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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    consequent upon sin pain in childbearing and toil in the sweat of your brow 100 also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin After the fall marriage helps to overcome self absorption egoism pursuit of one s own pleasure and to open oneself to the other to mutual aid and to self giving 1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected Nevertheless the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband even though according to the Lord s words it still carries traces of man s hardness of heart which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives 101 1611 Seeing God s covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love the prophets prepared the Chosen People s conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage 102 The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses Tradition has always seen in the

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ s presence 1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one s wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts 106 The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble God himself has determined it what therefore God has joined together let no man put asunder 107 1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize However Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear or too heavy heavier than the Law of Moses 108 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God It is by following Christ renouncing themselves and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to receive the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ 109 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ s cross the source of all Christian life 1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her adding at once For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one This is a great mystery and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church 110 1617

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    of the Kingdom 1618 Christ is the center of all Christian life The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds familial or social 113 From the very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes to be intent on the things of the Lord to seek to please him and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming 114 Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life of which he remains the model For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven He who is able to receive this let him receive it 115 1619 Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent expectation of his return a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away 116 1620 Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will 117 Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom 118 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable and they reinforce each other Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ 120 In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up 121 It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice and by receiving the Eucharist so that communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ they may form but one body in Christ 122 1622 Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification the liturgical celebration of marriage must be per se valid worthy and fruitful 123 It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their marriage by receiving the sacrament of penance 1623 According to the Latin tradition the spouses as ministers of Christ s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church In the tradition of the Eastern Churches the priests bishops or presbyters are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses 124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary 125 1624 The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God s grace and blessing on the new couple especially the bride In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church 126 The Holy

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form Several reasons converge to explain this requirement 134 Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children Since marriage is a state of life in the Church certainty about it is necessary hence the obligation to have witnesses The public character of the consent protects the I do once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it 1632 So that the I do of the spouses may be a free and responsible act and so that the marriage covenant may have solid and lasting human and Christian foundations preparation for marriage is of prime importance The example and teaching given by parents and families remain the special form of this preparation The role of pastors and of the Christian community as the family of God is indispensable for the transmission of the human and Christian values of marriage and family 135 and much more so in our era when many young people experience broken homes which no longer sufficiently assure this initiation It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people above all in the heart of their own families about the dignity of married love its role and its exercise so that having learned the value of chastity they will be able at a suitable age to engage in honorable courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own 136 Mixed marriages and disparity of cult 1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non Catholic often arises It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors A case of marriage with disparity of cult between a Catholic and a nonbaptized person requires even greater circumspection 1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage but also different religious mentalities can become sources of tension in marriage especially as regards the education of children The temptation to religious indifference can then arise 1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority 137 In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    requires even greater circumspection 1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage but also different religious mentalities can become sources of tension in marriage especially as regards the education of children The temptation to religious indifference can then arise 1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority 137 In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage 138 This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage and furthermore that the Catholic party confirms the obligations which have been made known to the non Catholic party of preserving his or her own faith and ensuring the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church 139 1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith overcome the tensions between the couple s obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities and encourage the flowering

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God s covenant with man Authentic married love is caught up into divine love 145 1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved This bond which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage is a reality henceforth irrevocable and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God s fidelity The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom 146 The grace of the sacrament of Matrimony 1641 By reason of their state in life and of their order Christian spouses have their own special gifts in the People of God 147 This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity By this grace they help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children 148 1642 Christ is the source of this grace Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity so our Savior the spouse of the Church now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony 149 Christ dwells with them gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him to rise again after they have fallen to forgive one another to bear one another s burdens to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ 150 and to love one another with supernatural tender and fruitful love In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb How can

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Collection Free eBooks Connect Home On Facebook On Twitter eNewsletters Site Tour Web Widgets Feeds Contact Us Advertise Subscribe Login Donate Resources Home Library Website Reviews What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Catechism of the Catholic Church The marriage bond 1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself 143 From their covenant arises an institution confirmed by the divine law even in the eyes of society 144 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God s covenant with man Authentic married love is caught up into divine love 145 1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved This bond which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage is a reality henceforth irrevocable and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God s fidelity The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom 146 Notes 143 Cf Mk 10 9 144 GS 48 1 145 GS 48 2 146

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