Rite of Marriage: Introduction 2

Marriage did not begin as a sacrament, the Church teaches. Catholics believe that Christ elevated the human tradition to strengthen it for the good of the couple and of children: 

2. Marriage arises in the covenant of marriage, or irrevoca­ble consent, which each partner freely bestows on and accepts from the other. This intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on each of them and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them. Christ the Lord raised this union to the dignity of a sacrament so that it might more clearly recall and more easily reflect his own unbreakable union with his Church. (Gaudium et Spes, 48)


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy, Rite of Marriage, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Rite of Marriage: Introduction 2

  1. FrMichael says:

    “Catholics believe that Christ elevated the human tradition to strengthen it for the good of the couple and of children.”

    That’s not what this paragraph teaches.

    Human tradition? Marriage derives from divinely-ordained human nature (cf Gen 2). There is a ton of human traditions placed upon it– both good (wedding rings) and bad (polygamy, serial monogamy, same-sex marriage) but the basis of it isn’t from human tradition but from God’s design.

  2. Todd says:

    Isn’t marriage a human tradition, a development from human biology and/or sociology/psychology? My sense is that it would be. It’s not any less of a human tradition if it were inspired by God through human experience. Nor is God’s hand any less evident than a working through the natural laws of the human-inhabited world.

    The point is that Christ strengthened an institution already in place for three reasons: to cultivate holiness in married couples, to ensure the rearing of children in a more fruitful way, and to give glory to God.

  3. FrMichael says:

    Todd, it appears I read too much into your original commentary. I guess I’m too surrounded in CA by people that hold that marriage is a human institution that is culturally defined and subject in its essentials to change. Sorry, I shouldn’t have put you in that category.

  4. Todd says:

    FrMichael, no problem whatsoever. Marriage can be a darned stringy business at times. While some of us would love to have Fr Fox’s experience as part of our regular pastoral menu, not all of us are so lucky.

  5. fraustinfleming says:

    Both in meeting with the couple when preparing for the wedding and in my wedding homily, I make an effort to help folks understand that while people marry in many different ways in many different faiths and cultures, what we are celebrating is marriage as a sacrament and that does make a difference.

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