卷二基督奧跡的慶典-婚姻聖事/THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

天主教教理
卷二基督奧跡的慶典

第二部分
第三章
第七條婚姻聖事

 

1601. 「男女雙方是藉婚姻盟約結合為終身伴侶,此盟約以其本質指向夫妻的福祉,以及生育和教養子女,而且兩位領洗者之間的婚姻被主基督提升到聖事的尊位」。

一、天主計劃中的婚姻

1602. 聖經是以天主按照自己的肖象創造男人和女人而開始,最後以「羔羊的婚禮」(默 19:7,9)的神視完成。從始至終,聖經講論婚姻及其「奧跡」:婚姻的建立和天主所賦予的意義;婚姻的起源和目的;婚姻在整個救恩史中的各種實現;罪惡給婚姻所帶來的種種困難;婚姻如何「在主內」 (格前 7:39)、在基督與教會訂立的新盟約中得到更新。

受造界中的婚姻

1603. 「夫妻生活及恩愛的密切結合是由造物主所建立,並由祂賦予固有的法則。婚姻的創立者是天主自己」。婚姻的聖召已銘刻在男人與女人的本性上,造物主親手所創造的人就是這樣。 雖然長久以來,婚姻在不同的文化、社會結構和靈性態度上經歷無數變化,但它並非是一種純粹人為的制度。這種多元性,不應使人忘記婚姻的共同和永恆特徵。儘管婚姻制度的尊嚴未能在各處以同樣的亮度彰顯出來,所有文化都認為婚姻結合是相當偉大的。「因為個人及社會的幸福跟健全的婚姻與家庭生活,緊密相連」。

1604. 天主因著愛而造了人,也召叫人去愛;這是整個人類最基本和與生俱來的聖召。因為人是按照天主的肖象和模樣而造成的 而天主本身就是愛。天主這樣造了男女,他們互相的愛情成為反映天主對人類絕對和永恆之愛的肖象。在造物主的眼中,這愛情是美好的,非常美好的。這愛情得到天主的祝福,目的是使它不斷衍生,並實現於照管受造物的共同工程之中:「天主祝福他們說:『你們要生育繁殖,充滿大地,治理大地』」(創 1:28)。

1605.聖經確定男女是為了對方而受造的:「人單獨不好。」女人是男人的「親骨肉」, 就是說, 與他配對的她, 與他平等的她,與他最親近的她,是天主賜給他作為「助手」的,如此她代表那「救助我們的天主」。「為此,人要離開自己的父母,依附自己的妻子,二人成為一體」(創 2:18-25)。這意味著他們兩人的生命永遠結合在一起, 主曾親自說明這種結合,祂使人想起造物主「最初」的計劃:「這樣,他們不是兩個,而是一體了」(瑪 19:6)。

罪惡統治下的婚姻

1606. 每個人在他週遭或在他自己內,都會經驗到邪惡。 這經驗也會在男女關係上感覺到。他們的結合時常受到紛爭、支配慾、不忠、嫉妒和衝突的威脅,這可能逐漸導致仇恨和決裂。根據不同的文化、時代和個人, 這種混亂現象可能以一種或多或少的尖銳方式出現,也可能或多或少得以克服,但它似乎具有一種普遍的特徵。

1607. 我們沉痛地看到的這混亂現象,根據信仰,並非來自男女的本性,也不是來自男女關係的本質,而是來自罪惡。原罪使人與天主決裂後,第一個後果就是破壞了男女之間原先的共融。他們的關係被彼此的怨懟所扭曲;造物主原先恩賜他們互相喜愛卻變成支配對方和貪婪的關係;男女要生育繁殖和治理大地的美好聖召,已添上懷孕和謀生求食的痛苦。

1608. 然而,受造界的秩序雖遭嚴重擾亂,但仍然存在。為治癒罪惡的創傷,男女需要恩寵的助佑;天主既是無限仁慈的,祂從不拒絕施恩。沒有恩寵的助佑,男女便不能實現他們生命的彼此結合,為了這種結合,天主才「在起初」創造了他們。

在舊約法律教育法下的婚姻

1609. 天主是那麼慈悲的,從沒有捨棄罪人。隨著罪惡而來的處罰,「懷孕的苦楚」(創 3:16)、「汗流滿面」地辛勞工作(創 3:19),也構成限制罪惡損害的良方。人在墮落以後,婚姻有助人克服自我封閉、自私、對個人逸樂的追求,而使自己向他人開放、彼此互助、自我犧牲。

