I was born into a Catholic family so I adopted this religion and beliefs throughout my life. Lately I have been struggling with some issues and would like to ask about the rules for taking the Eucharist. I have been married for 22 years (not through the Catholic church I must add- a JP married us) but we have been seperated for about 4 years now. It was a very abusive relationship and the only way to survive was to get out. Now, my boys attend Catholic school, I want to rerceeive communion when I attend mass but several people have told me that I cannot because I am still married and my estranged husband was brought up Jehovah’s Witness. Can you explain to me the rules for taking communion?
Your marriage by a JP is recognized as a Civil, but not Sacramental Marriage. The Church considers a valid Saramental Marriage as indissolvible. Based on what you have written here, what you should visit your local parish, and explain the situation you are in. Once you understand why the Church encourages and legislates that we should marry in the Church, you will simply need to do is go to confession, confess that you attempted Marriage at a JP, and, after you have received absolution, with the resolve to live a good Catholic life, you can receive communion again.
Simply put, if you are sorry for breaking the legislation of the Church regarding Marriage, and go to confession, you can recieve communion. But it is best to speak to your local parish priest first, so you can understand more fully what the Church teaches and practices regarding Marriage.
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