Catholic Marriage


Marriage Covenant

The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and given its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is order to the good of the couple , as well as to begetting and education of children, Christ the Lord raised marriage between baptised Christians to the level of a sacrament. The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love which Christ has loved his Church. The grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their permanent unity, and makes them holier for their journey to eternal life.

St Paul said: "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself...This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5:22-25, 28-30, 31)

Marriage is based on the consent of the two parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively , in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love. Marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration before the priest or Church-authorised witness. Other witnesses and the assembly of the faithful ought also to be present. The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse goes against the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not seperated from the Church, but they cannot receive Holy Communion owing to the previous broken marriage contract, which by its sacramental nature can only be validly contracted once while both spouses live. However, the couple can lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.

Unity, indissolubility, and openess to fertility are essential to marriage. Divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married life away from its supreme gift, the child - as taught by the Church through the ages and repeated at the Second Vatican Council. The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For the reason the family home is rightly called the 'ecclesia domestica', or 'domestic church' - a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.



VATICANS DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE       vatican.va/archive

COALITION FOR MARRIAGE                      http://c4m.org.uk/ 

     Basic Theology of Marriage                       www.crossroadsinitiative.com






church in need


latin mass