Holy Matrimony

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Pope Francis Speaks To Engaged Couples

Theology of Marriage

The Sacrament of Marriage was instituted by Christ and it makes sacred this vocation to love and serve one another as spouses, to live for the holiness of the spouse and to further the Kingdom of God with the procreation of children. God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. God’s plan is for fidelity, unity and indissolubility within the marriage.

Marriage and Sacred Scripture

The Patriarchs and kings practiced polygamy and Moses even permitted divorce but Jesus changed this view. He tells us in Matthew 19: 8-9 Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery. The Book of Ruth gives further testimony to the faithfulness and tenderness asked of us through marriage.

The Essential Rite of Marriage

In the Latin tradition, the spouses are the ministers of the sacrament, conferring it upon each other, in the presence of the Church’s minister (bishop, priest or deacon), two witnesses and the congregation of the faithful. The matrimonial covenant (an intimate communion of life and love between spouses)is formed with the words “Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands and declare your consent before God and the church”. The ceremony then continues this consent with various formulaic promises to be true to each other in all circumstances until death. Rings are often exchanged as further signs of the bond of marriage.