Monday, March 20, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 261 - Part II.
(Youcat answer) The sacrament of Matrimony comes about through a promise made by a man and a woman before God and the Church, which is accepted and confirmed by God and consummated by the bodily union of the couple. Because God himself forms the bond of sacramental marriage, it is binding until the death of one of the partners.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1628) The consent must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear (Cf. CIC, can. 1103). No human power can substitute for this consent (Cf. CIC, can. 1057 § 1). If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid. (CCC 1630) The priest (or deacon) who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church. The presence of the Church's minister (and also of the witnesses) visibly expresses the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality.
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The man and the woman mutually administer the sacrament of Matrimony. The priest or the deacon calls down God’s blessing on the couple and, furthermore, witnesses that the marriage comes about under the right circumstances and that the promise is comprehensive and is made publicly. A marriage can come about only if there is marital consent, that is, if the man and the woman enter marriage of their own free will, without fear or coercion, and if they are not prevented from marrying by other natural or ecclesiastical ties (for example, an existing marriage, a vow of celibacy).
(CCC 1631) This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form. Several reasons converge to explain this requirement (Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1813-1816; CIC, can. 1108): - Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church; - Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children; - Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses); - The public character of the consent protects the "I do" once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.