Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Sacrament of Christian Matrimony

Marriage- The Sacrament
The Bible and the Sacrament of marriage
Matthew 19 verse 4 to 6
He answered, ‘Have you not read that the Creator from the beginning made them male and female
and that he said: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh?
They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.’ ” New Jerusalem Bible
A sacrament is declared, where Jesus acts directly, with grace in exchange for a physical sign of obedience, in certain circumstances. Marriage is one of the 7 Sacraments officially recognised by the Universal Catholic Church. It is God who binds the married couple, and the marriage takes place with a physical sign, and seremony. Therefore, it is a sacrament. Trent, furthers this point, by excommunicating certain people who did not believe that Marriage was a sacrament:
“If any one shall say that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the Seven Sacramentsof the Evangelical Law, instituted by Christ our Lord, but was invented in the Church by men, and does not confer grace, let him be anathema.” Quotation of the Council of trent - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm 01 November 2007
 Why Catholics believe Marriage is a sacrament
The Catholic church, does not always quote the bible to justify a decision such as naming marriage one of the 7 sacraments, however, in this case there is biblical evidence hinting at their position. This is furthered, by positions stated in the Summa Theologica.
Covenant, not contract
As seen in Mattew 19, verses 4 to 6, Marriage, is not something that man is allowed to break. A contract can be broken by either side, and in such becomes null and void. A covenant, is valid, even if the other side breaks it. Marriage is considered a covenant, not a contract.
Resources on Matrimony
Summa Theologica
US Council of Bishops
Catholic Encyclopedia

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