OCM 8: The Draw Of Holiness

The tag on this site from years ago was “Rite of Marriage.” The new translation adjusts that terminology to “matrimony.” What’s with the words? The older term derives from Middle English and the later from French, but both have their deep roots in Latin. What’s interesting is that English-speaking couples speak of marriage as something they possess–“my marriage; our marriage.” Matrimony seems to be a more “aristocratic” term of which lay people have less ownership. Make of that what you will.

Let’s read section eight:

8. By the Sacrament of Matrimony Christian spouses signify and participate in the mystery of unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;(Cf. Ephesians 5:25) therefore, both in embracing conjugal life and in accepting and educating their children, they help one another to become holy and have their own place and particular gift among the People of God.( Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:7; Lumen Gentium 11)

Saint Paul suggests there’s something deeper to marriage than just a contract or spiritual commitment between spouses. It is both a sign and a living out of the reality of our relationship with Christ. It follows that like any other sacrament, it is a reality that provides grace for deeper holiness. Striving for holiness is not something we can accomplish quite on our own. It requires threads with the various aspects of the community of the Church: one’s children, one’s faith community, the universal Church.

My only beef with this paragraph is the limited verb, “educating.” Parents are responsible for far more than the intellectual development. Believers must be more than educated. They must be formed in faith. The lived example of parents will impact far more deeply than any children’s Bible or catechism.

Your comments?

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 Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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