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Another problem was the fact that Tony’s employer provided only one week annually for vacation: the seven days between Christmas and the New Year. While they were there, they decided to elope and eliminate the challenge of planning a big wedding.
They obtained a wedding license and immediately married at the city clerk’s office, with only the necessary legal witnesses present.
(Their names and details have been changed for sake of privacy.) I will explain why they did not marry before a priest or deacon, what led them later to seek a convalidation and how that occurs.
Tony and Maria began dating when he was a senior in college and she was a senior in high school.
Several years later, Tony and Maria are the parents of three young boys, actively participate at Sunday Mass, generously donate to charities and fulfill leadership roles in parish activities.
Aaron and Kelly also had their marriage convalidated.
The remedy of their situation was relatively simple.
He also served as a lector, and they both frequently socialized with their parish priest.
In addition, Tony’s mother suffered a severe heart attack, leaving her in a very weakened condition.
Her family was concerned about the added stress she would endure planning a massive Italian wedding.
With considerable abbreviation and adaptation, the priest used the basic “Rite for Celebrating Marriage Outside Mass.” The service took about 10 minutes.
Afterward, the family celebrated at a local restaurant.
Later, those couples may seek to have their union officially recognized by the Church. Among other items in this groundbreaking document, he outlined practical suggestions for pastors and pastoral leaders when dealing with couples not married “in the Church.” The pope cautioned that each situation should be examined case by case.