Marriage and Communion

Marriage and Communion
Question from Curtis on 6/9/2008:

My wife and I have been married almost 21 years but were married by a justice of the peace and not by the Church. Is it okay to receive Communion during Mass even though we weren't married by the Church? We were told we weren't supposed to.
Answer by Catholic Answers on 6/9/2008:


Did you and your wife receive a dispensation from marriage according to Catholic ritual? That is usually given when one of the parties is not Christian at the time of the marriage. If you received the appropriate dispensations (including a dispensation from cult if one of you was not Catholic at the time of marriage), then the Catholic party is free to receive Communion, if otherwise properly disposed to do so.

If you do not remember or do not know if you received the appropriate dispensations, ask the church where the Catholic partner was baptized for a copy of his or her sacramental record. If obtained, the dispensations will be kept with the sacramental record. If the dispensations were not obtained, I can only recommend that you seek to have your marriage regularized before receiving Communion again. You can investigate the possibility of regularization by speaking with the pastor of a local parish (preferably one you already attend if you are a practicing Catholic).

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers

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