Marriage

The sacrament of marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the Church. When a man and a woman are married in the Church, they receive the grace needed for a lifelong bond of unity.

Marriage is a Covenant

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenantal union in the image of the covenants between God and his people with Abraham and later with Moses at Mt. Sinai. This divine covenant can never be broken. In this way, marriage is a union that bonds spouses together during their entire lifetime.

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. (CCC 1661)

The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our other model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church.

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. (CCC 1662)

The Church takes the lifelong nature of the Sacrament of Marriage seriously. The Church teaches that a break in this covenant teaches goes against the natural law of God:

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. (CCC 1665)

Marriage Reflects the Holy Trinity

We believe that God exists in eternal communion. Together, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in one being with no beginning and no end. Human beings, likewise, were created by God in God’s image for the purpose of communion with another human being.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). The Sacrament of Marriage is “unitive, indissoluble and calls us to be completely open to fertility.” Christian marriage at its finest is a reflection of God’s self-giving love expressed between the love of two people.

The Catholic Church believes and teaches that marriage is a sacrament, a symbol of the love of Jesus Christ for his people, the Church. As a sacrament, marriage is also a covenant by which a man and a woman establish a partnership for the whole of life. Marriage is also ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of childrewn. It is meant to be a life-long commitment, until natural death.

Catholic parishes have the responsibility of assisting couples to understand and to prepare for the responsibilities of the Sacrament of Marriage. With that in mind, we offer the following information and guidelines:

Who can marry at Queen of the Apostles?

Registered and active members of Queen of the Apostles Parish are welcome to celebrate their marriage here. Either the bride or groom, if not both, must be a Roman Catholic. One must be a registered and active member (attending weekly Mass and receiving other Sacraments) for at least six months prior to meeting with the priest regarding marriage. A person is also considered registered if he/she still has a parent who is a member of Queen of the Apostles. For those couples residing in another city, this would mean establishing a relationship with a parish there and fulfilling this requirement. 

Interview with the Priest

All couples must contact the church and speak with the pastor at the time of engagement, but not less than six months prior to the wedding. The couple should make the intial contact as soon as possible in order to dertermine the availability of the church. No date will be set until the couple meets with the priest to begin the initial paperwork that is required.  

Other Requirements to Consider

  • Each party must be at least 18 years old  
  • Each party must be mature and coming to the marriage in free choice
  • Freedom from prior marriages: If necessary, consult the priest regarding a degree of nullity of a previous marriage.
  • Appreciation of the Catholic faith and participation in it by Catholics.
  • Participation and honesty in the marriage preparation programs of the Diocese of La Crosse and the parish.
  • Couples must have known each other for at least one year prior to the date of marriage.
  • Couples living together should separate and live separately before making any further plans so as to receive the Sacrament of Marriage worthily and to protect the dignity and sanctity of Christian Marriage. While we understand the many economic and social motives to live together before marriage, it conflicts with moral laws of Scripture and Christ's Church.
  • The beauty of the Sacrament is the covenant established between a man and a woman and God. The three together enter into this unbreakable bond. The couple coming before God's altar in a sacred place of the church celebrates this bond. The Catholic wedding is not to be celebrated anywhere other than in the Church environment.

 

 

Marriage

God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 21, p. 279)

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