The union of a man and a woman is natural. The natural language of the human body is such that the man gives to the woman and the woman receives the man. The love and friendship between a man and a woman grows into a desire for marriage. The sacramentof marriage gives the couple the grace to grow into a union of heart and soul, tocontinue life, and to provide stability for themselves and their children. Children are the fruit and bond of a marriage.
The bond of marriage between a man and a woman lasts all the days of their lives, and the form of the rite consists of the mutual exchange of vows by a couple, both of whom have been baptised. The minister serves as a witness to the couple in the West, but serves as the actual minister of the rite in the East. The matter follows later through the consummation of the marriage act.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God, and concludes with a vision of the ‘wedding-feast of the Lamb’ (Revelation 19:7,9). The bond of marriage is compared to God’s undying love for Israel in the Old Testament, and Christ’s love for His Church in the New Testament of the Bible.
Jesus stresses the significance of the marriage bond in His Ministry (Matthew 19:6,8). The importance of marriage is substantiated by the presence of Christ at the wedding feast of Cana, where He began His public ministry at the request of His mother, Mary, by performing His first miracle (John 2). It is the Apostle Paul who calls matrimony a great sacrament or mystery, and who identifies the marriage of man and woman with the unity of Christ and His Church. The theologian Tertullian, the first Latin Father of the Church at the beginning of the third century A. D., wrote on the Sacrament of Matrimony.
For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Genesis 2: 24
(Jesus) said in reply: ‘Have you not read that He who made man from the beginning made them male and female?’ Matthew 19: 4
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church.’ St. Paul to the Ephesians 5: 25
This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband. St. Paul to the Ephesians 5: 32-33