1610. 在舊約法律的教育法下,涉及婚姻專一性和不可拆散性的道德良知得以發展。族長和君王的多妻制度仍未明確地被放棄,然而,天主給梅瑟的法律旨在保護女人,反對男人任意支配女人。即使如此,按照主的話,此法律仍帶有男人「心硬」的痕跡:為這個緣故,梅瑟准許人休妻。

1611.先知們在夫婦專一和忠貞的愛情的形象下,看到天主與以色列所訂立的盟約,於是準備選民的良知,加深他們了解婚姻的專一性和不可拆散性。盧德傳和多俾亞傳,以感人的記載,見証了婚姻的崇高意義、夫妻之間的忠貞與恩愛。聖傳時常在雅歌一書裡,看到人類愛情的獨特表達,也是天主之愛的純真反映 ──那「猛如死亡」之愛,「洪流也不能熄滅」之愛的反映 (歌 8:6-7)。

在主內的婚姻

1612. 天主與其子民以色列之間的婚姻盟約,為那新而永久的盟約預作準備。在此新盟約中,天主子藉著降生成人,犧牲性命,與祂所拯救的人類以某種方式結合在一起,如此,為「羔羊的婚宴」(默 19:7,9)預作準備。

1613. 耶穌在公開生活之始, 應祂母親的請求, 在一個婚宴上施行了第一個標記(神跡)。教會對耶穌在加納婚宴的臨在,認為非常重要。這裡,她看到對婚姻之美好的肯定,並意會到一個宣告:自那時起,婚姻要成為基督臨在的有效標記。

1614. 耶穌在宣講時,明確指出男女結合的原義,一如造物主自起初所願意的那樣。梅瑟准許人們休妻,是對人的心硬作出讓步。男女之間的婚姻結合是不可拆散的:是天主親自制定的:「凡天主所結合的,人不可拆散」(瑪 19:6)。

1615. 對婚約的不可拆散性這種明確的堅持,曾使人感到困惑,並且看來好像是一項不能實現的要求。可是,耶穌沒有加給夫婦一項不能承受的重擔,比梅瑟法律更沉重的擔子。祂來恢復受造界被罪惡所擾亂的原有秩序,親自賦予人力量和恩寵,好能在天主國的新幅度中度婚姻生活。夫婦是藉著追隨基督、犧牲自我和背負自己的十字架,才能「領悟」婚姻的本義,並在基督的助佑下,把它生活出來。基督徒婚姻的恩寵是基督十字架所產生的果實,十字架是整個基督徒生活的泉源。

1616. 關於這一點,保祿宗徒用以下的話清楚地說明:「你們作丈夫的,應該愛妻子,如同基督愛了教會,並為她捨棄了自己,為聖化她」(弗弗 26),又立刻接著說:「『為此,人要離開自己的父母,依附自己的妻子,二人成為一體』。這奧秘真是偉大!但我是指基督和教會說的」(弗 5:31-32)。

1617. 整個基督徒生活帶有基督與教會夫妻之愛的標記。使人加入天主子民團體的聖洗,已經是一項婚姻奧跡:它可以說是婚禮前的沐浴,接著就是婚宴──感恩祭。基督徒婚姻則成為有效的標記,是基督與教會締結盟約的聖事。既然婚姻象徵並通傳恩寵,那麼,兩位受過洗禮者之間的婚姻就是新約的真正聖事。

為天國而守貞

1618. 基督是整個基督徒生活的中心。 基督徒跟基督的關係,比跟其他家庭的或社會的關係更為重要。自教會開始,已有些男女放棄了婚姻的莫大好處,為要追隨羔羊,無論祂到那裏,都常跟隨祂,為關注上主的事情,為盡力中悅祂,為迎接新郎的來臨。基督曾親自邀請某些人追隨祂度這種生活,而祂本身就是這種生活的模範:

有些閹人,從母胎生來就是這樣;有些閹人,是被人閹的; 有些閹人,卻是為了天國而自閹的。能領悟的,就領悟罷 (瑪 19:12)!

