Deacon Greg’s Seven Great Myths about the Sacrament of Matrimony:
Hopefully, debunking these myths may help you or someone you know to better understand some of the Church’s guidelines about sacramental marriage.
Myth number one: a Catholic cannot marry a non-Catholic. Simply not true. Never has been true in 2000 years. While we would hope that a Catholic would marry another Catholic so their marriage bond would be strengthened by their common faith, marriage with a non Catholic is allowed with the stipulation that the Catholic person continues to live as a faithful Catholic and commits to raising their children in the faith.
Myth number two: we can’t get married in the church because one or both of us has not been confirmed. Wrong. While we strongly encourage couples preparing for marriage to receive their confirmation and be fully initiated in the church during the marriage preparation period, lack of this sacrament is not a show stopper. This misunderstanding can often lead to a situation where the couple enters into a legal arrangement, a so called civil marriage, because one or both lacks confirmation. Two wrongs don’t make a right. When this happens, the couple is not really married. They are simply living together. A Baptized person cannot marry unless he or she does so with the Sacrament of Matrimony. So in such a case, the couple must first marry in the church and get back into good grace before they can receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Myth number three: preparations for marriage in the church take too long. We want to get married now! The preparation period is in fact nine months to one year. Realistically this is reasonable when we think about the seriousness of marriage and the life long commitment involved. During this period, we are not preparing for the wedding. We are preparing the couple for the rest of their lives together.