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, the official representative of the Church Community. 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.

All in all, couples who choose to bring their marriage into the Church receive many gifts – peace of heart, oneness with the Church, the fullness of the sacraments, and God’s special blessing upon their marriage.

If you are a baptized Catholic and were not married in the presence of a priest or deacon but rather before a minister or judge you should have your marriage convalidated or celebrated in the Church. This is a ceremony in which the couple renews their vows in the presence of a deacon or priest and two witnesses.