THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY (MARRIAGE)
REFLECTIONS ON MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIPS
"The sacrament of matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life" (CCC 1661).
Christ himself elevated the natural institution of marriage to the dignity of a sacrament during his public ministry. He worked his first miracle at a wedding (John 3:1-11) and he taught that marriage in the New Covenant is permanent and holy (Matthew 19:3-9). The apostles taught on the beauty and significance of marriage throughout the New Testament (1 Peter 3:1-12). St. Paul even taught on the mystery of the relationship between the members of the Church and Christ the bridegroom as analogous to the relationship between husband and wife in the sacrament of Marriage (Ephesians 5:21-33).
Christian Marriage is a sacrament that expects the husband and wife to serve one another. This service is based on the Christian virtue of charity and is done in a spirit of care and concern for the good of the spouse and child(ren) following the example of Christ. If this sacrament provides grace for salvation to the individual, it is only as a secondary fruit. The principle effect of the grace of the sacrament serves to strengthen the couple’s unity and deepen their love and affection so that their loving service assists them in growing closer to God. The ultimate goal of marriage is the same as Christian life; to respond to God’s grace and be happy with Him in heaven forever.
Marriage preparation at our Church is undertaken by Fr Jamie McGrath, our Parish Priest. Please contact the Parish Office, email: email@example.com or Tel: 01235 520375 to make an appointment.
FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON MARRIAGE
Support and guidance is also available for married couples. Please see 'Marriage Care'.