Marriage: A Natural Institution with the Dignity of a Sacrament
Marriage is a natural institution that has been celebrated since time immemorial and in every culture. As the lifelong covenant of love between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, marriage is the most solid foundation for the family, the basic building block of society.
The purposes of marriage are twofold: the good of the couple and the procreation and the education of children. Marriage guarantees continuity between the generations, and parental models in the form of a mother and a father. It is, thus, in the public interest that the State should give a privileged place to the marriage of a man and a woman.
During his earthly sojourn, Christ – God made man – emphasized the fundamental importance of marriage by elevating it to the dignity of a sacrament. For the Christian believer, marriage is a a sign of Christ’s love for his bride, the Church, and of the new and eternal Covenant between God and humanity established by Christ through his incarnation, passion, death and resurrection. Thus, St. Paul tells us “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5: 25).