The sacrament of marriage is not a social convention, an empty ritual or merely the outward sign of a commitment. The sacrament is a gift given for the sanctification and salvation of the spouses. (Pope Francis, Amoris Leatitia)
Congratulations on your decision to validate your marriage in the Catholic Church! God’s grace and love reaches everyone. Those in special circumstances have the certainty of God’s embrace and the Church’s accompaniment and guidance.
What is convalidation?
Convalidation is a marriage preparation process for couples who are:
• civilly married
• not married before a Catholic priest or deacon
• married by a minister from other religious traditions in a ceremony outside the Catholic Church.
Convalidation brings the marriage to the dignity of a sacrament in order for it to become fully recognized by the Catholic Church. Please note that the couple must first have the facts of their marriage reviewed by their parish priest. Each parish guides couples seeking convalidation in the process of preparation for the Sacrament of Matrimony. Please contact your parish office to inquire more about this process. Click here to find a parish near you.
In some instances, a determination must be made as to whether a declaration of nullity -of a prior marriage- may be necessary. For questions about declarations of nullity of marriages (commonly referred to as annulments), please contact the Archdiocesan Tribunal office at 210-734-1661 or click here to visit their website.
For more information about what Convalidation is, please visit the U.S. Bishop’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage in the Catholic Church
For Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage Preparation and Convalidation, click here.
Attention priests, deacons, and marriage preparation ministers:
Click here for resources and programs to help you as you walk with couples in the convalidation process.