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Sacraments, Art,

and Scripture:
Matrimony
This work of
art is a
mosaic.
What is a
mosaic?
Who are the
figures in this
mosaic?
What are the
three items at
the bottom
right of the
scene?
Read the Gospel
passage of the
Marriage at Cana.
What moment in the
Gospel story has the
artist captured in this
mosaic?
In the mosaic,
Jesus’ head is
surrounded by a
cross halo.
What does it
symbolize?
What is the
role of Mary
at the
Marriage at
Cana?
What does the
account of Jesus’
first miracle at a
wedding tell us
about His presence
in the Sacrament of
Matrimony?
Background
Essay: Matrimony
Critical Thinking Questions
How is the love between a husband and
wife unique and special?
Critical Thinking Questions
The Catechism explains that “If matrimony
contributes to personal salvation, it is through
service to others.” In what ways do spouses
serve others in marriage?
Critical Thinking Questions
Mark each statement with an “A” for “Agree” or a “D” for “Disagree.”

a. God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.

b. Both man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God.

c. The fundamental calling of every human being is love.

d. Marriage is an outdated institution.

e. Nothing can really be called “indissoluble” “irrevocable” “perpetual”


these days.
Sorting Quotations
Sort the cards into two stacks:

• one for quotations that reflect a


Catholic view of marriage

• one stack for those that don’t


1. Andrew: “Marriage was invented
by people who were lucky to make it
to 20 without being eaten by
dinosaurs. Marriage is obsolete.”
Alec: “Dinosaurs are obsolete.
Marriage is still around.”

—St. Elmo’s Fire, American film


2. “Marriage may do
something for lawyers and
mothers, but not for
husbands and wives. I deal
with reality, with the
feelings I have at the
moment. And then I go on
from there.”

—Susan Sarandon,
American actress
3. “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is
not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it
does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-
tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not
rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the
truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes
all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

—1 Corinthians 4-8
4. “No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have
been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought
my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near
despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A
bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and
the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of
love again — till next time. I’ve learned that there will
always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness
and misery, but that I won’t stay submerged. And each time
something has been learned under the waters; something
has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The
best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on
countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more
than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or
other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and
blessed.”

—Madeleine L’Engle, American author


5. “In the family, happiness is in
the ratio in which each is serving
the others, seeking one another’s
good, and bearing one another’s
burdens.”

—Henry Ward Beecher, American


author
6. “The family is the basic cell of
government: it is where we are
trained to believe that we are
human beings or that we are
chattel, it is where we are trained to
see the sex and race divisions and
become callous to injustice even if
it is done to ourselves, to accept as
biological a full system of
authoritarian government.”

—Gloria Steinem, American


activist
7. “In a culture which holds
the two-parent patriarchal
family in higher esteem than
any other arrangement, all
children feel emotionally
insecure when their family
does not measure up to the
standard.”

—Bell Hooks, American


author
8. Happy families
are all alike; every
unhappy family is
unhappy in its own
way.

—Leo Tolstoy,
Anna Karenina
9. “One should
always be in love.
That’s the reason
one should never
marry.”

—Oscar Wilde
10. “The Christian ideal
has not been tried and
found wanting. It has
been found difficult;
and left untried.”

—G.K. Chesterton,
British Author
Forever?
What is forever?
Handout A: Be Revolutionaries
Read Pope Francis’s words once. Then read the selection
again and:
•Underline the words Pope Francis uses to describe what
marriage is.

•Circle the words he uses to describe today’s culture.

•Draw a box around the words he uses to describe what he


believes today’s culture believes about YOU.

•Finally, be prepared to discuss the questions that follow.


How would you
summarize this passage
in your own words?
Do you agree with his
assessment of popular
culture today?
What is Pope Francis
asking you to do?
What challenges would
you face if you tried?
Where would you
get the strength to
face this challenge?
“A bond between the spouses which by its very nature
is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian
marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were,
consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state
by a special sacrament.”
(CCC 1638)
What does “perpetual”
mean? “Exclusive”?
What are the “duties” and
“dignity” of the state of
marriage?
How does the sacrament
of matrimony change
reality?
Think about what it means to
believe that there are things we can
believe, say, and do that change
reality. Is that a common way of
thinking about things? If not, what
makes it special?

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