When a couple marries in the Catholic Church, the ceremony speaks of love, permanent commitment, fidelity, openness to children, and perseverance in good times and bad. It is these qualities which make marriage a unique relationship. There is no other human relationship which requires so total a commitment between two people. In fact, marriage is more than a relationship. It is a union, a communion, between husband and wife. Their life together is now very different from their lives as two separate individuals. Once married, everything they do is done with the other in mind. They do not lose their individual identity, but that identity is enriched by sharing life with the other partner. Their marriage holds out an extraordinary challenge: to become so completely united that everything they do, big or small, is geared towards strengthening and deepening their union. There is no development unless both develop, no happiness unless both are happy. And so their communion grows through their years together. It can never remain static. Day by day husband and wife seek a greater knowledge and understanding of one another. They celebrate and deepen their communion through the most intimate form of communication possible between two people: through sexual intimacy. In the union of sexual intercourse, the couple are also opened to the possibility of children. As the fruit of their love, children expand the marital circle of love and challenge it to achieve new depths.
The Church believes in the sacredness of marriage and urges couples to prepare well for this special day and married life. The aims of marriage preparation courses are several: to support you in recognizing the need for good communication and constant love; to help you to examine the level of commitment that is required for married life; to assist you in understanding the Church's teaching on the sacrament of marriage and the vocation to married life; and to explain the Church's teaching on sexual morality. In addition, the course provides an opportunity to prepare for your marriage ceremony. The Catholic Society for Marriage Education (CSME) aims to promote and support marriage and family life in the Catholic vision by encouraging marriage and relationship education for couples considering marriage and for married couples. Their website links to all the organisations that are members of CSME who provide pre-marriage education through Australian Catholic agencies. Look before you leap! suggests some questions for anyone thinking about marriage.
For more information contact the Parish or visit one of the following links:
This material was prepared by Elizabeth Delaney sgs, Information Officer, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference with thanks to Catholic Ireland for the use of their content. The material may be reproduced for non-commercial use provided this notice is included. Copyright ©