Credopedia Sacrament of marriage


Sacrament of marriage

Love forever. Forever? Faithful in good times and in bad? Until death? That’s too great a risk to take. And yet! The institution of marriage is and remains of fundamental importance. It is so important that Jesus even elevated marriage to a sacrament.

mins read | Stani Mičkovicová

Man and woman in the image of God

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him, male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
What exactly does it mean that God created man and woman “in his image”? And what does this mean for each individual? God has endowed man and woman with the same dignity and yet he has entrusted them with fundamentally different pursuits. They complement each other. According to the Bible, man and woman are meant for each other. God did not want Adam to remain alone. In Genesis, we read that he therefore gave him a partner (cf. Gen 2:18.22). God himself is therefore the originator of marriage. The matrimonial union befits the nature of man and woman.

How does the sacrament of marriage come about?

Marriage is the only sacrament that the bride and the groom mutually administer to themselves. It comes about through a promise made by a man and a woman before God and the Church, which is accepted and confirmed by God. Marriage is consummated through the physical union of the couple (sex). Because God himself forms the bond of sacramental marriage, it remains binding until the death of one of the partners.
By saying “I do”, husband and wife express their free will to give themselves to each other irrevocably and unconditionally. The bride and groom promise each other lifelong fidelity and exchange rings. The priest or deacon confirms the nuptials and calls down God’s blessing on the couple. In all other respects, he is only a witness that the wedding has taken place under the right circumstances and that the promise is comprehensive and is made publicly. The wedding is only valid if the man and woman wish to enter into marriage freely and without fear or coercion and if they are not prevented by other natural or ecclesiastical ties, such as an existing marriage or a vow of celibacy. In addition, a sacramental marriage includes openness to children. Couples who remain childless are called by God to become “fruitful” in some other way. (Cf. YOUCAT, p. 261-262)

Indissolubility of marriage

We experience it all too often: I don’t have love! And yet we need not be despondent! God is love. He is the source you can turn to when you no longer feel the power of love within you. You need God to be able to truly love. A couple’s love can fade, but it can also grow and in its own way become even deeper and more beautiful than in the time of first love. Because love is more than a feeling; it is a decision. “Love never fails”. (1 Cor 13:8)
Marrying in Church means relying more on God’s help than on your own reserves of love. The indissolubility of marriage it the very essence of love. It is a reflection of Jesus’ unconditional love and faithfulness to his Church (cf. Eph 5:25-32). The sacrament of marriage is an incomparable source of strength for man and woman, thanks to which they can always start anew together. Marriage is not a game that you can call off at will when you no longer enjoy it. Rather, love never ceases even when it hurts. Jesus showed us what it means to love. True love is being ready to lay down one’s life for the other. This does not necessarily entail physical death. Spouses always lay down their lives for the other when they are ready to sacrifice themselves out of love for the other. In everyday life. Bit by bit and a little more every day. Such a marriage is a blessed and happy one.