In this sacrament, Christian spouses consecrate themselves to God in order to: (1) uphold the dignity of marriage and (2) fulfill its duties.
1. In this sacrament, Christian spouses consecrate themselves to God in order to uphold the dignity of marriage.
The dignity of sacramental marriage is seen in mutual fulfillment, through sacrificial love for one another, and in the procreation of human life. Through their mutual love, the husband and wife help each other and their children to fulfill God’s plan for their lives. Through the sexual expression of their love, the couple becomes partners with God in the bringing forth of new life.
2. In this sacrament, Christian spouses consecrate themselves to God in order to fulfill their duties.
In this sacrament, husband and wife receive special graces which enable them to fulfill the duties of married life, toward each other and towards their children. The sacrament gives an increase in sanctifying grace and in all the actual graces that are needed for the fulfillment of the vocation of parenthood. Through these graces, the spouses become more deeply united in soul and body and are strengthened to fulfill the promises which they made in their marriage vows.