I’m getting married sometime next year, so I’m trying to gather all the necessary documents together. Long story short, I am missing my baptismal certificate and confirmation certificate. I am in possession of my First Communion certificate.
I was baptized in the U.S., and received First Communion and Confirmation in England. I’ve contacted the church my parents told me I was baptized at (and the church that I’ve always gone to) and they don’t have any record of my baptism. My parents then said that I may have been baptized at a different church. I contacted that church and they don’t have any record of my baptism either. I’ve contacted my Diocese, and they said that only the parishes keep those records. So, I’m now at a loss of what to do.
I have not contacted the church in England that I received First Communion and Confirmation at yet. Is there any chance that they would have a copy of my baptismal certificate (or at least a notation/record/something of where I was baptized)?
In the worst case scenario, that I cannot track down my baptismal certificate (or possibly the Confirmation certificate), what can I do?
The certificate(s) you may have in your possession are commemorative only, they are not your official sacramental record. For marriage prep, the priest preparing the premarital investigation will need a certified, recent copy of your sacramental records.
Contact the Church where you received First Communion and Confirmation. They should have recorded your Sacraments and sent them to your parish of record-- where your Baptism was conferred-- and should have that noted.
If there is some major breakdown and you cannot document your baptism, you will need to have the parish where you are being married collect what documents they can and an affidavit from your parents regarding your baptism.
Don’t go off doing this on your own. Work with the priest who is preparing you for marriage.
you have to do this in anycase when preparing for marriage, call or contact your baptismal parish by email–locate them on the web, usccb.org, find the diocese, go their website and look for the parish. ask for a recent baptismal certificate showing all sacraments received. better yet, ask the parish secretary where you are preparing for marriage contact them and have it sent right to the parish
You have to prove baptism before receiving First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, so if you can prove Confirmation, you should qualify. But I would call the priest in the parish where you are going to be married and ask for their help.
Further quiz your parents; surely they can remember where you were baptized!!! Maybe they have some pictures of it that would spur their memories . . . And try to find out WHEN it may have taken place – the original parish you contacted may have been correct, but perhaps they were looking at a few months right after your birth date and you were actually baptized when you were two years old or something and they just didn’t look that far.
contact the churches where you received first communion and Confirmation–they should have recorded baptismal info you provided at that time in their books, which will lead you to baptismal parish. call Diocesan Archivist in diocese where you were baptized and find out if records of all parishes are on microfilm, also call local historical Society for same question. For instance. Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, under contract, microfilms for preservation all parish sacramental records periodically. they are not available to researchers until released by the diocese, if ever, but stored in safe location and searchable.
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