1619. 為天國而守貞,是聖洗恩寵的一種擴展;是一項有力的標記,象徵人與基督之關係的優越性;也是熱切期待祂再來的標記,使人想起婚姻是現世存在的一種關係,是會逝去的。

1620. 婚姻聖事和為天國而守貞,兩者都是來自主自己。是祂賦予這兩種生活意義,並給予它們所需的恩寵,好按照祂的聖意而生活。為天國而守貞的價值,與基督徒的婚姻觀是不可分割的,而且相得益彰:

金口聖若望,《論守貞》:詆毀婚姻,就是削減守貞的光輝。讚揚婚姻,就是提高對守貞的讚揚。與壞的相比才顯示出的美好,不可能是真的美好。比那確實美好的更為美好的東西,才是最美好的。

 Article 7

THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."84

I. Marriage in God's Plan

1602 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."85 Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.86

Marriage in the order of creation

1603 "The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage."87 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity,88 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."89

1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.90 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. and this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "and God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"91

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone."92 The woman, "flesh of his flesh," i.e., his counterpart, his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.93 "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."94 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."95

Marriage under the regime of sin

1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and individuals, but it does seem to have a universal character.

1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations;96 their mutual attraction, the Creator's own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust;97 and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.98

1608 Nevertheless, the order of creation persists, though seriously disturbed. To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them.99Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them "in the beginning."

Marriage under the pedagogy of the Law

1609 In his mercy God has not forsaken sinful man. the punishments consequent upon sin, "pain in childbearing" and toil "in the sweat of your brow,"100 also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin. After the fall, marriage helps to overcome self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one's own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to self-giving.

1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law. In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected. Nevertheless, the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband, even though according to the Lord's words it still carries traces of man's "hardness of heart" which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives.101

1611 Seeing God's covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People's conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage.102 The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, a pure reflection of God's love - a love "strong as death" that "many waters cannot quench."103

Marriage in the Lord

1612 The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for "the wedding-feast of the Lamb."104

1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign - at his mother's request - during a wedding feast.105 The Church attaches great importance to Jesus' presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ's presence.

1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one's wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts.106 The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it "what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder."107

1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy - heavier than the Law of Moses.108 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to "receive" the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.109 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ's cross, the source of all Christian life.

1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her," adding at once: "'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church."110

1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath111 which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant.112

Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom

1618 Christ is the center of all Christian life. the bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social.113 From the very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming.114 Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life, of which he remains the model:

"For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."115

1619 Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace, a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent expectation of his return, a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away.116

1620 Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will.117 Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom118 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:

Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. the most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.119

二、婚姻慶典

1621. 在拉丁禮中,如雙方新人是天主教徒,他們的婚禮通常在彌撒中舉行,因為所有聖事與基督的逾越奧跡都是相連的。在感恩祭中,新盟約的紀念得以實現:基督在新盟約中永遠與祂鍾愛的淨配──教會──結合,為了她而自作犧牲。故此,這是十分合適的事:就是在感恩祭中,雙方新人誓許合意,互相交付自己,把一生奉獻給對方,與臨現在感恩祭中的基督為教會所作的奉獻結合,來印証這誓盟;同時,藉同領感恩(聖體)聖事,在基督的聖體聖血中共融合一,在基督內「成為一體」。

1622. 「由於婚姻禮儀慶典是聖化的聖事行動,……它本身一定是有效的、有價值的和有效果的」。為使即將結婚的夫婦妥善準備自己的婚姻慶典,他們適宜先領受懺悔聖事。

1623.在拉丁教會中,雙方新人通常被視為是基督恩寵的施行人;是他們兩人在教會面前,經互表合意,而互相授予婚姻聖事。在東方禮中,婚姻聖事(稱為「加冠禮」)的施行人是司鐸或主教,他們在接受新人彼此的合意後,便依次為新郎新娘加冠,象徵婚姻盟約的訂立。

1624. 不同的禮儀傳統都有很多的祝福婚姻及呼求聖神禱詞,祈求天主在新婚夫婦,尤其在新娘身上賜予祂的恩寵和祝福。藉著婚姻聖事的呼求聖神禱詞,新婚夫婦領受聖神,就是基督與教會之間愛情的共融。聖神是他們盟約的印記,他們愛情永不枯竭的泉源,也是使他們的忠貞歷久常新的力量。

三、婚姻的合意

1625.婚姻盟約的主角是受過洗的一男一女;他們可自由結婚並能自由地表達他們的合意。所謂「自由的」就是:
──沒有受到強迫;
──沒有受到自然律或教會法的阻礙。
1626.教會認為新婚夫婦彼此的合意是「成立婚姻」不可缺少的因素。沒有合意,也就沒有婚姻。

1627. 婚姻合意是一項「夫婦互相授受自身的人性行為」:「我接納你作我的妻子。我接納你作我的丈夫」。這使夫婦連結一起的合意,在他們兩人「成為一體」時,得以完成。

