Marriage Convalidation

What is a Convalidation and when is it needed?


  • Marriage is one of the sacraments of the Church
  • The love of husband and wife symbolizes the love of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-32)
  • Catholics are required to observe a certain form of marriage ritual in order that their marriage be valid. Canon law requires:
    • Not already married unless a decree of nullity has been issued
    • Free mutual consent •Promise of giving themselves to spouse faithfully
    • Lifelong commitment
    • Open to children
    • Witnessed in a church by an authorized bishop, priest, or deacon and at least two other witnesses.
  • Marriages in which one or both parties are baptized Catholic and which are not witnessed by an authorized bishop, priest, or deacon, or which do not receive proper permission to take place in another forum, are not considered valid.

Who it’s for:

  • Any couple that has entered into a civil marriage where either spouse is a Baptized Catholic and they were not married in the Catholic Church, then they would need a Convalidation, to validate their marriage sacramentally.
  • A convalidation is not simply a renewal of the previous intention to marry, but the creation of a valid marriage in the sight of the Christian community. – USCCB


  • Come to one of our marriage info sessions. Or you can contact the church office to set up an appointment with one of our clergy.
  • Some minor paperwork will be needed including sacramental records, etc.
  • You may need to take some preparation classes to help you understand the sacramental nature of the marital covenant bond. Typically, if you are civilly married for more than 5 years, we recommend a marriage enrichment program. Contact Paul Ambro at for more info.
  • Can be a simple ceremony scheduled with Father on a weekday evening if desired
  • You’ll need at minimum two witnesses to participate in the ceremony.
  • Note that Convalidation is not merely a renewal of promises made previously but is a new act of consent by each spouse. It is not a “blessing of marriage”