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290 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

and when do you pray as a family? What is your practice concerning

participation in Sunday Mass?

3. What help can you or your parish provide for other couples, especially

those with troubled marriages in your neighborhood and parish?What

do you think will turn the tide back to a society that does everything

it can to sustain the ideal of a monogamous, permanent marriage?


• God is the author of marriage.

• “The matrimonial covenant by which 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” (CCC,

no. 1601; see CIC, can. 1055; CCEO, can. 776).

• Marriage is a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at

church. By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ’s spousal love

for the Church.

• In the Latin Church, the spouses, as ministers of Christ’s grace,

mutually confer upon each other the Sacrament of Matrimony by

expressing their consent before the Church. The free consent of the

couple is at the heart of the marriage celebration.

• Unity, permanent lifelong commitment, and openness to having and

caring for children are essential to marriage.

• The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse is

not permitted by God’s law as taught by Christ. They remain mem-

bers of the Church but cannot receive Holy Communion. They are

called and encouraged to lead Christian lives by attending Sunday

Mass and participating as far as possible in the life of the parish and

to bring up their children in the faith.

• “The Christian home is the place where the children receive the first

proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family is rightly called

‘the domestic church,’ a community of grace and prayer, a school of

human virtues and of Christian charity” (CCC, no. 1666).