History of marriage as a sacrament


#1

My husband has done some extensive reading on the history of Christianity and recently read that the sacrament and ceremony for marriage as a sacrament was instituted at the Council of Trent in the 1500’s. Is that correct? If so, how did one get married before that time? Has marriage always been a sacrament?

is there further reading that we can do on this topic?


#2

Try this page catholic.com/library/Permanence_of_Matrimony.asp

It does talk about it as a sacrement, keep reading!


#3

[quote=seek1st]My husband has done some extensive reading on the history of Christianity and recently read that the sacrament and ceremony for marriage as a sacrament was instituted at the Council of Trent in the 1500’s. Is that correct? If so, how did one get married before that time? Has marriage always been a sacrament?

is there further reading that we can do on this topic?
[/quote]

It’s possible your husband may be drawing the same faulty conclusion about the sacrament of matrimony that Protestants do when it comes to the canon of Scripture. They believe that since Trent made a definitive declaration on the canon, it follows that there was no recognized canon before that time. This, as we know is false reasoning, since it can be shown that that canon was set back in the 4th century, although there had been no “official” declaration made on it. Same with matrimony: the fact that Trent *defined * the sacrament does not imply it was not recognized before then.


#4

Matrimony was a sacrament before the Council of Trent. What the Council of Trent did was to impose the requirement of canonical form (i.e., Catholics must be married in the Church by a priest before two witnesses) as an invalidating ecclesiastical requirement. Prior to that, it was illicit for Catholics to marry outside the Church, but if they did so, it would still create a valid marriage.

You can read the marriage decrees from the Council of Trent here.

A good book on the history of all the sacraments is Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church by Joseph Martos.


#5

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