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The Sacrament of Matrimony

Chapter 9
HELPING EACH OTHER
GROW IN LOVE
 Marriage established by God for two
reasons:
1. The good of the husband and wife
 To help each other understand and experience true
love; draws each other closer to God
2. The procreation and education of children

 The effects of the Sacrament are


directed towards the spouse and any
children as well.
An Intimate Communion
Man and woman were created to be one
Original Sin separates the two sexes
The Sacrament confers the grace necessary to
overcome the division and become one as God
intended
Love each other physically and emotionally but
also in Christ
Recognize that God is present in their love for their
spouse and children; It’s God’s love acting through
them for others
Act as a sign of God’s faithful love
Daily fidelity through highest and lowest moments
An Intimate Communion
 “How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the
Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced
by angels, and ratified by the Father?… How wonderful the bond
between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in
discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one
Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh,
truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit.”
 CCC 1642
Christ’s love for the Church is better understood
through marriage commitment
Through Matrimony we receive a foretaste of the joy
that will result of our final and complete union with our
Lord
UNDERSTANDING THE
SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
Man longs to be united
It is part of our human nature; we have
been detached
Woman is man’s helper and vice versa
We grow close to each other and attach ourselves
to one another; united
Through this mutual relationship we both grow to
understand the great love and passion Christ has
for his Church
 Through the Church we are prepared to receive the
true unity that we have been longing for
Marriage in the New Covenant
Christ restored the dignity of marriage, raised it
to a sacramental level (divorce, polygamy,
adultery)
Made it indissoluble
“What God has joined together, no human must
separate.” (Mt 19:6)
Due to the spiritual reality to which it points
 EFFICACIOUS; What is the reality? To open our eyes, an
opportunity to sacrifice ourselves like Christ, make ourselves
like him
The Bride and Groom are the ministers
Confer a grace to each other that is not only for their
good but also for the good of the Church
Declaration of nullity
 The marriage was never valid (One of the ministers not fully
willing to enter into commitment)
The Sacrament of Marriage
Today
Only a sacrament if between two baptized
Christians
Priest or deacon must be present as well as two
witnesses
Vatican II on Matrimony
Christian marriage is to help both spouses grow in
spiritual perfection
A healthy family life promotes the well-being of both
human and Christian society
Revised the Rite of Marriage to emphasize the
spouses’ duties to one another
CELEBRATING THE
SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
Three rites in Rite of Marriage; wo are a
sacrament
Rite for Celebrating Marriage During Mass
Rite for Celebrating Marriage Outside Mass
Rite for Celebrating Marriage Between a Catholic and
an Unbaptized Person

Church often requires engaged couples to enter


marriage prep programs
Discuss finances, in-laws, number of children and
their education, how to handle disagreements,
sexuality, etc.
Free Consent and Exchange of Vows

Consent must be freely given


Essential for validity
Must have sincere desire to be faithful to spouse
Must be open to new life, especially children
Presence of priest and witnesses expresses
that marriage is a reality in the Church with
certain rights and responsibilities
The priest questions both bride and groom
separately on their freedom of choice
Then asks them to exchange their marriage
consent (vows)
Establishes a permanent covenant in love
Blessing and Exchange of Rings
Rings do not have a
beginning or an end

Symbolizes:
The eternal love God has
for humans
The eternal commitment
of Christ to the Church
The promise by the bride
and groom to be faithful
to one another until
death
Nuptial Blessing
After the “Our Father…”

Priest raises hands and blesses the


couple with the love of God and his
graces throughout their days as of
married life
Similar to laying on of hands
Symbolizes the transmission of God’s grace
Priest acts in person of Christ; We know God
through Christ
Holy Communion
Bride and groom celebrate the
sacrament of Penance in order to be
properly disposed to receive the
Eucharist
Not part of the wedding ceremony

Strengthens and nourishes their


married life

Receive a blessing at the end of Mass


Essentially, that after many years of
marriage they may enter the Kingdom of
God
THE GRACES OF THE
SACRAMENT OF MATRIMIONY
The commitment of marriage forms a
covenant between husband and wife
Covenant is a personal contract
Lasts forever; doesn’t end when ceremony
ends
Graces continue throughout their lives

The graces of marriage not only cultivate


communion within the family but also
with Christ, the Church, and society
Communion Between Spouses
Marriage “helps to overcome self-absorption,
egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure, and to
open one-self to the other, to mutual aid and
to self-giving” (CCC, 1609)
Unconditional love no matter what
Old age or health condition
Love whether you feel like it or not
True communion is fruitful
Make sacrifices for the better of the other
Matrimony at the service of communion
Sexuality
Fidelity - an attribute of God; both become more like
God and grow in holiness
Respect and honor each other
Communion in Christ
Helps husbands and wives enter into the
Paschal Mystery of Christ
Marriage becomes a way of discipleship;
dying to sin and rising in holiness

