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406

Part Two

1624

The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and

epiclesis asking God’s grace and blessing on the new couple,

especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses

receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the

Church.

126

The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever-​

available source of their love and the strength to renew their

fidelity.

III.

M

atrimonial

C

onsent

1625

The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and

woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent;

“to be free” means:

— not being under constraint;

— not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law.

1626

The Church holds the exchange of consent between the

spouses to be the indispensable element that “makes the mar-

riage.”

127

If consent is lacking there is no marriage.

1627

The consent consists in a “human act by which the partners

mutually give themselves to each other”: “I take you to be my wife”​

—“I take you to be my husband.”

128

This consent that binds the

spouses to each other finds its fulfillment in the two “becoming one

flesh.”

129

1628

The consent must be an act of the will of each of the

contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear.

130

No

human power can substitute for this consent.

131

If this freedom is

lacking the marriage is invalid.

1629

For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null

and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the compe-

tent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that

the marriage never existed.

132

In this case the contracting parties are free

to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are dis-

charged.

133

126 Cf.

Eph

5:32.

127 CIC, can. 1057 § 1.

128

GS

48 § 1;

OCM

45; cf. CIC, can. 1057 § 2.

129

Gen

2:24; cf.

Mk

10:8;

Eph

5:31.

130 Cf. CIC, can. 1103.

131 Cf. CIC, can. 1057 § 1.

132 Cf. CIC, cann. 1095-1107.

133 Cf. CIC, can. 1071.

736

1734

2201

1735