Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Aug 13, '17, 10:25 am
angell1 angell1 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2013
Posts: 2,988
Religion: catholic
Default a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

what are the elements necessary for marriage to be a sacrament? is it only a sacrament if the parties are catholic? or at least one of them? I know that both parties have to be baptized, would it still be a sacrament if neither party is catholic though?

also, what is the reasoning behind the fact that a marriage is invalid if two catholics marry outside the church without the necessary arrangements? I thought the parties contractingthe sacrament was the couple themselves? and let's say that someone is in an invalid marriage, then is it more like cohabitation then? Is there the same expectation nto try and make such a relationship work? Or is it permissible to end the relationship as if you were still dating?

on the same note, are the elements for validity and for it to be a sacrament different?

just trying to get a better understanding. thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Aug 13, '17, 12:04 pm
AnnArbor AnnArbor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2011
Posts: 707
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
what are the elements necessary for marriage to be a sacrament? is it only a sacrament if the parties are catholic? or at least one of them? I know that both parties have to be baptized, would it still be a sacrament if neither party is catholic though?

also, what is the reasoning behind the fact that a marriage is invalid if two catholics marry outside the church without the necessary arrangements? I thought the parties contractingthe sacrament was the couple themselves? and let's say that someone is in an invalid marriage, then is it more like cohabitation then? Is there the same expectation nto try and make such a relationship work? Or is it permissible to end the relationship as if you were still dating?

on the same note, are the elements for validity and for it to be a sacrament different?

just trying to get a better understanding. thanks
A valid marriage is sacramental if both parties are baptized. They do not both need to be Catholic. However, for a Catholic to validly enter marriage, he or she is obliged to follow the Church's form. That means marriage in a Catholic church or with permission from the bishop to marry elsewhere.

Two baptized Christians who are not Catholic and who are free to marry (e.g. Not divorced and entering a second marriage) are presumed to be in a sacramental marriage. It does not matter where that marriage occurred.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Aug 14, '17, 4:44 am
Actaeon Actaeon is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2012
Posts: 575
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArbor View Post
A valid marriage is sacramental if both parties are baptized. They do not both need to be Catholic. However, for a Catholic to validly enter marriage, he or she is obliged to follow the Church's form. That means marriage in a Catholic church or with permission from the bishop to marry elsewhere.

Two baptized Christians who are not Catholic and who are free to marry (e.g. Not divorced and entering a second marriage) are presumed to be in a sacramental marriage. It does not matter where that marriage occurred.
This, with minor clarifications.

A sacrament is composed of form, matter, and minister. In the sacrament of marriage, the minister is the baptized persons themselves (the priest acts as a witness for the church, hence why a nun was recently allowed to stand in and witness a marriage in a Canadian parish where no priest was available). The form takes shape in the vows given to one another. The matter is the persons free, informed, and mutual consent and the covenant formed upon consummation of the marriage.

So while we *presume* any marriage between two baptized non-catholics to be sacramental, that doesn't mean that their marriage was of valid form, or that they had the proper understanding of marriage to give informed consent (if, for example, one of them was staunchly against monogamy, and gave their vows under the intention of having a so-called "open relationship," then this would be cause to believe the entire marriage to be invalid). Similarly, lack of proper form (via wholly insufficient vows) can be reason to doubt the validity of a marriage. This is why Catholics are, generally, required to be married in front of a witness of the church, within the church, and by the church's format.

