A protestant friend of mine revealed to me that he holds the view that a cohabitation can be equall in the eyes of God to a marriage.
He support his views by claiming that the bible didnt give us any example of how a wedding ritual is supposed to be.
He said: Yes the bible speaks about wedding feasts and that before the couple cohabitated they were bethroated to each other but the very thing which units them in the eyes of God is the consumatio of the marriage, i.e. sexuall intercourse.
I said yes somehow you are right because also the Catholic Church teaches that you can dissolve a marriage as long as no sexuall intercourse has taken place.
My question is therefore to what extent are we obliged to hold a ritual and in what form?
Correct me if i am wrong but the church teaches that the sacrament of marriage is not given to the couple by the priest, but it is the couple that gives it to eachother.
So why is the ritual necessary and what proofs can we provide that a ritual is necessary?