1628.合意應是每個立約人的自願行為,不受暴力或外在重大威脅所迫使。任何人間的權力都不能取代這合意。如果缺少這分自由,婚姻也就無效。

1629. 為了這個原因(或為了其他導致婚姻無效而不成立的原因),教會可在主管的教會法庭審查有關情況後,宣布「婚姻無效」,即這婚姻從未存在過。這樣,締約雙方可自由結婚,唯須履行前約所有的自然義務。

1630. 在婚姻慶典中,証婚的司鐸 (或執事)以教會的名義接納新人的合意,並給予教會的祝福。教會聖職人員以及見証人的臨在,明顯表達出婚姻是教會的事。

1631.因此,教會通常要求信友以教會的儀式來締結婚約。以下一些原因有助於解釋這個要求:
──婚姻聖事是一項禮儀行動,因此它的慶典適宜在教會的公開禮儀中舉行;
──婚姻使人進入教會內的已婚族群 (Ordo),並制定在教會內、夫婦之間以及對孩子的權利和義務;
──婚姻既是在教會內一種生活的身分,故此婚姻必須得到確認(因而 [結婚時]應有見証人);
──合意的公開特質,保障夫婦曾經作出的「承諾」,並幫助他們忠貞不渝。
1632.為使夫婦的「承諾」是一項自由而負責的行動,並為使婚約具有堅固而恆久的人性的及基督信仰的基礎,婚前的準備是極為重要的:
父母和家庭所給予的榜樣和教導,乃是婚前準備的最好途徑。

牧者和作為「天主大家庭」之基督徒團體的角色,為傳遞婚姻和家庭的人性的與基督徒的價值觀,是不可缺少的;尤其是在我們的時代,很多年輕人具有破碎家庭的經驗,這些家庭不能再充分地保証婚姻價值觀的傳授:

關於夫妻之愛的高貴、任務和實行,應在家庭內,給年輕人適當和即時的指導,俾使他們能學習貞潔的品格,在適當年齡上,由莊重的訂婚期過渡至婚姻生活。
混合婚姻與宗教不同的婚姻

1633. 在許多國家裡,經常出現混合婚姻混合婚姻(天主教徒與受過洗的非天主教徒結婚)。結婚者雙方與牧者應特別關注這情況。與不同宗教信仰不同宗教信仰的人結婚(即天主教徒與未受洗者)更應審慎。

1634. 夫婦之間即使宗派不同,並不會為婚姻構成不能克服的障礙,只要他們能夠共同分享彼此從各自的團體中所得到的一切,而且互相學習對方如何以自己的生活方式忠於基督。但是,我們也不應低估這種混合婚姻所產生的種種困難。這些困難的起因,是由於基督徒的分裂仍未解決。夫婦在自己的家庭裡,難免會感受到基督徒分裂的痛苦。宗教信仰的差異更可能加劇這些困難。有關信仰的分歧,對婚姻本身的不同見解,還有宗教思想的不同,都可能構成婚姻生活中緊張關係的來源,尤其在子女的教育問題上,由此產生對宗教冷漠的誘惑。

1635. 根據拉丁教會現行的法律,混合婚姻須獲得教會當局的明文許可,才屬合法。至於信仰不同的婚姻,其障礙要獲得明文寬免明文寬免才算有效。為獲得准許或寬免,雙方新人應明白和接納婚姻本質上的目的和特質,而且天主教的一方要承諾,有責任讓子女接受天主教的洗禮及教育。

1636. 在很多地區,由於教會的合一交談,有關的基督徒團體為這種混合婚姻這種混合婚姻已經能夠制訂一些共同的牧民守則。其目的是為幫助這些混合婚姻的夫婦在信仰的光照下,在他們特殊的情況下生活;並且幫助這些夫婦克服因彼此之間的義務、以及各自對所屬教會團體的義務,所引起的緊張關係。這些守則還鼓勵夫婦充分發展他們信仰的共同點,並尊重彼此的分歧點。

1637.與宗教不同的人士結婚,天主教的一方也有特殊的任務:「因為不信主的丈夫,因妻子而成了聖潔的,不信主的妻子也因丈夫而成了聖潔的」(格前 7:14)。如果這種「聖

化」導引另一方自願皈依基督的信仰,那麼,為基督徒的一方和為教會來說,確是莫大的喜樂。誠摯的夫妻之愛,謙遜而忍耐地實踐家庭生活的美德,恆心地祈禱,都能準備那不信主的一方接受皈依的恩寵。


 II. The Celebration of Marriage

1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ.120 In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up.121 It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but "one body" in Christ.122

1622 "Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification, the liturgical celebration of marriage . . . must be, per se, valid, worthy, and fruitful."123 It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their marriage by receiving the sacrament of penance.

