Matrimony and Holy Orders - How are they similar?

I have a bible study group and we are talking about how the sacraments of matrimony and holy orders are similar enough to both be included under the Sacraments of Service/Mission.

How are they similar?
The only thoughts I have are that they are both directed towards the salvation of others. If they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.

Priests are consecrated in Christ’s name in the service of others, and a couple is brought together to spread the faith to their children selflessly. Both sacraments are in the aid of others.

What do you think? I’d like to bring more to the table than just this!

You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. As you say, they are both sacraments directed towards the sanctification of others. The graces received are all from service to others rather than to self. It is through that service that the recipients grow in holiness.

There are obviously diffences in how that service is performed and lived out, but ultimately you already have the primary way in which they are similar.

As noted, they are sacraments of service. I am inclined to think that trying to find more similarities may ignore the great differences between them,

Idk about the Latin Church but in the Byzantine Tradition the same Troparion, Kontakion, and Theotokion are sung at the wedding ceremony (Mystery of Crowning/Matrimony) and at the ordination of a priest (Mystery of Ordination).

Both have a sacrifical dimension (even if the two are, in theory at least, not mutually exclusive). In both cases the sacrifice is in imitation of that of Christ albeit in different ways. In priesthood, the priest stands in person Christi in offiering the sacrifice of the mass; he also gives of himself and the totality of his life to Christ’s spouse the Church. In a similar way, in the sacrament of matrimony the coupe give themselves (as well as the sacrament itself) to each other and this too imitates Christ’s total giving of himself to the Church as well as also echoing the old covenant which is frequently described in matrimonial terms in scripture.


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