Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 405 Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admira- ble and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good. 119 II. T he C elebration of M arriage 1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. 120 In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up. 121 It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but “one body” in Christ. 122 1622 “Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification, the liturgical celebration of marriage . . . must be, per se, valid, worthy, and fruitful.” 123 It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their mar­ riage by receiving the sacrament of penance. 1623 According to the Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the traditions of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presby- ters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses, 124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also neces- sary. 125 119 St. John Chrysostom, De virg. 10, 1: PG 48, 540; cf. John Paul II, FC 16. 120 Cf. SC 61. 121 Cf. LG 6. 122 Cf. 1 Cor 10:17. 123 FC 67. 124 Cf. CCEO, can. 817. 125 Cf. CCEO, can. 828. 1323 1368 1422