36. The Sacrament of Marriage
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  Introduction

   "“A few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine; he is somewhat older than me. Things back from our childhood came out in our conversation. A little bit excited he told me: I still remember when, as a child, my mother would give me a kiss each time before bedtime, after having helped me pray. I was glad and happy to feel loved by my mother. My father also had some things that I liked. I used to sit on his knees by the fire during the winter. He would then tell me lots of stories about his travels, when he was young and had to work hard to get ahead in life. I remember those moments with real nostalgia. I would always expect my father to return from work with the illusion that he would tell me many stories of his adventures.

    And, how are your parents now? I asked him. They're very old, he told me; my mother is very ill, she is no longer able to get out of bed. They live with me. When I'm at work, my father takes care of her with dedication and affection.”

    The love that these parents had for their child, and the details of love that they had between themselves as spouses, remind us of the greatness of the sacrament of marriage. Do we know how to thank our parents for what they have done for us? Do we help them when they are in need? Do we try to make their lives pleasant? Do we remember to pray for them every day?

  A. Answer by choosing one of the following words: stories, prayers, knees, shoulders, father or mother.

 The mother would help her son to say his

 

 The father would allow his son to sit on his

 

 Who gave the child a kiss before bedtime?

 

 Who would tell him adventure stories?

 

  Main ideas

1. The institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden

   The book of Genesis teaches us that God created humans male and female, in order to procreate and multiply: “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth […]” (Genesis 1:27- 28).

   Then God instituted marriage, and he instituted it mainly with the goal for the spouses to give birth to children and educate them; as a secondary objective, for the spouses to help each other out: because “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18).

    Consequently, marriage is sacred by nature, and the spouses are God's fellow workers participating in the divine power of creating life, by preparing the body for the new beings, in which God instills the soul created in his image and likeness intended to bring glory and to enjoy Him in heaven.

 

2. Marriage, the Christian Sacrament

   Jesus Christ elevated the dignity of the sacrament of marriage, which was instituted at the beginning of mankind. Marriage amongst Christians is the image of the union of Christ and His bride the Church. Christian tradition has seen the presence of Jesus at the weddings in Cana as a confirmation of the divine value of marriage.

    Therefore, there is only one true marriage among Christians: Jesus Christ sanctified and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament. Therefore, no Catholic can get just the so-called “civil marriage”; such a marriage would be invalid, since it has just the value of being a simple legal ceremony before the state. Among Catholics, the marriage-sacrament contracted in the Church is the only one that is valid.

  B. Answer with one of the following words: enrich, educate, earth, city, learn, help, God, parents, sacrament, commandment, valid or invalid.

 God instituted marriage so as to bear children and

 
 God said, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the
 
 The secondary purpose for spouses is to
 
 Children that are born receive the Body of
 
  The soul is received from
 
 Jesus Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a  
 Among Catholics, the marriage-sacrament is
 

3. The properties of marriage

   Marriage, as a condition of a natural institution such as the Christian sacrament, possesses two essential properties: unity and indissolubility.

    Unity means that marriage is the union of one man with one woman, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”(Genesis 2:24).

    Indissolubility means that the marriage bond can never be broken: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” says the Gospel (Matthew 19:6; 5:32; Luke 16:18). Divorce, therefore, is prohibited. God wanted it that way for several reasons: for the sake of the children; for the good, happiness and safety of the spouses, which disappears when divorce is introduced into society; for the good of all human society, since humanity is composed of families, and the more solid and stable they are, the higher the order and welfare of society and individuals will be.

4. The Effects of the Sacrament of Marriage

   The sacrament of marriage increases the sanctifying grace in those who receive it. We must therefore receive it in grace; if not, sacrilege is committed, even if the marriage remains valid.

    It also communicates the special help that the spouses need so as to be sanctified within the marriage, so as to educate their children and fulfill the duties contracted during the marriage. For the spouses, these duties are: love and respect, to be faithful and help each other; with respect to children: feed, clothe, educate them religiously, morally and intellectually, as well as ensure his or her future.

    The ministers of the sacrament are the spouses themselves; however, it should be celebrated before witnesses before the pastor or his delegate; otherwise it is invalid.

5. Marriage, the Path to Holiness

   The sacrament of marriage gives the spouses the necessary grace so as to be sanctified and sanctify others. It is the duty of the whole family, also of children, to facilitate a human and Christian environment, in which homes can be bright and cheerful, striving to achieve human and supernatural virtues of a family that began by being sanctified by a sacrament.


Catechesis Course. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With the permission of the authors.


 C. Answer by choosing one of the following words: diversity, unity, indissolubility, cousins, children, future, spouses, grace, sin, scorn, sacrilege, sanctifying, greet, help, come, themselves, the pastor, destruction or holiness.

  The two properties of marriage are indissolubility and

 
 The conjugal union can never be broken, known as
 
 It is the union of one man with one woman
 
 What God joined, no man can separate
 
 They become one flesh
 

 Divorce can do damage to the

 
 Marriage must be received in a state of
 
 If it is received in mortal sin, this is committed
 
 The sacrament of marriage increases grace
 
 Spouses must love, respect, be faithful and
 
 They must feed, clothe, educate their children as well as ensure their
 
 The ministers of marriage are the
 
 Marriage is the path to
 

  Catechism Questions

1. What is marriage?  Marriage is a sacrament that sanctifies the union of a man and a woman, and gives them the grace to live in peace and educate children for heaven.

2. What should Christian couples do to live a holy life?  To live a holy life, Christian spouses should love one another and be faithful as well as educate their children for Christianity.

  D. Select the button for the correct answer. Below are the possible answers:

 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

  What is marriage?
 
  What should Christian couples do to live a holy life?
 

  POSSIBLE ANSWERS

 A

 Christian spouses should love one another and be faithful as well as educate their children for Christianity.

 B

 It is a sacrament that sanctifies the union of a man and a woman, and gives them the grace to live in peace and educate children for heaven.

  Purposes of Christian life

- Strive to make the lives of people with whom one lives enjoyable.

- Appraise this sacrament very much and help others understand it and thank God.



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