For those Catholics who were married outside of the Catholic Church and wish to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony, they can do so through convalidation.
The Church cares for her members as the Body of Christ. For this reason, baptized Catholics are expected to marry in the Church and receive the grace that Christ freely offers in the Sacrament of Matrimony.
If you are a Catholic and are not in a sacramental marriage it is very easy to enter into the Sacrament of Matrimony provided you are free to marry in the Church. Some people refer to convalidation as the Church "blessing" a marriage. In fact, it is the actual exchange of vows, the actual sacrament that takes place. If either or both parties were married before, it is necessary that proof of an annulment be provided. For questions about annulments, click here.
There is no specific preparation time required for those already married. The requirements are:
- One of the parties requesting a wedding must be a baptized, practicing Catholic who is registered in the parish and is free to marry. This means that any previous marriages by either the Catholic or non-Catholic must already be annulled or the proper paperwork finalized.
- Catholics are required to submit a newly issued baptismal record and non-Catholics are required to submit a photocopy of their original baptismal record.
- Contact our priest to set up an appointment.
- Meet with the priest once or twice in preparation for the sacrament.
- Go to sacramental confession.
- Exchange vows.