1623 In the Latin Church, it is ordinarily understood that the spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the Eastern liturgies the minister of this sacrament (which is called "Crowning") is the priest or bishop who, after receiving the mutual consent of the spouses, successively crowns the bridegroom and the bride as a sign of the marriage covenant.

1624 The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God's grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church.124 The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity.

III. Matrimonial Consent

1625 The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent; "to be free" means: 
- not being under constraint; 
- not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law.

1626 The Church holds the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that "makes the marriage."125 If consent is lacking there is no marriage.

1627 The consent consists in a "human act by which the partners mutually give themselves to each other": "I take you to be my wife" - "I take you to be my husband."126 This consent that binds the spouses to each other finds its fulfillment in the two "becoming one flesh."127

1628 The consent must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear.128 No human power can substitute for this consent.129 If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid.

1629 For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.130 In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.131

1630 The priest (or deacon) who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church. the presence of the Church's minister (and also of the witnesses) visibly expresses the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality.

1631 This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form. Several reasons converge to explain this requirement:132 
- Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church; 
- Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children; - Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses); 
- the public character of the consent protects the "I do" once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.

1632 So that the "I do" of the spouses may be a free and responsible act and so that the marriage covenant may have solid and lasting human and Christian foundations, preparation for marriage is of prime importance.

The example and teaching given by parents and families remain the special form of this preparation. 
The role of pastors and of the Christian community as the "family of God" is indispensable for the transmission of the human and Christian values of marriage and family,133 and much more so in our era when many young people experience broken homes which no longer sufficiently assure this initiation:


It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people, above all in the heart of their own families, about the dignity of married love, its role and its exercise, so that, having learned the value of chastity, they will be able at a suitable age to engage in honorable courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own.134

Mixed marriages and disparity of cult

1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a nonbaptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ. But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. the spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. the temptation to religious indifference can then arise.

1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority.135 In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage.136 This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage and the obligations assumed by the Catholic party concerning the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church.137

1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages. Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith, overcome the tensions between the couple's obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities, and encourage the flowering of what is common to them in faith and respect for what separates them.

1637 In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: "For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband."138 It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this "consecration" should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith.139 Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion.

 

四、婚姻聖事的效果

1638. 「因有效婚姻在夫妻間產生的關係,其本質是排他和永久的;此外,在基督徒的婚姻上,更藉婚姻聖事,使夫妻身分的義務和地位得以堅強,猶如被祝聖一般」。

婚姻關係

1639. 配偶彼此作出給予和接納的合意是得到天主親自確認的。從他們的婚姻盟約中「產生天主法律所肯定的一個制度,在社會面前亦然」。夫婦的盟約融入天主與人類建立的盟約中:「真正的夫妻之愛歸宗於天主的愛」。

1640. 因此,婚姻關係由天主親自建立的,於是受過洗的人之間的既成已遂婚姻,是永不可拆散的。這關係是由夫婦自由的人性行動和圓房所產生的,從此不能廢止,而且形成由天主的忠信所保証的一項盟約。教會沒有權力違反天主上智的這個安排。

婚姻聖事的恩寵

1641. 「[基督徒夫婦]以他們的身分 (order)及生活方式, 在天主子民中,具有專屬於他們的本有恩寵」。婚姻聖事本有的恩寵是為使夫婦間的愛情更趨完美,並且鞏固他們那不可拆散的結合。藉著這恩寵,「他們彼此在夫婦生活中,在生育和教養兒女時,互相幫助成聖」。

1642. 基督是這恩寵的泉源。「猶如古時,天主主動與自己的子民訂立愛的及忠信的盟約;同樣,現在,身為人類救主及教會淨配的基督,藉婚姻聖事,與基督徒夫婦相遇」。基督同他們在一起,賦予他們力量,使他們背起自己的十字架追隨祂,跌倒後再站起來,互相寬恕,彼此背負對方的重擔,「懷著敬畏基督的心,互相順從」(弗 5:21);而且以一種超性的、細緻的和豐富的愛情彼此相愛。祂使他們在愛情和家庭生活的喜樂中,在今世就預嘗羔羊的婚宴:

