Valid Marriage???


#1

I have a friend who just got married by the JP. She said it was all right because a “visiting” priest, who is going to bless their house, will bless the marriage at the time of the house blessing.

This did not sound right.

I talked to the priest and asked if this would make the marriage a valid sacrament.

He respoined with, “Stop being so judgemental.”

Here is my question: Does a priest saying a blessing (in a home) make the marraige a sacrament?


#2

I’m not really too sure on this. But my husband and I were married by the JP also and still havn’t had our marriage blessed by a priest. When I was talking to a priest he gave me the impression that it was okay and that you don’t have to be married by a priest for it to be seen as a marriage under God, but for it to be seen as a marriage in the Catholic church you do. Like I said I’m really not too sure. But in my own oppinion, a marriage is a sacrament regardless of who marries you.


#3

Here is my question: Does a priest saying a blessing (in a home) make the marraige a sacrament?

No. A marriage of two Catholics by a JP constitutes invalid form. The Code of Canon Law states:

Can. 1160 A marriage which is null because of defect of form must be contracted anew in canonical form in order to become valid.

Valid form for a Catholic marriage is in a Church, before an ordained minister, with at least one witness.


#4

[quote=Dr. Colossus]No. A marriage of two Catholics by a JP constitutes invalid form. The Code of Canon Law states:

Valid form for a Catholic marriage is in a Church, before an ordained minister, with at least one witness.
[/quote]

Can you site for me where in Canon Law it says that a marriage must be in a church?


#5

Sure thing:

Can. 1118 §1. A marriage between Catholics or between a Catholic party and a non-Catholic baptized party is to be celebrated in a parish church. It can be celebrated in another church or oratory with the permission of the local ordinary or pastor.

I was typing quickly before, so I didn’t get into the technicalities. Canon Law does go on to state that:

§2. The local ordinary can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place.

But as you can see, it requires approval.

Also, to correct what I said earlier, the Church requires two witnesses, not one.


#6

So are you saying that I’m not really married?


#7

[quote=anjel13]So are you saying that I’m not really married?
[/quote]

Not quite. It’s confusing because the word “valid” can have slightly different connotation depending on how it’s used in the Church. First, the Church considers any marriage “valid” unless proven otherwise by a marriage tribunal.

However

Sacramental validity is a different matter. Sacraments signify what they do, and do what they signify. For Catholics, the marital union is a reflection of union with God. Thus, to be married outside the Church is to remove the element of God and the sacramental graces that accompany the marriage.


#8

[quote=anjel13]So are you saying that I’m not really married?
[/quote]

You are legally married but you are not married sacramentally. My husband and I had our marriage convalidated this past July. The priest at our old parish never pointed out that we could not recieve communion if we were not married in the church. We found this out when we changed parishes. It has nothing to do with being judgemental. The sacrament of marriage gives us special grace, it is something we should want.

We had a beautiful “marriage” ceremony in our new parish. It can be as simple or as eleborate as would like. The only requirement is that there’s a priest of course and two witnesses.

God Bless!


#9

[quote=rayne89]You are legally married but you are not married sacramentally.
[/quote]

The problem is my friend thinks this blessing by the priest makes it a sacrament. Does it?


#10

[quote=dhgray]The problem is my friend thinks this blessing by the priest makes it a sacrament. Does it?
[/quote]

We had to bring out baptizmal certificates, answer questions and our priest had to send this form that we signed along with copies of our baptismal certificates to the archdiocese to approve our marriage (let any other marriage in the church). After he got the approval, we had a ceremony in the church.

So I believe the anwer is no. Their marriage would not be added to the back of their baptismal certificates like any sacrament one recieves does. The church would not recognize their marriage without the sacrament.


#11

Did she ask your advice about this?


#12

I’m sorry, but I have a hard time with this. If this is the church’s teaching, I don’t know if I agree with it. I have a hard time believing that marriage isn’t seen as a sacrament just because the couple isn’t married in the Catholic Church. I believe that God see’s me and my husband as married, whether the church see’s that or not. Really what difference does it make spiritually or sacramentally if they see our baptismal certificates and validate it themselves.


