Marriage

Matrimony, or Marriage, like Holy Orders, is a sacrament that consecrates for a particular mission in building up the Church, and that provides grace for accomplishing that mission. This sacrament, seen as a sign of the love uniting Christ and the Church, establishes between the spouses a permanent and exclusive bond, sealed by God.

Simply stated, the purpose of marriage is to give life and love to the world. A married couple, by the way they fulfill their marriage vows, will love, honor and nurture each other. But in Christian marriage, the relationship is also meant to be for others - an example ( or an icon) of what it means to be loving and faithful to another human being.

Marriage is a holy sacrament. Those baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus are married in his name also. Their love is a sharing in the love of God. He is its source. The marriages of Christian couples, today renewed and blessed, are images on earth of the wonder of God, the loving, life-giving communion of Three Persons in one God, and of God's covenant in Christ, with the Church. Christian marriage is a sacrament of salvation. It is the pathway to holiness for all members of a family.

Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of "Man" in the image and likeness of God, and concludes with a vision of the "wedding-feast of the Lamb (Revelations 19:7, 9)". The bond of marriage is compared to God's undying love for Israel in the Old Testament, and Christ's love for his Church in the New Testament.

Jesus stresses the importance of the marriage bond in his Ministry (Matthew 19:6, 8). The importance of marriage is substantiated by the presence of Christ at the wedding feast of Cana, where he began his public ministry at the request of his mother, Mary, by performing his first miracle (John 2). It is the Apostle Paul who identifies the marriage of human beings with the unity of Christ and his Church.