Proof of sacramental absolution required for marriage in France during the French Revolution?

I remember reading an ecclesiastical works of how the Catholic Church had suffered during the French Revolution and how the Church responded in various ways. The dechristianization of France during the French Revolution was literally a terror.

One of the things, I can recall, was the fact that those who wished to get married had to produce a Receipt of Absolution from a confessor that they had been to confession and received sacramental absolution for their parish priest to proceed with the marriage of the couple, within the Catholic Church.

How long after the French Revolution this norm remained in force I am unaware of.

If anyone in able to find a source which states the requirements for this proof of absolution in either French or English, I would greatly appreciate it!

I know it was required, but now I can not find a source for it.

  • Proof of absolution to validly and/or licitly contract marriage?
    – Geremia
    Mar 4, 2020 at 1:35
  • @Geremia It basically was a letter stating that a person had been to confession and received absolution. This letter was then given to the priest who was to marry the couple in a Catholic sacramental marriage during the period of the French Revolution. How long after the French Revolution this remained in force I am unaware of.
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 4, 2020 at 11:59
  • Where did you hear about this?
    – Geremia
    Mar 4, 2020 at 17:35
  • @Geremia In a historical book on the French Revolution in French while living in France. It may have been in a book about the life of some saint or martyr . I just can not remember. What I do remember is asking a priest about it and he assured me that it was in fact true.
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 4, 2020 at 22:19
  • 1
    That's interesting. It would seem easier if the priest marrying would simply shrive the fiancé and fiancée himself.
    – Geremia
    Mar 4, 2020 at 22:34


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