Why Marry in the Church?

If you are beginning to dream about getting married you may also be thinking about where to hold your wedding ceremony. Marrying in a church is much more than an obligation. It’s an opportunity to hold a celebration that is joyful and meaningful, one that can have a positive impact on the rest of your married life.

In the Sacrament of Marriage, a baptized Christian man exchanges vows with a baptized Christian woman. Before Almighty God, they promise to each other a love that is faithful, permanent, exclusive, self-sacrificing and life-giving. Through marriage, a couple now enters into a new public state of life both in the eyes of the Church and society; therefore, the celebration of the marriage rightfully ought to be public with the vows exchanged before a priest (or other authorized witness of the Church), the witnesses (usually the Best Man and Maid of Honor), and the faithful gathered for the ceremony. (Cf. Catechism, No. 1663.)

The sacraments make Christ present in our midst. Like the other sacraments, marriage is not just for the good of individuals, or the couple, but for the community as a whole. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. The Old Testament prophets saw the marriage of a man and woman as a symbol of the covenant relationship between God and his people. The permanent and exclusive union between husband and wife mirrors the mutual commitment between God and his people. The Letter to the Ephesians says that this union is a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

A Catholic (either baptized as a Catholic or later entering the Catholic Church after having already been baptized in another Christian denomination) is bound to be married in the Catholic Church. The Church in which one has been baptized and confirmed, receives Holy Communion and professes faith, ought to be the Church in which one is married. Consequently, whether a Catholic is marrying a Catholic or a baptized non-Catholic Christian, the normal expectation is for the marriage to take place in the Catholic Church and for the children to be raised in the Catholic faith.

SOURCE: https://www.catholiceducation.org/ & http://www.foryourmarriage.org/

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