戴都良,《致吾妻》:我從哪裡汲取力量,以令人滿意的方式,描述那由教會所結合、由奉獻所鞏固、由祝福所印証、由天使所宣布、並由天父所確認的婚姻、所帶來的幸福呢?……兩個基督徒在同一的希望、同一的渴望、同一的紀律、同一的服務中結合在一起,是多麼的美妙!他們是同一天父的子女、同一主人的僕人;他們靈肉一致;實際上,他們真正兩人成為一體,甚麼也不能使他們分開。哪裡身體是一個,那裡精神也是一個。

 IV. The Effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony

1638 "From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament."140

The marriage bond

1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself.141 From their covenant arises "an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society."142 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God's covenant with man: "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love."143

1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God's fidelity. the Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.144

The grace of the sacrament of Matrimony

1641 "By reason of their state in life and of their order, [Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God."145 This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple's love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they "help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children."146

1642 Christ is the source of this grace. "Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony."147 Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another's burdens, to "be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,"148 and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb:

How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? . . . How wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit.149

 

五、夫妻之愛的益處和要求

1643. 「夫妻之愛包括一個整體,整個人的構成因素都包括在內──身體和本能的需求、感覺和情感的力量、心靈和意志的渴望。它追求彼此的融合要全人以赴,這種融合遠超身體的結合,並導向一心一德的融合;它要求在決定性的彼此交付中,既不可拆散,又要忠貞不渝;並且懷有對生 育開放的心態。 一言以蔽之,這是所有夫妻的自然之愛的正常特質,但它(基督徒的婚姻)以一種新的意義,不但淨化,並且加強這些特質,甚至提昇它們,使之成為基督宗教特有價值的表達」。

婚姻的專一性和不可拆散性

1644. 夫妻之愛,就其本質而言,要求兩人以整個生命結合為一,組成家庭(團體),而且不可拆散:「這樣,他們不是兩個,而是一體了」(瑪 19:6)。「他們被召,日復一日地忠於他們彼此相互交付的婚約,在共融中不斷成長」。這種人性的共融,藉婚姻聖事所賦予的在耶穌基督內的共融,得以堅強、淨化和圓滿,並且透過共同的信仰生活和一起領受感恩(聖體)聖事而不斷加深。

1645. 「夫妻兩人以平等的位格尊嚴,完全相愛,在上主所確認的一夫一妻制中,更清楚顯示出來」。多夫多妻制違反男女平等的位格尊嚴,以及夫妻之愛的特質,因為夫妻之愛是專一的、排他的。

夫妻之愛的忠貞

1646. 夫妻之愛,就其本質而言,要求一分不可侵犯的忠貞。這是他們彼此把自己贈予對方的結果。夫婦的愛情應是決定性的,不能是「直到另行通知為止」的臨時措施。「婚姻生活的密切結合,是二人的互相交付,一如子女的幸福,都要求夫妻必須彼此完全忠信,並需要一個不可拆散的結合」。

1647 夫婦之愛的忠貞最深入的緣由,是來自天主對其盟約、和基督對其教會的忠貞。婚姻聖事賦予夫婦能力,去重現 (represent)這分忠貞,並為之作証。藉著聖事,婚姻的不可拆散性得到一個新而更深刻的意義。

1648. 與一個人一輩子結合在一起,似乎是太難,甚至視為不可能。因此,更須宣告這一喜訊:天主以堅定不移的愛來愛我們,夫妻分享這愛,而這愛扶助和支持他們。他們藉著彼此的忠貞,能成為天主信實之愛的見証人。靠天主聖寵的助佑,夫妻往往在十分困難的情況下,仍忠實作証,實應獲得教會團體的感謝和支持。

1649. 但是,在某些情況下,為了種種原因,婚姻的同居生活實際上成為不可能。在這樣的情況下,教會准許夫妻分居分居分居,即終止同居生活。但夫妻在天主前仍是丈夫和妻子;他們不可與另一人結婚。在如此困難的情況下,較好的解決方法就是:如可能的話,彼此和好。基督徒團體應幫助這些人以基督徒精神生活,忠於他們的婚姻關係,因為那是不可拆散的。

