How far back does the idea of consummating a marriage go?

Is it tied to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Is it like going to confession, but not fully receiving the sacrament of reconciliation because you obstinately refuse to perform your penance?

  • I suspect that actual consummation probably predates the first marriage :) Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 0:23
  • @AffableGeek That's fornication. Fornication does not make a marriage.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


It is tied to the Sacrament, if you take a look at the rules for obtaining an annulment (which declares that a sacramental union does not exist).

One of the acceptable cases to have an annulment granted is if consummation never took place.

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