LECTURES ON THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY A. Definition Marriage is a sacrament in which the love relationship of a Christian man and woman is made part of the new covenant and is directed toward the fulfillment of Jesus mission. It is a sacrament by which a baptized man and woman bind themselves for life in a lawful marriage and receive the grace to discharge their duties. When two people make their marriage vows, they are promising, as God's people as God promised in the in the covenant with His people that the elements of a.) love, b.) forgiveness and c) faithfulness are always present. B. Effects. 1. An increase of sanctifying grace 2. Special help of God for husband and wife to love each other faithfully, to bear each other fault, and to bring up their children properly. 3. In a Christian marriage, the spouses are additionally strengthened and consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament. 4. Each of the spouses has equal obligations and rights to those things which pertain to the consortium of conjugal life. (Can. 1135) 5. As parents, the spouses have the most serious duties and primary right to do all their power to see the physical, social, cultural, moral, and religious. C. Ministers. 1. the bridegroom 2. the bride D. Things that constitute Matrimony. 1. Mutual expression. 2. Free consent. E. Conditions for worthy reception. 1. Must be in the state of grace. 2. Must know the duties of married life. 3. Must obey marriage laws of the church. F. Role of the Priest. 1. To be a witness to the contract. 2. To blessed and solemnized the union between couple (to make it a sacred union). F. Four-fold Good of Marriage. 1. Offspring. 2. Fidelity. 3. Sacramental. 4. Happiness. G. Duties of Husband and Wife. 1. to be faithful to each other 2. to provide for the welfare of their children. 3. to comfort and support each other. 4. to live always together and have a real Christian family. I. Duties of Parents towards their Children. 1. to provide for their children's welfare. 2. to train them in the love and fear of God. J. Primary Purpose of Marriage. 1 begetting and procreation. 2. rearing or upbringing of children. 3. happiness of the couple. K. Type of Marital Union. 1. valid or true marriage : union which fulfills all the conditions required for validity. No impediments at all. 2. invalid: an invalid or null and void marriage is a union lacking some conditions of validity. 3. public: when entered and recorded in the public parochial registry. 4. secret: when the bans are omitted and the marriage has been contracted secretly. L. Prerequisites for the Celebration of Marriage. 1. Catechesis and Preparation. Such preparation includes doctrinal instruction on the meaning of Christian marriage as well as on its requirements and consequences. 2. Reception of Baptism and Confirmation. The sacrament of baptism being the "door" to other sacraments is a prerequisite to the reception of marriage. Other sacraments are strongly recommendable but not necessary. M. Pre-Nuptial Interview. It is commonly known as "pre-marital investigation". The purposes are: 1. To verify whether the contracting parties was sufficiently instructed in the Christian doctrine, particularly on the nature and implications of marriage. 2. To determine the freedom of the parties to exchange their consent. 3. To verify the existence of any possible legal impediment that may render the marriage invalid. N. Marriage Banns. The banns of marriage are announced either orally or in print. The purpose of which is not only to announce the forthcoming marriage but to give anyone who may know a valid objection against it the opportunity to reveal it as well as to avoid possible embarrassment. O. Documents. 1. Baptismal Certificate. 2. Marriage License. 3. Permission of the Bride's parish priest (if marriage is done outside the parish of the bride). 4. Parental Consent. P. Elements for a Valid Marriage. 1. Legal Capacity. "All can contract marriage who are not prohibited by laws." 2. Valid Consent. "A marriage is brought into being by the lawfully manifested consent of persons who are legally capable." The validity of marital consent depends on a minimal degree of knowledge of what marriage is and of sufficient freedom to accept its responsibility, and on the personal psychological capacity to assume its essential obligations. Q. Matrimonial Impediments: are incapacitating or invalidating laws that truly restrict the free exercise of the right to marriage that every person has. Some derived from natural law (e.g., impotency, consanguinity) while others are established by the church herself (e.g., holy orders, public vows of chastity). R. Impediments in the Code of Canon Law (1083-1094). 1. Age 2. Impotence 3. Previous Marriage 4. Disparity of Worship 5. Sacred Orders 6. Public Perpetual Vow of Chastity 7. Abduction 8. Crime 9. Consanguinity 10. Affinity 11. Public Propriety 12. Legal Relationship S. Canonical Form: It refers to the fact that "only those marriages are valid which are contracted in the presence of the local ordinary or parish priest or deacon delegated by either one of them, who in the presence of two witnesses, assist in accordance with the set out rules. T. Dissolution of the Bond of Marriage. 1. by the death of one of the Spouses: It is automatically dissolves a valid canonical marriage. If not documented, an issuance of declaration of death is needed. 2. by non-consummation of marriage. It is a valid contracted marriage but not consummated by sexual intercourse in a human fashion can be dissolved by the Roman Pontiff. 3. by the Pauline Privilege. It refers to the dissolution of marriage contracted between two non-baptized persons where one of them receives baptism and after being abandoned contract a subsequent marriage. 4. by the Petrine Privilege. It refers to cases of polygamous marriages and other situations in which two non-baptized parties are separated from each other due to captivity or persecution. U. SEPARATION WHILE THE BOND ENDURES. The church maintains the principle that spouses have the obligation to do all in their power to foster between themselves a "communion of life". This communion of life involves the spouses' actual living together which is essential in order to attain the purpose of marriage. However, the law of the church states that "a legitimate cause excuses spouses from maintaining the marital community." It tries to balance the welfare of the spouse, practical obligation of cohabitation and the good of the child involved. V. ELEMENTS OF MARITAL SEPARATION. 1. The endurance of conjugal bond. Although separated the spouses are still married and are bound to the obligation of fidelity. 2. Separation is not a punishment or sanction. It has a preventive character to avoid possible harm to the spouses. 3. Submission to the church authority. It requires spouses to submit their case to her when separation is contemplated. W. FACTORS FOR SEPARATION. 1. Adultery. 2. Other Causes. It may justify conjugal separation whose actions or situations which put conjugal life at stake or make it difficult to sustain. Such as psychological disturbance. highly contagious illness or ill treatment, fear, threat, violence (physical or moral). Y. ANNULMENT AND DIVORCE. 1. DIVORCE: It is a formal declaration by a judge that the bond of a valid marriage established by the spouses' mutual exchange of consent at the wedding ceremony is now at an end. 2. ANNULMENT: It is a formal declaration by an ecclesiastical tribunal that given marriages will all the appearance of validity was from the very start null and void. Z. ECCLESIASTICAL MATRIMONIAL TRIBUNALS. They are created to deal specifically with possible void conjugal unions and other marriage issues and they have the "sacred duty" to study the petitions in view of declaring in the name of God, whether a true marriage ever existed or not. AA. KINDS OF MATRIMONIAL TRIBUNALS. 1. FIRST INSTANCE: The standard unit is the diocesan tribunal, established by the diocesan Bishop to deal with cases under his territorial jurisdiction. 2. SECOND INSTANCE: It reviews automatically the affirmative decisions of nullity of the 1st Instance Tribunals as well as those cases appealed by the petitioner against a negative decision of nullity at 1st Instance. 3. THIRD INSTANCE: It is the Roman Rota Tribunal which usually judges cases that have been appealed by other tribunal all over the world. 4. The SUPREME COURT in the church is called the APOSTOLIC SIGNATURA.