traditional perspectives on convalidation
We just had our marriage convalidated about a month ago. We had our marriage done civilly in 2008. The process took us about 9 months, from our first meeting with our priest to the day of the convalidation ceremony, to do it all.

1. We met with the priest, and had to provide all of our sacramental records. (Me: baptism, 1st communion, confirmation, Him: baptism).

2. The priest met with us privately in an interview where he asked us questions like if we had been previously married, if we planned to have more children, if he was impotent, etc, basically anything that would prevent us from having a valid marriage.

3. We went to a convalidation class offered by our diocese. It was actually pretty great. An 8-hour day on a Saturday.

4. The priest met with our parents individually to confirm that neither of us had been previously married.

5. We scheduled the ceremony, we had ours during Lent (I did ask my priest if that was kosher and he said it was no problem, but possibly we violated some trad rule, I'm sure someone will let me know  ;) ). We had to choose witnesses (1 male and 1 female).

6. We had the ceremony and it was great.

Yes, the abstaining was difficult and we weren't always successful, but I think it is important to do so. Hope that helped!
BTW we had our marriage validated FINALLY :) I think it's a good thing- people make mistakes. The sense of peace was an added unexpected bonus. My husband was being a wiseguy and said "Well, I have been married twice and no divorces."

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