Understanding that, if two catholics marry outside the church without the necessary arrangments, it's entirely possible that their marriage *is* valid and sacramental, but that is an *unknown* entity at that point because the form is unknown (and the matter, since the church can't confirm both were informed and free to marry). If that is the case, the couple should confess and seek convalidation as soon as possible in order to have their marriage be recognized by the church. Because marriages are presumed valid until declared otherwise, they cannot simply leave such a marriage as though it were only a dating relationship... and in fact would require a declaration of nullity before they would be allowed to wed someone in the Catholic church (if their marriage were invalid, that is).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Aug 14, '17, 5:55 am
1ke 1ke is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 29,532
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
would it still be a sacrament if neither party is catholic though?
Yes. A valid marriage between two baptized people is by its nature a sacrament.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
also, what is the reasoning behind the fact that a marriage is invalid if two catholics marry outside the church without the necessary arrangements?
This is an ecclesial law. This means, it is disciplinary only. It applies to Catholics, not non-Catholics. And it can change. The history of this is long, and it is from the long wisdom of the Church that form evolved into what it is today. In the beginning the Church confirmed marriages via whatever local custom of marriage existed in the places Christianity spread. Meaning, no special form for two Christians to marry. However, over time the Church had men repudiating their wives that they had married because they wanted to take another. Their claims could not be disproved because there were no witnesses to the vows/marriages. Hence the rise of canonical form. It is the Church's way of ensuring witnesses who can attest to the exchange of vows and consent to protect the parties (primarily the woman) from repudiation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
I thought the parties contractingthe sacrament was the couple themselves?
In the Latin Church, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
and let's say that someone is in an invalid marriage, then is it more like cohabitation then?
Not exactly. The parties may in fact believe they are truly married. They are civilly married. If they married in the Church the marriage is presumed valid until proven otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
Is there the same expectation nto try and make such a relationship work? Or is it permissible to end the relationship as if you were still dating?
No, not at all. Many invalid marriages become valid when the couple takes steps to validate it. They are committed to their marriage and family. They should not act as single people until and unless their marriage situation is resolved, either validated or they separate and divorce civilly and obtain a decree related to their future freedom to marry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
on the same note, are the elements for validity and for it to be a sacrament different?
Yes. Validity is based on valid consent and intent and the freedom to marry (no canonical impediments barring them from marriage). Sacramentality is based on a valid marriage and baptismal status. A valid marriage between two baptized people is by its nature sacramental. If two unbaptized married people become baptized their marriage becomes a Sacrament at that moment.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Aug 14, '17, 7:26 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: November 27, 2007
Posts: 15,574
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actaeon View Post
Understanding that, if two catholics marry outside the church without the necessary arrangments, it's entirely possible that their marriage *is* valid and sacramental, but that is an *unknown* entity at that point because the form is unknown (and the matter, since the church can't confirm both were informed and free to marry). If that is the case, the couple should confess and seek convalidation as soon as possible in order to have their marriage be recognized by the church. Because marriages are presumed valid until declared otherwise, they cannot simply leave such a marriage as though it were only a dating relationship... and in fact would require a declaration of nullity before they would be allowed to wed someone in the Catholic church (if their marriage were invalid, that is).
Correction, there is no presumtion of validity if the Catholic marries outside the Church without a dispensation. That was clarified by Rome in response to a dubium submitted sometime in the 1940s. They would not require a decree of nullity. In most dioceses in North America the bishops will have the paperwork for this done by the Marriage Tribunal but it can be done by the priest in the prenuptial investigation.
No notation of marriage on your recently issued Certificate of Baptism? Check.
Marriage papers show marriage took place at the courthouse/outside/non-Catholic Church? Check.
Divorce decree? Check.
Free to marry.

Not much different from some dioceses' requirement that witnesses attest to each party's freedom to marry even when there has been no known previous marriage (civil or religious). That replaces the publication of banns which in this century are pretty useless in many cases. Case in point: The last time banns were published in our parish was about 10 years ago, at the request of the marrying parish because one of the parties had been baptized here. Nobody knew who the bride and groom were and no one recognized the names of the parents so banns couldn't possibly elicit the information they are meant to.

A simple convalidation is a marriage ceremony, not just a "recognition by the Church".
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Aug 14, '17, 11:49 am
1ke 1ke is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 29,532
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
Correction, there is no presumtion of validity if the Catholic marries outside the Church without a dispensation. That was clarified by Rome in response to a dubium submitted sometime in the 1940s. They would not require a decree of nullity. .
Yep.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Aug 14, '17, 7:49 pm
angell1 angell1 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2013
Posts: 2,988
Religion: catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
Yes. A valid marriage between two baptized people is by its nature a sacrament.



This is an ecclesial law. This means, it is disciplinary only. It applies to Catholics, not non-Catholics. And it can change. The history of this is long, and it is from the long wisdom of the Church that form evolved into what it is today. In the beginning the Church confirmed marriages via whatever local custom of marriage existed in the places Christianity spread. Meaning, no special form for two Christians to marry. However, over time the Church had men repudiating their wives that they had married because they wanted to take another. Their claims could not be disproved because there were no witnesses to the vows/marriages. Hence the rise of canonical form. It is the Church's way of ensuring witnesses who can attest to the exchange of vows and consent to protect the parties (primarily the woman) from repudiation.




