OCM 7: Marriage As A Sacrament

The Order of Celebrating Matrimony (1991/2016), an update of the former Rite of Marriage (1969) contains an introduction–the praenotanda in the professional lingo–of forty-four numbered paragraphs.

When the Liturgy of Matrimony begins after the homily, the presiding minister references baptism as an experience of consecration for the Christians about to be married. It’s a stronger term than “incorporation” as we read below:

7. Through Baptism, which is the Sacrament of faith, a man and a woman are once and for all incorporated into the covenant of Christ with the Church in such a way that their conjugal community is assumed into Christ’s charity and is enriched by the power of his Sacrifice.(Familiaris consortio 13; cf. Gaudium et Spes 48) From this new condition it follows that a valid Marriage between the baptized is always a Sacrament.(Cf. canon law 1055, §2)

On the plus side, we have the description of the couple as a community. And more, St John Paul weighs in that a marriage experiences a union with caritas Christi. The citation from canon law holds for Roman Catholicism, but not in every case for Eastern Orthodoxy.


The text cited in blue is from the English translation of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony © 2013, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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