Holy Matrimony

The Sacrament of Matrimony

 


What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?

Holy Matrimony, together with Holy Orders, completes the Sacraments of Vocation or Sacraments at the Service of Communion. It mirrors the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of ‘the wedding-feast of the Lamb’ (CCC 1602).


Who is the Author of Marriage?

God himself is the author of Marriage. He who created man and woman out of love also calls them to love. Their mutual love therefore becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves mankind. “This is a very great mystery referring to Christ and the Church” (Ephesians 5:32).


When did Jesus elevate Marriage into a Sacrament?

Jesus himself ratified this union and elevated it into the Sacrament of Matrimony when He performs His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-2), making marriage an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence among His people. It also heralds its renewal ‘in the Lord’ in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.


Why it has to be man and woman?

The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman. “God created them male and female… (Genesis 1:27) that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife” (Genesis 2:24). For this reason, marriage is absolutely a covenant between man and woman as decreed by God from the very beginning. “So let a wife submit in everything to her husband… just as husband ought to love his wife as Christ loved the Church” (Ephesians 5:24-25).


What is the main purpose of marriage?

And this love which God blesses in marriage is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over and safeguarding responsibly the creation as God’s administrators: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen.1:28). Thus procreation plays an integral part in every marriage and this is possible only between a man and a woman.


Who are the Ministers of this Sacrament?

The ministers of this sacrament are actually the baptized groom and bride while the Officiating Priest or Ordained Deacon merely serves as witness to the mutual consent freely given by the spouses but for validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.


Where does the Holy Matrimony take place?

The celebration of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during the Holy Eucharist because of the intimate connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. Nonetheless, this sacrament can be celebrated just the Marriage Rite alone where either an Ordained Transitional Deacon or Permanent Deacon can do the celebration.


Why is consent important in marriage?

The contracting parties should be free to contract marriage and freely express their consent. And to be ‘free’ means not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law. If consent is lacking, then there is no marriage (CCC 1613) because this consent that binds the spouses to each other finds its fulfilment in the two “becoming one flesh thus no one can separate what God has joined” (Matthew19:6).


What is an annulment of marriage?

For reason/s that may render the marriage null and void, the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of marriage – that the marriage never existed in the first place, thus annulment is completely different from divorce. In this case, the contracting parties are free to marry provided the natural obligations of a previous union are properly discharged.


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