In the Latin Church, yes.



Not exactly. The parties may in fact believe they are truly married. They are civilly married. If they married in the Church the marriage is presumed valid until proven otherwise.



No, not at all. Many invalid marriages become valid when the couple takes steps to validate it. They are committed to their marriage and family. They should not act as single people until and unless their marriage situation is resolved, either validated or they separate and divorce civilly and obtain a decree related to their future freedom to marry.




Yes. Validity is based on valid consent and intent and the freedom to marry (no canonical impediments barring them from marriage). Sacramentality is based on a valid marriage and baptismal status. A valid marriage between two baptized people is by its nature sacramental. If two unbaptized married people become baptized their marriage becomes a Sacrament at that moment.
well, my question about leaving an invalid marriage was mainly if there was not presumption of validity. i.e. the example of two cahotlics marrying outside the church

if there's no presumption of validity, then there's no marriage, right? in that instance, wouldn't it basically be like cohabitation in this instance?

certainly, I would encourage convalidation if the couple is willing, but if there are problems in the relationship, well, there is technically no marriage in the first place.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Aug 15, '17, 6:11 am
1ke 1ke is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 29,532
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by angell1 View Post
well, my question about leaving an invalid marriage was mainly if there was not presumption of validity. i.e. the example of two cahotlics marrying outside the church

if there's no presumption of validity, then there's no marriage, right? in that instance, wouldn't it basically be like cohabitation in this instance?

certainly, I would encourage convalidation if the couple is willing, but if there are problems in the relationship, well, there is technically no marriage in the first place.
They are still civilly married. The Church does NOT encourage "leaving" the marriage. The Church encourages convalidating the marriage.

Pastoral guidance would dictate how the couple might live between the time of bringing their situation to the priest and the actual convalidation.

If there are problems in the marriage that cannot be overcome, then yes the couple should separate, seek civil remedies, and yes the individuals would be free to marry in the Church at some future point.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Aug 16, '17, 5:56 pm
AnnArbor AnnArbor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2011
Posts: 707
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: a couple questions on the sacrament of marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actaeon View Post
This, with minor clarifications.

A sacrament is composed of form, matter, and minister. In the sacrament of marriage, the minister is the baptized persons themselves (the priest acts as a witness for the church, hence why a nun was recently allowed to stand in and witness a marriage in a Canadian parish where no priest was available). The form takes shape in the vows given to one another. The matter is the persons free, informed, and mutual consent and the covenant formed upon consummation of the marriage.

So while we *presume* any marriage between two baptized non-catholics to be sacramental, that doesn't mean that their marriage was of valid form, or that they had the proper understanding of marriage to give informed consent (if, for example, one of them was staunchly against monogamy, and gave their vows under the intention of having a so-called "open relationship," then this would be cause to believe the entire marriage to be invalid). Similarly, lack of proper form (via wholly insufficient vows) can be reason to doubt the validity of a marriage. This is why Catholics are, generally, required to be married in front of a witness of the church, within the church, and by the church's format.

Understanding that, if two catholics marry outside the church without the necessary arrangments, it's entirely possible that their marriage *is* valid and sacramental, but that is an *unknown* entity at that point because the form is unknown (and the matter, since the church can't confirm both were informed and free to marry). If that is the case, the couple should confess and seek convalidation as soon as possible in order to have their marriage be recognized by the church. Because marriages are presumed valid until declared otherwise, they cannot simply leave such a marriage as though it were only a dating relationship... and in fact would require a declaration of nullity before they would be allowed to wed someone in the Catholic church (if their marriage were invalid, that is).
If two Catholics marry outside the Church, the marriage is invalid. If they leave the relationship, there does not need to be a declaration of nullity, but rather an administrative statement that they attempted marriage invalidly.

Two baptized Christians are indeed presumed to be in a sacramental marriage in the same way that two Catholics who married inside the Church are.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
6652CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: tawny
6276Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: hazcompat
5219Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
4631Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4332Poems and Reflections
Last by: Purgatory Pete
4055OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: Fischli
3295For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: GLam8833
3261Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Herculees
2831Let's Empty Purgatory 2
Last by: Jeannie52
2449SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 7:48 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.