Sacramental Marriage is in serious trouble


#1

I am calling all Catholics to pray for the restoration of the sacrament of Marriage. My spouse and I do baptismal prep for two parishes. In the last six months of about 30 families who have approached us for classes, only 2 have been married in the church. Last night, we taught a class, and only one of the eight children who are going to be baptized, even have their mother and father in a civil marriage. Either people are cohabitating, single parents, or teen parents. The greatest weapon in our arsenal to defend our sacraments, is prayer.

Please make an effort with me this Advent season to pray for the Sacrament of Marriage. Thanks in advance. It is so discouraging to see how far we have come in a secular world.


#2

I am with you on this one…and let’s all pray that those who feel they are kept from the Church and cannot convalidate their marriages will seek guidance and support from the proper Church authorities, and not be kept away out of fear. The Lord LOVE us, He wants only the BEST for us…BE NOT AFRAID!!!


#3

God bless you for your prayers. We bring up convalidation all the time, and remind the couples present, that wouldn’t it be a great gift if you could receive your sacraments along with your children when they make theirs! We just have to keep praying and hopefully recruit happily sacramental married couples to be open to becoming mentors for those who are not married in the church.


#4

I totally agree. I would like to add that we need to rethink our marriage preparation classes. Even those who are getting married in the Church are completely unaware of how to have a Catholic Marriage. They need to be taught about the Sacrament. Our marriage prep classes were abysmal. There was no talk about it being a Sacrament. They were all about who would handle the finances, and talking about where we would spend holidays. And when they got to the talking about how many children we wanted, and we said that we were going to follow the Church’s teaching on birth control and accept any children God gave us, they looked at us like we had grown second heads!! Marriage is in serious trouble all the way around in this country, whether in or out of the Church!


#5

I agree, we baptize about 60 babies four times a year, at least half the parents are not married in the church, and of the remainder, at least half are not married at all. We make one of the preparation classes deal with the sacrament of matrimony, and the deacon speaks with individual couples who are interested in marriage preparation or convalidation. We also do this for first communion preparation.


#6

We do marriage prep as well at our parish, and I was bowled over last week when we had a couple in the rectory for the prep…when the groom said to us, he never knew that marriage was a sacrament. Yikes!

We just started our work with this couple and they did a FOCCUS survey, which is part of marriage prep in our diocese. In it, there is a an entire section on the marriage covenant, prayer and sharing your faith through the sacrament. So hopefully, the seeds we plant will fall on fertile soil.

I also think we need to re-evaluate our religious education programs because the groom told us he attend 8 years of it, yet he acted that what we were telling him was something novel. Either he wasn’t receptive to what was being taught, or it wasn’t taught. I can’t say for sure. Lots of work and lots of prayers…and what does it say in scriptures,the harvest is plenty but the workers are few! Perhaps we can recruit more willing helpers and those who will pray for all of us in the trenches.


#7

[quote=stbruno]I am calling all Catholics to pray for the restoration of the sacrament of Marriage. My spouse and I do baptismal prep for two parishes. In the last six months of about 30 families who have approached us for classes, only 2 have been married in the church. Last night, we taught a class, and only one of the eight children who are going to be baptized, even have their mother and father in a civil marriage. Either people are cohabitating, single parents, or teen parents. The greatest weapon in our arsenal to defend our sacraments, is prayer.

Please make an effort with me this Advent season to pray for the Sacrament of Marriage. Thanks in advance. It is so discouraging to see how far we have come in a secular world.
[/quote]

If they are cohabitating, It may not be wise to baptize the child. They are making a committment to raise the child in the faith. How can they do this under such circumstances?


#8

[quote=Brad]If they are cohabitating, It may not be wise to baptize the child. They are making a committment to raise the child in the faith. How can they do this under such circumstances?
[/quote]

I must speak to this from experience.

  1. Then it is the parents’ sin and not the child’s. I feel like the child should not be prevented from the grace of Baptism because of their parents’ sin or potential future sin.
  2. Maybe this will help bring the parents back into the Church. If there are proper pre-baptismal classes for the parents, this event might be enough to bring them back to practicing their faith.
  3. I was a single parent when my first daughter was Baptized. I was petrified that she might not be able to be Baptized because of me. Now I am living a fully Catholic marriage and am extremely involved in living my faith. Perhaps presenting my daughter for Baptism was a first step on this path. It also might never have happened because if my child had been banned from Baptism, I might have turned my back completely and finally on the Catholic Church.

#9

[quote=legeorge]I must speak to this from experience.

  1. Then it is the parents’ sin and not the child’s. I feel like the child should not be prevented from the grace of Baptism because of their parents’ sin or potential future sin.

[/quote]

That is fine that you “feel” that way but the sacrament of Baptism is not about feelings. The agreements and professions of faith are real and binding to God. In this case the co-habitating parents would agree to raise the child in the faith while obstinantly rejecting one of it’s basic truths. How is that possible? Do you want them to lie to God during the sacrament?

We’ve taken this approach for the past 30+ years and now we are talking about lower mass attendence and less vocations all over the country. It isn’t working. The sacraments are not rights nor are they handouts.

I would let them attend the classes - just not the sacrament until their public sin is resolved. Believe me, I would not just close the door. I would clearly indicate that they need to resolve this situation of living together or else they are putting their soul and their new child’s soul in danger. I would give them every opportunity to resolve the sin. In fact, this IS the opportunity to do it.

Different situation. Single parent is not co-habitating. No problem with baptizing the child under those circumstances. The problem with baptizing while co-habitating is it brings scandal to the sacraments. It cheapens the perception what the sacraments are in reality. Thus, so many IN the Church think they are being faithful because they receive the Eucharist and have Baptism parties and Holy Communion parties but they are not really being faithful. It is an illusion. It is dangerous. It is effecting souls for all eternity - souls that filled the pews.


#10

[quote=Brad]If they are cohabitating, It may not be wise to baptize the child. They are making a committment to raise the child in the faith. How can they do this under such circumstances?
[/quote]

I feel very strongly about this.

One ***NEVER ***denies the grace of the sacrament of baptism based on the worthiness or lack thereof of the parents. The cohabitation of the parents involves sin on the part of the parents. If the parents fail to live up to their baptismal vows, this involves more sin on the part of the parents.

But what did the child ever do, to be denied the grace of Baptism? Why should the child remain in Original Sin because of the sins of the parents?

BTW, I am aware of at least two situations involving Episcopal churches where this issue came up – and got very nasty.


#11

#12

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