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Chris Martinez wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • When a civil wedding is convalidated in the Catholic Church, can the bride and the groom receive Holy Communion for the first time?

My understanding from our Deacon is that the ceremony is only considered a Communion Service and that Holy Communion for the first time must be received at a regular Holy Mass.

  • What are your thoughts?


  { When a civil wedding is convalidated in the Church, can the couple receive Holy Communion? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Chris,

What prevents you from going to Holy Communion is the inability to receive absolution in Confession for the sin of adultery i.e. your [marital/sexual] relations were in an invalid marriage.

If you were to go to Confession before the validation and tell the priest the story, he can absolve you as long as you have no intention of having sexual relations prior to the validation of your marriage.

If that is the case, then after the Deacon declares you husband and wife, there would be nothing preventing you from receiving Holy Communion in that ceremony if it were a Mass.

Fr. Jonathan

Chris replied:

Glorious Morning, Fr. Jonathan!

Thank you so much for your reply.

You said:
. . . there would be nothing preventing you from receiving Holy Communion in that ceremony if it were a Mass.

That’s my question. Our Deacon says that the ceremony is not considered a Mass when the host is already consecrated. That’s where I’m confused.

I understand that only the Priest can consecrate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ but the Deacon says that, for that very reason, the couple cannot received First Holy Communion at the ceremony because the Deacon, not a Priest, is witnessing the convalidation ceremony.

  • Is he correct?


Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi Chris,

There are two choices:

  1. a Mass
  2. a Ceremony.

A Deacon cannot celebrate a Mass therefore, with only a Deacon present, he does a ceremony.

Marriage ceremonies do not include the celebration of the Eucharist therefore one cannot receive Holy Communion unless a priest is present to celebrates the Mass.

Fr. Jonathan

Chris replied:

Thank you!! : )


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