Ana Rodriguez wrote:

Hi, guys —

My friend is a Catholic and she is about to get married. Unfortunately:

  • the wedding is a little rushed
  • her husband hasn't done all the prerequisites to be married by the Catholic Church, and
  • there is no time.

For this reason, they asked a friend to marry them, in hopes that when they renew their vows she can have the Catholic ceremony she always wanted.

The person marrying them would be ordained by a non-denominational church.

  • If they do it this way, would they be able to renew their vows later in the Church?

Ana Rodriguez

  { If they were married by a non-Catholic minister, could they renew their vows later in the Church? }

Eric replied:

Ana,

The process you refer to, renewing their vows, is really called convalidation or, colloquially, blessing the marriage. Priests will typically only do this in a very low-key affair with only the bride, groom, and two witnesses present. I am not sure by a Catholic ceremony she always wanted she means a full-blown grandiose wedding with all the trimmings; if so, she may be disappointed, because it likely won't be allowed, presumably to encourage people to marry only in the Church.

She should be aware that the Church will not recognize her impending marriage at all until such time as it is blessed. As such, she will be in an irregular situation with the Church.

The good news is that simply being married by a non-denominational minister won't prevent them from having their marriage subsequently blessed. After all, the process is designed to rectify this very situation. If she got married by a priest, there would be no need to get their marriage blessed.

Eric

Ana replied:

Eric,

Thank you so much!

I have some follow-up questions.

  • If they went and got married at City Hall without a priest or pastor, would that make a difference? or
  • Is it the same result if she wanted to remarry later in the Catholic Church?

Ana

Eric replied:


It would be the same result.

It doesn't matter how they marry; just that they married outside the Catholic Church.

I'd encourage her to talk to her local Catholic priest about the matter.

Eric

Ana replied:

Eric,

Thank you for your time and God bless you!

Ana

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