SACRAMENT OF LIFE-GIVING OPENNESS
In all civilization people have sensed a mysterious sacredness about the union of man and women. There has always been a vague realization that the deep longing for oneness with "the other" is life-giving and that is a longing for oneness with the source of all life. This is why religious rituals and codes of behavior have always been connected with marriage .
Jesus made marriage the sacrament of matrimony, giving matrimony a new dimension to the Christian vocation that begins in baptism.
In matrimony a husband and wife are called to love each other in a very practical way: by serving each other's most personal needs: by working seriously at communicating their personal thoughts and feelings to each other to their oneness is always alive and growing. As Vatican II points out, "Married love is uniquely expressed and perfected by the exercise of the acts proper to marriage" [1643-1654].
In matrimony a couple is also called to live their sacrament for others. By their obvious closeness, a couple affects the lives of others with "something special" - the love of Christ in our midst. They reveal Christ's love and make it contagious to their children and to all who come into contact with them. A major purpose, and natural outcome, of matrimony is the begetting of new life - children. But a couple's love also gives life - the life of Christ's Sprit - to other people [1652-1658, 2366, 2367].
Matrimony is much more than a private arrangement between two people. It is a sacramental vocation in and for the Church. It is a medium through which Christ reveals and deepens the mystery of his oneness with us, his Body. Thus, husbands and wives live a truly sacramental life when they follow the advice given in Ephesian 5:21: “be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ” .
In the Catholic Church, a couple’s sacramental union is exclusive (one man with one woman) and indissoluble (till death do us part). There are concrete ways in which the mysterious oneness between husband and wife, Christ and Church, becomes reality [1643-1645, 2360-2379].
The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other. Similarly, one of the best things a couple can do for the Church and for the world is to strive for greater closeness [2201-2231].
Please remember to contact the Parish Center at least six months in advance of your wedding date.
[ ] Catechism of the Catholic Church