1650. 今日,在許多國家裡,不少天主教徒按照民法辦理離婚離婚,並依照民法再婚。教會由於忠於耶穌基督所說的話──「誰若休自己的妻子而另娶,就是犯姦淫,辜負妻子;若妻子離棄自己的丈夫而另嫁,也是犯姦淫(谷 10:11-12)」,堅決認為:如果第一樁婚姻仍有效的話,便不能承認新的婚約有效。如離婚的人依民法再婚的話,客觀上,他們就是違反天主的法律。只要這情況一直持續下去,他們便不可領聖體。基於同一理由,他們不能執行某些教會的職務。懺悔聖事的和好,也只能給予那些悔改、承認自己破壞了婚姻作為盟約和忠於基督的標記,並保証自己在完全禁慾中生活的人。人。他們既是受了洗的人,可以而且應該參與教會的生活:

1651.有些基督徒處於上述情況中,卻常常保存自己的信仰,並願意以基督徒精神教養自己的兒女,對這樣的人,司鐸和整個團體應表示關切,使他們不致自視為離開教會的

要邀請他們聆聽聖言、參與彌撒聖祭、恆心祈禱,協助慈善事業以及團體為謀求正義所發起的工作,以基督信仰教育子女,培養補贖的精神和習慣,好能日復一日地祈求天主的恩寵。

對生育的開放
1652.「婚姻制度及夫妻之愛,本質上便是為生育並教養子女的,二者形同婚姻的高峰與冠冕」。

子女是婚姻極其寶貴的恩賜,而且為父母本身,亦大有裨益。天主親自說過:「人單獨不好」(創 2:18),「在起初,天主創造了人類,有男有女」(瑪 19:4);祂願意人特別參與祂的造化工程。天主也降福男人及女人說:「你們要生育繁殖」(創 1:28)。 所以,真正的夫妻之愛,以及出自夫妻之愛的整個家庭生活制度,其目標就是使夫妻們,在不輕視婚姻其它宗旨的條件下,毅然地準備和造物主及救主的愛合作,因為祂就是通過夫妻,使祂自己的家庭日益擴展充實。

1653. 夫妻之愛的生育力延伸到道德、精神和超性生活的成果上,父母把這些成果透過教育而傳遞給子女。父母是子女最主要和最先的教育者。在此意義下,婚姻和家庭的基本任務是為生命服務。

1654. 對那些天主沒有賜予子女的夫妻來說,無論就人性的或基督徒的觀點來看,他們仍可享有一個充滿意義的夫妻生活。他們的婚姻可因著實踐愛德、殷懃待客和慷慨犧牲,而散發光芒。


 V. The Goods and Requirements of Conjugal Love

1643 "Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values."150

The unity and indissolubility of marriage

1644 The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses' community of persons, which embraces their entire life: "so they are no longer two, but one flesh."151They "are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving."152 This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together.

1645 "The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and wife in mutual and unreserved affection."153 Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive.154

The fidelity of conjugal love

1646 By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement "until further notice." the "intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them."155

1647 The deepest reason is found in the fidelity of God to his covenant, in that of Christ to his Church. Through the sacrament of Matrimony the spouses are enabled to represent this fidelity and witness to it. Through the sacrament, the indissolubility of marriage receives a new and deeper meaning.

1648 It can seem difficult, even impossible, to bind oneself for life to another human being. This makes it all the more important to proclaim the Good News that God loves us with a definitive and irrevocable love, that married couples share in this love, that it supports and sustains them, and that by their own faithfulness they can be witnesses to God's faithful love. Spouses who with God's grace give this witness, often in very difficult conditions, deserve the gratitude and support of the ecclesial community.156

1649 Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons. In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. the spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation. the Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble.157

1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery"158 The Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.

1651 Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons:

They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God's grace.159

The openness to fertility

1652 "By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."160

Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: "It is not good that man should be alone," and "from the beginning (he) made them male and female"; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: "Be fruitful and multiply." Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.161

1653 The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children.162 In this sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life.163

1654 Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice.

