Bringing your marriage into the Church
Is my marriage recognized by the Church? Like other couples in your parish or family, you may be wondering if your marriage is fully recognized by the Catholic Church.
Catholic Church law ordinarily requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a priest or deacon. Unless they received a “dispensation from canonical form,” Catholics who exchange vows in the presence of ministers from other religious traditions or civil officials are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
Regardless of what happened in the past, the Catholic Church invites you to bring new meaning to your lives by embracing the vocation of marriage and dedicating your family’s mission to sharing God’s love.
Three things need to be in place for a true (valid) marriage: Capacity, Consent, and Canonical Form.
A valid Catholic marriage comes into existence when a man and woman who are capable, give consent to a true marriage, including all the essential properties of marriage, and exchange this consent in the proper form for Catholic weddings.
Covalidation is not simply a “blessing” of an existing union. It requires that a new, free act of consent be made.
To learn Ten Steps toward Convalidation and obtain additional information and resources, please go to https://dioceseoftrenton.org/convalidation-resources