Marriage

A Message to Our Engaged Couples,

The Cathedral of Saint Raymond wishes to congratulate you on your engagement and desire to be married; a desire entered into with a great deal of thought and prayer. To assist you during this exciting time, we present the following guidelines intended to insure a joyful, reverent and prayerful celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage within the context of the Church’s prayer.    It is our hope that the following information will make these days of preparation joyful for everyone.

The Sacrament of Marriage is an invitation from God for a man and woman to deepen their experience of the love of God by joining in a covenant relationship with each other.  The vocation of marriage requires that you enter into this sacrament with freedom and with full knowledge of the challenges, responsibilities and joys of married life.

Your wedding liturgy is an act of worship.  Every Sunday and Holy Day liturgy will be a point of strength as you continue your journey together as husband and wife. In choosing to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, you are proclaiming God’s place in your spousal covenant.  Your marriage becomes a sign of the Blessed Trinity...God, husband and wife.  As such, your wedding liturgy will call all of your witnesses to a deeper encounter with God. It will remind everyone that marriage is a great sign, “the mirror of God’s everlasting love” (Rite of Marriage).

The prayers and best wishes of Saint Raymond Parish community are with you as you prepare to celebrate this Holy Sacrament before God and His people. 

                                                        The Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus

 

The Sacrament of Marriage

The sacrament of marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the Church. When a man and a woman are married in the Church, they receive the grace needed for a lifelong bond of unity.

Marriage is a Covenant

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenantal union in the image of the covenants between God and his people with Abraham and later with Moses at Mt. Sinai. This divine covenant can never be broken. In this way, marriage is a union that bonds spouses together during their entire lifetime.

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. (CCC 1661)

The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our other model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love. (CCC 1662)

The Church takes the lifelong nature of the Sacrament of Marriage seriously. The Church teaches that a break in this covenant teaches goes against the natural law of God:

The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith. (CCC 1665)

Marriage Reflects the Holy Trinity

We believe that God exists in eternal communion. Together, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in one being with no beginning and no end. Human beings, likewise, were created by God in God’s image for the purpose of communion with another human being.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). The Sacrament of Marriage is “unitive, indissoluble and calls us to be completely open to fertility.” Christian marriage at its finest is a reflection of God’s self-giving love expressed between the love of two people.

 

God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond.
(United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 21, p. 279)

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