 

六、家庭教會

1655.基督願意在若瑟與瑪利亞的聖家裡出生和成長。教會就是「天主的家庭」。從教會開創,其核心往往是由那些「全家都信了」的成員所組成的。他們在皈依時,也渴望「全家」得救 這些信友家庭,在不信主的世界中,成為度基督徒生活的被孤立的小族群。

1656. 現今,在一個往往對信仰陌生甚至敵視的世界裡,信友家庭作為活潑信仰生活的園地、散發信德之光的中心,是非常重要的。因此,梵蒂岡第二屆大公會議以一個古代名稱──家庭教會──來稱呼家庭。父母在家庭中「以言以行,作他們子女信仰的啟蒙導師,用心培養他們每人的聖召,尤其是修道的聖召」。

1657. 就是在家中,作父親、母親、子女的,以及所有成員,「藉著領受聖事、祈禱與感恩的行動,聖善生活的見証、克己和愛德行動」,以特殊的方式,實行他們源自洗禮的司祭職。因此,家庭是培養基督徒生活的第一所學校,也是「培育豐富人生的學校」。人在家庭裡學習工作的勞苦和喜樂、兄弟之愛、慷慨寬恕之道,甚至常常寬恕,特別是透過祈禱和生命的奉獻,去欽崇天主。

1658. 我們仍要記得那些為數眾多的獨身者。他們獨身是由於他們生活的具體環境所迫,而往往並非自願,但他們特別接近耶穌之心,因此,值得教會,尤其是牧者們的特別愛護及熱切關懷。他們當中有不少往往是由於貧窮而沒有人間的家庭,也有些以安貧樂道的精神在自己的處境中生活,事奉天主和近人,樹立基督徒生活的模範。我們應為他們打開家、「家庭教會」和教會大家庭的門。「在這世界上,沒有一個人是沒有家庭的:教會是每一個人的家,是大家的家,特別是那些『勞苦而負重擔的人』(瑪 11:28)的家」。

撮要

1659. 聖保祿說:「你們作丈夫的,應該愛妻子,如同基督愛了教會,並為她捨棄了自己。這奧秘真是偉大!但我是指基督和教會說的」 (弗 5:25,32)。

1660. 透過婚姻盟約,一男一女組成一個共同生活及互愛的親密共融團體;婚姻盟約是造物主所創立,並賦予固有的法則。婚姻的本質指向夫妻的幸福,以及生養和教育子女。兩位受過洗的人的婚姻也由主基督提昇到聖事的尊位。

1661. 婚姻聖事象徵基督與教會的結合。它賜予夫妻恩寵,使他們以基督愛教會的愛彼此相愛。如此,這聖事的恩寵成全夫妻之間的人性愛情,強化他們之間那不可拆散的結合,並在邁向永生的旅途中聖化他們。

1662.婚姻建基於締約雙方的合意,就是建立在彼此決定性地把自己交付給對方的意願上,其目的是為活出一個忠貞和傳衍生命的愛情盟約。

1663. 由於婚姻確立夫妻在教會內生活的公開地位,故此婚禮宜公開舉行,安排在禮儀慶典中,在司鐸(或教會認可的証人)和其他証人及信友團體前舉行。

1664.專一性、不可拆散性及對生育的開放皆是婚姻的要素。多夫多妻制違反婚姻的專一性。

1665. 離婚則分開天主所結合的。拒絕生育是使夫妻的生活失去其「最寶貴的恩賜」,就是子女離婚者於其合法成婚的伴侶尚健在時再婚,就違反了基督所教導的天主的計劃和法律。這些人雖未與教會分離,但亦不可領聖體。他們仍須度基督徒的生活,尤其要教育子女度信德生活。

1666. 基督徒的家庭是子女們首先接受信仰宣講的地方。為此,家庭非常合宜地被稱為「家庭教會」,是祈禱和恩寵的團體,人性品德和基督徒愛德的學校。 
 VI. The Domestic Church

1655 Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. the Church is nothing other than "the family of God." From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers "together with all [their] household."164 When they were converted, they desired that "their whole household" should also be saved.165 These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world.

1656 In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica.166 It is in the bosom of the family that parents are "by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation."167

1657 It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way "by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity."168 Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and "a school for human enrichment."169 Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous - even repeated - forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one's life.

1658 We must also remember the great number of single persons who, because of the particular circumstances in which they have to live - often not of their choosing - are especially close to Jesus' heart and therefore deserve the special affection and active solicitude of the Church, especially of pastors. Many remain without a human family often due to conditions of poverty. Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion. the doors of homes, the "domestic churches," and of the great family which is the Church must be open to all of them. "No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who 'labor and are heavy laden.'"170

IN BRIEF

1659 St. Paul said: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church.... This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church" ( Eph 5:25,  32).

1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament (cf  CIC, can. 1055 # 1; cf. GS 48 # 1).

1661 The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf Council of Trent: DS 1799).

1662 Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love.

1663 Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.

1664 Unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage. Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage; divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married life away from its "supreme gift," the child (GS 50 # 1).

1665 The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.

1666 The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.

   
   
   
   
   
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