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Juan Gallegos wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Understanding that the sacraments were instituted by Christ for us to receive His grace, how can we apply this rough definition to the sacrament of Marriage?
  • Where in the Bible did Jesus institute Marriage as a sacrament?

For example, the Eucharist is clearly detailed in the Gospels but Marriage wasn't necessarily instituted by Christ.

Juan Gallegos

  { How is the definition of a sacrament applied to Marriage and where was it instituted biblically? }

Mike replied:

Hi Juan,

Thank-you for the very good question.

You said:

  • Understanding that the sacraments were instituted by Christ for us to receive His grace, how can we apply this rough definition to the sacrament of Marriage?

That is a very interesting question and the answer is found in the importance of Marriage being a liturgical action (celebrated in the Mass) within the Church.

Unlike the other six sacraments where Jesus uses the priest to administer His grace, in the sacrament of Marriage, the priest is only the witness to the vows of the man and woman.

In the sacrament of Marriage the couple administer the sacrament to each other. The (CCC) Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1623 states:

In the Eastern rite, a blessing by the priest is required for validity.

There is no mention of a blessing in the Latin rite though CCC 1624 says:

The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God's grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride.

This is why having a nuptial Mass, though not required in some cases, is recommended as the norm for Catholic couples.

When a Catholic couple, for some exceptional reason, does not celebrate their marriage in the context of a Mass, because again, they administer the sacrament to each other and because they are In Christ through their Baptism, they each receive His [Jesus'] grace through the other spouse.

You said:

  • Where in the Bible did Jesus institute Marriage as a sacrament?

For example, the Eucharist is clearly detailed the gospels but marriage wasn't necessarily instituted by Christ.

God, the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit instituted Marriage as a sacrament from the beginning (See Genesis.) Jesus was around then too so during His incarnational earthly ministry He only ratified it when He quoted the Old Testament.

This posting should help too:

Mike

 

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