Call to Matrimony
"By reason of their state in life and of their order, [Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God." This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple's love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they "help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children."
Christ is the source of this grace. Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another's burdens, to "be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ," and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb.
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.
Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.
The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
- Parishes provide preparation programs to enable the engaged couple to prepare for the sacrament and for married life.
- The Engaged Encounter Program also provides preparation for the life-long relationship of the couple.
- For more information, contact the pastor of your parish or mission.
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.
Prayer for People Getting Married
Father, we thank you for the gift of "married love" that you have placed in our hearts. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us in preparing ourselves for all that you will build on our love for one another. Jesus, you once said: "where 2 or more are united in my name I will be there with them": (Matt. 18:20). Come and live with us in our home and be the unity that unites us each day and the atmosphere in which our children are raised. Father you have a plan for our love, united with you our married love will be your "light" to others in the world. Mary, mother of Jesus, you know what love is; teach us and protect us in welcoming what God is offering to us. Holy Spirit, be present with us on the great appointment of our marriage vows. Amen
- Fr. Harry Clarke