is concerned, they are not living in sin and may accept the sacraments. However they should convalidate as soon as possible.

[/quote]

They are married and that has not stopped. So there in continually mortal sin which is key in confession , you cannot forgive what you continue to do.


#15

[quote="Bismarck, post:14, topic:298771"]
They are married and that has not stopped. So there in continually mortal sin which is key in confession , you cannot forgive what you continue to do.

[/quote]

Bismarck, please stop! You do not know what you are talking about. Do you need me to spell it out for you? They are not having sexual relations while waiting for convalidation. They are working on rectifying the situation as soon as possible. Although they should confirm with their priest, imo there is nothing wrong with their situation as long as they continue to live chastely.

It is not your place here to judge whether they are in a state of mortal sin. That is for them and their priest, not you. So please, please, please, before you do irreparable harm to someone, please stop dispensing advice or sitting in judgement whether someone is in mortal sin.


#16

[quote="Bismarck, post:14, topic:298771"]
They are married and that has not stopped. So there in continually mortal sin which is key in confession , you cannot forgive what you continue to do.

[/quote]

We are not referring say to a couple who are say "living together and committing fornication" but of a couple who actually realizing that they are not yet married (though legally so) -ceased to for example what we term the "marital act". (And they have Children...)

What are they to do? They need to meet with their Priest. He can guide them ...

This is from SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS by Pope Benedict XVI --and is regarding the worse situation of civil marriages after civil divorce -but it is impossible for them not to live together (young children for example perhaps):

"Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard."

(They of course would first go to confession for whatever mortal sin if any was present...and scandal needs to be avoided)

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html#The_Eucharist_and_the_Sacraments

They need to go see their Priest (as do any in like situations --first).

To the OP -- thank you for your example of seeking to find the answers and to find the way to Follow Christ as his disciples!

Let us all live for Christ with great joy --even in the midst of any trials we may encounter. In him is true life!


#17

So --basically -- go discuss with the Priest all the aspects -- such as not knowing one had to be married in the Church etc when being received into the Church and while receiving the sacraments ...and the current situation and what to do now practically (avoiding scandal etc) and Sacramentally etc

And know that Jesus of Nazareth knows you very well and loves you -- he is the *Good Shepherd *who loves us his sheep :)


#18

[quote="Bookcat, post:16, topic:298771"]
We are not referring say to a couple who are say "living together and committing fornication" but of a couple who actually realizing that they are not yet married (though legally so) -ceased to for example what we term the "marital act". (And they have Children...)

What are they to do? They need to meet with their Priest. He can guide them ...

This is from SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS by Pope Benedict XVI --and is regarding the worse situation of civil marriages after civil divorce -but it is impossible for them not to live together (young children for example perhaps):

"Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard."

(They of course would first go to confession for whatever mortal sin if any was present...and scandal needs to be avoided)

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html#The_Eucharist_and_the_Sacraments

They need to go see their Priest (as do any in like situations --first).

To the OP -- thank you for your example of seeking to find the answers and to find the way to Follow Christ as his disciples!

Let us all live for Christ with great joy --even in the midst of any trials we may encounter. In him is true life!

[/quote]

Thank you Bookcat! Didn't have any references.


#19

[quote="Bismarck, post:14, topic:298771"]
They are married and that has not stopped. So there in continually mortal sin which is key in confession , you cannot forgive what you continue to do.

[/quote]

You are completely wrong. This has been answered in the "Ask an Apologist" forum:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=70222


#20

Yes I agree they should see a priest and soon. In these situations in being in mortal sin proper direction is vital. With that direction confession and communion will soon be available. But for now step one is see a priest.

[quote="Bookcat, post:16, topic:298771"]
We are not referring say to a couple who are say "living together and committing fornication" but of a couple who actually realizing that they are not yet married (though legally so) -ceased to for example what we term the "marital act". (And they have Children...)

What are they to do? They need to meet with their Priest. He can guide them ...

This is from SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS by Pope Benedict XVI --and is regarding the worse situation of civil marriages after civil divorce -but it is impossible for them not to live together (young children for example perhaps):

"Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard."

(They of course would first go to confession for whatever mortal sin if any was present...and scandal needs to be avoided)

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html#The_Eucharist_and_the_Sacraments

They need to go see their Priest (as do any in like situations --first).

To the OP -- thank you for your example of seeking to find the answers and to find the way to Follow Christ as his disciples!

Let us all live for Christ with great joy --even in the midst of any trials we may encounter. In him is true life!

[/quote]


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