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A01: Outline and explain the Roman Catholic beliefs and teaching about the sacrament of Marriage

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Introduction

A01: Outline and explain the Roman Catholic beliefs and teaching about the sacrament of Marriage. Marriage is a spiritual union made before God, between a man and woman. This union is made to reflect Jesus' love for His church and cannot be separated by man. A couple do this by living out their life-long love for each other. In the Roman Catholic Church marriage is seen to consist of four elements. It is permanent, life- giving, exclusive and is a sacrament. Marriage is one of the most important decisions in a person's life as its consequences last forever. Marriage can be best described as a covenant as it asks for 100% effort by both partners. A marriage should not be thought of as a contract because in a contract a person gives in order to receive. If one partner does not give the 50% for one reason or another, the relationship rests on a weak basis and is more likely to fail. ...read more.

Middle

In the Roman Catholic Church marriage is seen to be a sacrament. A sacrament is an outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Through the sacrament of marriage Jesus gives the couple support in their decision and His grace to "love one another" all the days of their lives. The sacrament of marriage is conferred on the couple by themselves. The couple act as priests to each other. The couple's love for one another is channelled through their vows and the priest acts as a witness to this. The Roman Catholic Church sees marriage to be permanent and inseparable by man. In the couple's vows they declare, "till death do us part." The church sees death as the only thing that ends a marriage. "Man must not separate what God has joined together" Mk10:6-10. Jesus underlines in these words the permanence of marriage. The rings exchanged during the nuptial ceremony are a sign of love and fidelity. The couple have promised themselves to each other in love as a permanent and exclusive relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

It weakens the stability of the marriage and the trust on which it is based. The Roman Catholic Church believes marriage is life giving and therefore couples must enter into it with a pro-life attitude. During the nuptial ceremony the couple is asked, "Are you willing to accept children lovingly from God?" The couple must answer 'yes' to this or the marriage will not take place. The love in marriage is creative and willing to share. The willingness to have children is an essential part of the purpose of a Catholic marriage. "Every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life." (Humane Vitae). Having children is an expression of a couples love and shows that their love can give new life. "The love of husband and wife in God's plan leads beyond itself and new life is generated, a family is born." (Pope John Paul II). In the Roman Catholic Church marriage is said to be a sacrament, permanent, life-giving and exclusive and it must always reflect the love God has for His people and His church. ...read more.

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