Importance of Marriage in the Catholic Church


#1

Hi,
My boyfriend belongs to the Nazarene Church, which is Christian for anyone who doesn't know. I've been raised Catholic and plan on staying Catholic. However my boyfriend has asked me a lot of questions about my faith that I can't answer. One is why it is so important to marry in the Catholic Church. I have told him that it is because Catholics see marriage as a sacrament, as a symbol of God's divine love. He doesn't understand what gives the priest the right or power to marry someone. He doesn't understand why the priest is so important. I don't know how to answer him. Any suggestions? He's all about the Bible too so if anyone knows any Bible verses that talk about that, I would greatly appreciate your insight. Thank you


#2

Three To Get Married by Archbishop Fulton Sheen is a good book.


#3

[quote="Sammers, post:1, topic:321647"]
He doesn't understand what gives the priest the right or power to marry someone.

[/quote]

The question should be WHO gives the priest the right and power, and that would be God, with Jesus giving authority to the apostles, and the apostles to bishops, and bishops to priests.

[quote="Sammers, post:1, topic:321647"]
He doesn't understand why the priest is so important.

[/quote]

Because he is acting out Christ's command to spread the Gospel and to help lead the Church in his local parish and distribute the Sacraments, which is something that lay people do not have the authority or power to do entirely the same, though we can help to spread the Gospel.


#4

Actually, the priest just presides over the wedding ceremony - it is the man and woman who marry one another; it is the couple who confer the Holy Sacrament on each other. THAT is why we take it so seriously. It is a permanent, sacred, covenant bond between man, woman and God. (The priest just ensures you follow the right form). You cannot get out of it. It ends only upon death.

The Catholic Church is the strongest advocate of marriage because of our stance that it is permanent. We do not have a way to break the bond or end the covenant. You cannot get out of it due to adultery (Some protestants claim Jesus allows divorce for adultery. He didn't - He said Moses did because of their hard-hearts). I know people get confused by this and wonder about annulment. An annulment means the Sacrament was not valid from the wedding day - it does not and cannot end a marriage (only say there never was a real one to begin with). But we're really serious about all this. The Catholic Church will put you through marriage prep to make sure you both know what you are getting into and that you can freely consent during a marriage ceremony.


#5

Most Protestant churches do a better job IMHO of educating their young people on the importance of being “equally yoked.” If you don’t know, a yoke is a wooden harness that binds two animals together to pull a plow. If the are not the same size, speed, strength, etc, then one animal ends up pulling an unfair share and the entire row of plowing goes off course. So too with people, if you marry someone who is not compatible with you in terms of religious belief, one will pull an unfair load. As someone who’s been there, I would not make that choice again.

Easter blessings!


#6

Please correct me if and where I'm wrong, but I believe that Catholics view marriage as both a natural and a sacramental institution. It's a natural institution in that Catholics recognize all marriages across all different cultures and religions. In that sense, a Priest isn't needed for marriage. But marriage is also a sacrament of the church, and according to Catholic teaching, confers special graces on the couple getting married. I'm in no way an expert on your relationship, but I'd say that if this is important to you, your boyfriend should be willing to listen to you and be respectful of your desires.

I don't think your boyfriend needs to be Catholic himself, just a baptized Christian. I think you need permision from your bishop first, though, and that there will be other considerations you'll need to discuss.

Again, this might be wrong on my part, but I think the Bible verse you're looking for is the miracle at the wedding feast, John 2:1-11. Best of luck in your relationship, and your marriage if it's meant to be!


#7

The important part is getting married in the church, in front of the blessed sacrament, as a sacramental marriage. As someone has pointed out, the priest just presides over the ceremony. A bishop can preside over the ceremony as well. Why? Because it is a sacred catholic ceremony that must be officiated by an ordained member of the church because it is a sacrament. The couples actually marry each other, in front of God but the priest or deacon must be there in order for it to be sacramental.

The other part of this discussion is that the church requires us to be married this way, and to be in good standing means to obey the church.

Also as someone pointed out, make sure you know what you're doing getting married to this guy, objectively, and that your marriage to him won't be an obstruction to practicing your faith.


#8

[quote="Peter12rb, post:6, topic:321647"]
Please correct me if and where I'm wrong, but I believe that Catholics view marriage as both a natural and a sacramental institution. It's a natural institution in that Catholics recognize all marriages across all different cultures and religions. In that sense, a Priest isn't needed for marriage. But marriage is also a sacrament of the church, and according to Catholic teaching, confers special graces on the couple getting married. I'm in no way an expert on your relationship, but I'd say that if this is important to you, your boyfriend should be willing to listen to you and be respectful of your desires.

I don't think your boyfriend needs to be Catholic himself, just a baptized Christian. I think you need permision from your bishop first, though, and that there will be other considerations you'll need to discuss.

Again, this might be wrong on my part, but I think the Bible verse you're looking for is the miracle at the wedding feast, John 2:1-11. Best of luck in your relationship, and your marriage if it's meant to be!

[/quote]

everything you posted seems right to me.
My point about being equally yoked was that while the partners do not both need to be Catholic (one can even be unBaptized with proper permission from the Bishop), it sure does make things easier to marry a practicing Catholic if that's what you already are.


#9

I think the main question is "why a Catholic is required to be married in a Catholic church?"

Which I would add that the Catholic can get a dispensation from form to marry in a non-Catholic church.


#10

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