#13

[quote=anjel13]I’m sorry, but I have a hard time with this. If this is the church’s teaching, I don’t know if I agree with it. I have a hard time believing that marriage isn’t seen as a sacrament just because the couple isn’t married in the Catholic Church. I believe that God see’s me and my husband as married, whether the church see’s that or not. Really what difference does it make spiritually or sacramentally if they see our baptismal certificates and validate it themselves.
[/quote]

The question is not really whether God or the Church sees you and your husband as married or not (as I said before, the Church recognizes the general validity of a marriage until proven otherwise). The question is really whether or not the Grace of God has been bestowed on your marriage.

For the special grace available through matrimony to be received (by Catholics), it must be done in accordance with the prescripts of the Church, just as with the other sacraments. Just as the sacrament of the Eucharist cannot be confected without following certain requirements of form (a validly ordained priest, words of consecration, intent to consecrate), neither can the sacrament of Marriage be imparted without its own requirements (validly ordained minister, 2 witnesses, appropriate location).

This teaching of the Church is not meant to be some sort of withholding of grace. Nor is it an attempt to coerce the faithful into blind obedience. The requirements of the Church are simply the recognition that the Church cannot be a conduit of God’s Grace without following Tradition.


#14

[quote=Pinklady]Did she ask your advice about this?
[/quote]

Good question Pink. Yes. She told me about the marriage and asked what I thought … which brings us back to the origional posting.


#15

[quote=anjel13]I’m sorry, but I have a hard time with this. If this is the church’s teaching, I don’t know if I agree with it. I have a hard time believing that marriage isn’t seen as a sacrament just because the couple isn’t married in the Catholic Church. I believe that God see’s me and my husband as married, whether the church see’s that or not. Really what difference does it make spiritually or sacramentally if they see our baptismal certificates and validate it themselves.
[/quote]

I understand your feelings. In my heart I always believed I was married to my husband and I know God knows my heart. But this church, the Catholic church is the church founded by Jesus Christ. And I am a member of His church. If His church says this is the way it should be done, than I will obey His church.

I’m so glad we did. It was a beautiful simple ceremony and our daughter was the flower girl.


#16

From Familiaris Consortio:

  1. There are increasing cases of Catholics who for ideological or practical reasons, prefer to contract a merely civil marriage, and who reject or at least defer religious marriage. Their situation cannot of course be likened to that of people simply living together without any bond at all, because in the present case there is at least a certain commitment to a properly-defined and probably stable state of life, even though the possibility of a future divorce is often present in the minds of those entering a civil marriage. By seeking public recognition of their bond on the part of the State, such couples show that they are ready to accept not only its advantages but also its obligations. Nevertheless, not even this situation is acceptable to the Church.

The aim of pastoral action will be to make these people understand the need for consistency between their choice of life and the faith that they profess, and to try to do everything possible to induce them to regularize their situation in the light of Christian principle. While treating them with great charity and bringing them into the life of the respective communities, the pastors of the Church will regrettably not be able to admit them to the sacraments.


#17

:thumbsup:

I really love that document.


#18

[quote=dhgray] … which brings us back to the origional posting.
[/quote]

Well, the marriage obviously needs to be convalidated (what they are probably referring to when they say “blessed”.) Should this be done in a private home rather than a Church? That’s questionable. A formal (though possibly simple) ceremony in a Church would probably be preferrable, but I suppose that there could potentially also be some sort of justifiable reasons to perform the ceremony elsewhere. (Whether whatever that might be would actually exist here, who knows. It seems like the priest may just be trying to make things easy.) In any case, the essential thing is that (1) It wasn’t exactly “ok” that they got married civilly if they were Catholic at the time, but (2) It’s fixable and basically is, indeed, merely a matter of convalidation.


closed #19

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