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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