Should Catholic Converts be Remarried in the Church?


#1

My wife and I are Catholic converts, and were both received into the Church at Easter Vigil, 2006. This month, we will be married (civil marriage) 33 years. Should we ask the Pastor to marry us in the Catholic Church? The subject never came up during our RCIA classes, but someone has since told me that we should.

Craig W


#2

Craig,

I’m a single Catholic revert who went through RCIA last year. I heard that some married couples were have their marriages blessed. Ask your RCIA instructor, he or she will be able to direct you.


#3

We were—the priest couldn’t get us in there fast enough!


#4

Absolutely get this done today, of possible. No big ceremony required. Just have the priest do it. (Then, maybe take him out to supper as a treat.) :slight_smile:


#5

You would not “have” to be married in the Church, but I think it would be a great anniversary present to your bride.

As the lay director of RCIA for our parish, I can tell you:

People who are baptized Catholic, are bound by Church law to be married in the church. Since you and your wife were not baptized Catholic prior to joining the Church in 2006, you are not bound by that law.

Now, IF:

You or your wife (or both) were baptized Catholic, and married outside of the Church (Protestant Church, Beach wedding, Vegas, etc.), you would have to have your marriage blessed, or convalidated.

Hope this helps.


#6

It depends entirely on the circumstances of the individual couple. The priest or other person guiding your RCIA process should have ascertained the facts about your marriage situation in the initial interview, or shortly after beginning the process because the order of reception of sacraments may vary according to those circumstances. If you were both otherwise free to marry 33 years ago your marriage is assumed valid by the Catholic Church. If you were also both baptized at the time, your marriage is also sacramental. The only concern about married persons who embark on the RCIA journey involves those who have married after divorce, so their previous marriages must be investigated, beginning with the earliest, to ascertain if the current marriage is valid, and if not, what steps must be taken.

another common scenario: If one of the marriage partners was baptized Catholic, even though not practicing, and the couple married outside the Church that Catholic party did not observe the laws binding on him, so now as the other party prepares to become Catholic, yes, the marriage must be convalidated.

Each marriage situation is unique, so there is not much use in comparing your own situation to that of others, even those received into the Church at the same time you were. To put your mind at ease I suggest a phone call to the priest.

PS Welcome Home to you both!


#7

[quote="Craig_W, post:1, topic:209482"]
My wife and I are Catholic converts, and were both received into the Church at Easter Vigil, 2006. This month, we will be married (civil marriage) 33 years. Should we ask the Pastor to marry us in the Catholic Church? The subject never came up during our RCIA classes, but someone has since told me that we should.

Craig W

[/quote]

Craig

Puzzleannie said it correctly; some others missed a few things. One thing which may not be clear is if no previous "impediment" existed the church may well view you as married, thus no wedding celebration would be in order. Weddings and blessings maybe needed by others who have civil marriages which are not recognized by the church, an example would be a divorce impediment by one party. So visit the priest to assure there was no human error in the RCIA review.

hope that helps


#8

Thanks so much to everyone who replied. I will check with our Pastor this week.

Craig W


#9

Adding even more to what Puzzleannie said…

Some non-Catholics who enter the Church are already validly married. Some were not. Some of those valid marriages are already sacramental. Some *valid *marriages may not have been sacramental but presumably they immediately become sacramental once both parties are baptized.

In the case of a valid marriage between two baptized Christians there is nothing further for a couple or the Church to do. The marriage is already in good standing with the Church.

If the marriage was invalid then hopefully this was investigated and addressed during the couple’s preparation for entrance into the Church. Such a couple would probably not have been received into the Church until steps were taken to resolve the marriage situation. If a convalidation is necessary the couple should have been so advised.


#10

Correct, a couple who is validly married cannot be “re” married or married again, just as a person who is validly baptized cannot be “re” baptized or baptized again. However, I want to add that a validly married couple can receive the Nuptial Blessing if they have not yet received it. So, they could ask their priest about this. It would be nice, perhaps on their anniversary.


#11

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