“Christ abides with them in order that by


their mutual self-giving spouses will love
each other with enduring fidelity, as he
loved the church and delivered himself
for it”
The closer we are to
God the closer we
are to our spouse,
GOD children, and
neighbors
Family Communion
The graces of marriage allow family members
to be Christ for one another
St. Mary and St. Joseph said yes to raising Jesus so
do we in marriage affirm Christ to the world today
by raising children and helping them grow in the
image of Christ
Domestic church
The place where Christians receive their first impression of
the faith
Foster one another’s self-esteem, worth and
lovability so that children may do the same
when they spread out in the community
Communion with the Church
 How Christian families join the Church in
her mission:
1. Promote faith as well as evangelization at
home and with others
- Parents set a good example
- Regularly attend Mass, receive the sacraments, practice
faith with reverence
2. Help serve the needs of the parish
- Serve during after Mass
- Help with Church missions
- Assist with Catholic education classes
Communion with Society
 Sacrament of Matrimony calls spouses and
their children to help build a world of justice,
peace, and love in all places - workplace,
athletics, leisure time, politics, etc.
1. Parents socialize their children
- where they first learn communication and social skills
- Become aware of the rights and needs of others and their
responsibility to contribute to common good
2. Families participate in politics
- as candidates, voters, and lobbyists
- Create and/or represent a voice that stands for the values
of the Church and her mission
3. Families work to promote justice and peace
- serve the poor, needy and, defenseless; uphold their
human dignity
- Families teach children that all humans are created in
God’s image
CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE: A SIGN OF GOD’S
ETERNAL COVENANT WITH HUMANITY

Matrimony recalls God’s covenant with


humanity
The Israelites turned away from God time
and time again/We continually turn to sin
However, God remained steadfast to his promise
and honored the covenant they established
His love was/is indissoluble; cannot be broken
Married couples are called to love each
other in the same capacity
Openness to New Life
“Fruitful love”
For Matrimony to be valid, both spouses
must be open to children
They are called to be partners with God in
creating new life
Church teaches against the evils of:
Abortion, contraception, and sterilization
Prohibits a total giving of self to other spouse.
Interfering with God’s plan and having attitude that
you know best. Saying to spouse, “I like you but not
enough to have kids with you.”
Natural Family Planning; responsible method
Not all married couples are blessed with children
Still called to a life that is fruitful
Creates the occasion to serve those in need
The Unity of Marriage
 “In marriage the physical intimacy of spouses
becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual
communion” (CCC, 2360)
 Man and woman’s love becomes incarnate through
conjugal sex just like God’s love became incarnate
through Christ
 Two purposes of sex in marriage
1. Unitive
- Fosters intimacy
- Provides emotional security; feeling of acceptance (why
shouldn’t engage in premarital sex, you are giving another
person a false sense of security in yourself; goes for both
sexes)
- Reduces stress and anxiety between the couple
 Procreative
Sex is Sacramental
The act of sex is the sign that initially seals
Matrimony but it also continually renews it
Just like the Eucharist, the graces are continual and
nourish the relationship
Man and woman are both body and soul and are
therefore sacramental
They effect a spiritual reality
 The union of their bodies through sexual intercourse is also a
union of their souls
As an incarnate spirit, that is a soul which expresses itself
in a body and a body informed by an immortal spirit, man is
called to love in his unified totality. Love includes the
human body, and the body is made a sharer in spiritual
love.” – John Paul II FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO
Sex is Sacramental
Children are not only an incarnation of a
soul but also of their parents love
God uses material, the sexual union of male
and female to create new human life
Just as God’s Words became Flesh and
dwelt among us (Incarnation)
So too, does the man and woman’s word
(consent/will) become flesh (sexual
intercourse; the expression of their will) and
dwell among us (children)
Sex is sacred because God uses it to foster unity
between a man and a woman but also to create
new beings in His image
Sex is Sacramental
So… if conjugal sex is sacred, what is
pre-marital sex?
SACRILEGE - the desecration of something
holy
“It (sexual expression) is realized in a truly human
way only if it is an integral part of the love by which
a man and a woman commit themselves totally to
one another until death. The total physical self-
giving would be a lie if it were not the sign and fruit
of a total personal self-giving…” - John Paul II
FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO
Sex is Sacramental
Why is premarital sex a lie?
Because if done outside of marriage…you are saying something
serious and profound with your body that you have not said
with your will, therefore you are lying with your body!
Honesty with deepest part of our person = Happiness
Dishonesty with the deepest part of our person = Hurt

As Christ said at the Last Supper and with His life on the cross,
“This is my body, given up for you,” so men and woman say
the same in the sacrament of marriage!
We have the responsibility to act as ministers in the Sacrament of Marriage,
offering ourselves in service to our spouse and leading them towards God
and away from sin
 as Christians we fail if we lie and also do a grave disservice to the other person
by leading them astray from God; We are irresponsible with the gift that God
has entrusted us with
Sex is Sacramental
Receiving the Eucharist is the consummation of our
covenant with Christ and God.
Sexual union is the husband’s and wife’s consummation of
their marriage covenant with each other.

According to Augustine
“He came to the marriage bed of the cross, and there, in mounting
it, he consummated his marriage. And where he perceived the
sighs of the creature, he lovingly gave himself up in place of his
bride, and he joined himself to the woman forever.”
By giving himself up he created the Church
By giving ourselves up we contribute to the Church