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Convalidation Process?


What is the process for convalidation?


A convalidation is when someone has been married civilly, but due to an impediment the marriage was invalid as a sacrament. The impediment must first be removed, and the couple then makes a new exchange of vows to enter into a sacramental marriage.

The usual impediment would be what’s called lack of canonical form, which is when a Catholic marries outside the Church without permission. In such a situation, a new exchange of vows is performed in the Catholic form in order to make it valid.

The process to have a civil marriage validated in the Church is essentially the same as any other couple getting married in the church:

  • Provide sacramental records
  • Evidence/testimony of freedom to marry in the church
  • Copy of civil marriage
  • Normal pre-marital paperwork
  • Exchange of vows before Catholic clergy and two witnesses
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