The Sacrament of Matrimony
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Matrimony is the Sacrament which makes holy the bond of Christian Marriage and gives a special grace and strength to the man and woman who receive it.

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What is this special grace and strength?
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The special grace and strength given in the Sacrament of Matrimony helps the couple to live their Christian lives together as husband and wife and mother and father, to be faithful to each other, to share their difficulties and joys together, and to bring up their children in the love and service of God.
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Who are the ministers of this Sacrament?

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The ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony are the couple themselves who are entering marriage. They give the grace of the Sacrament to each other.
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Are Catholics bound by the laws of the Church concerning Christian marriage?

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All baptised Catholics are bound by the Laws of the Church concerning Christian marriage.
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What does the Church teach concerning Christian marriage?

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The Church teaches that:

Christian Marriage is based on the love, unity and self-giving which is present between Christ and his Church ( Ephs 5:21);

those intending to marry must think carefully about the meaning of Christian marriage;

the marriage must be arranged and prepared for through the Catholic Church;

the couple should make a proper and informed preparation for the Sacrament they intend to receive;

the marriage ceremony must take place in a Catholic Church;

the ceremony must be witnessed by a priest or a deacon;

marriage is between one man and one woman who intend their marriage to be a permanent and exclusive partnership of life and love which only death can dissolve;

the couple must intend their marriage to be an intimate union for their mutual welfare and support and for the procreation of children;

they must enter marriage without any kind of pressure being placed on them;

they must give their consent freely without any reservations.

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Can a Catholic marry a non-Catholic Christian?

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A Catholic can marry a non-Catholic Christian but permission from the Bishop is required and the non-Catholic must understand and accept the teachings of the Church on Christian marriage.  The Catholic, in the presence of the non-Catholic Christian, promises to practise his or her faith and to bring up their children in the Catholic faith.

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Can a Catholic marry a non-Catholic who is not a Christian?

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A Catholic can marry a non-Catholic who is not a Christian but special permission from the Bishop is required because the grace of the Sacrament cannot be given or received by someone who is not baptised.

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Can a Catholic marry anywhere other than in a Catholic Church?

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A Catholic can be married in another Christian Church but only for a very good reason and with permission from the Bishop. The preparations for such a marriage are the same as if the marriage was taking place in a Catholic Church.

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Why is marriage of great value to the Church?

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Marriage is of great value to the Church because it raises up Christian families, which are ‘domestic churches’, in which children are taught the Faith and are prepared for life in the Church and in the world.
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