THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
“The matrimonial covenant, bywhich a man and a woman
establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is
by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the
procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between
baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity
of a sacrament.”
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and
woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a
vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.”
throughout of marriage and its “mystery,” its institution and the
meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various reali-
zations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising
from sin and its renewal “in the Lord” in the New Covenant of
Christ and the Church.
Marriage in the order of creation
“The intimate community of life and love which consti-
tutes the married state has been established by the Creator and
endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the
author of marriage.”
The vocation to marriage is written in the
very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the
Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the
many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in
different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These
differences should not cause us to forget its common and perma-
nent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not
transparent everywhere with the same clarity,
some sense of the
greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. “The
well-being of the individual person and of both human and Chris-
tian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal
and family life.”
84 CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf.
48 § 1.
19:7, 9; cf.
48 § 1.
47 § 2.