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Marriage: A Vocation and a Living Sacrament
We often speak about vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and rightly so. But how often to we also recognize that each married couple is a also a holy and living sacrament among us, living out a vocation of love and service? In fact, these vocations are related. Marriage and Holy Orders the two Sacraments of Service. What do they have in common?
“When the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a Christian vocation it is saying that the couple’s relationship is more than simply their choice to enter a union which is a social and legal institution. In addition to these things, marriage involves a call from God and a response from two people who promise to build, with the help of divine grace, a lifelong, intimate and sacramental partnership of love and life.
The call to marriage is a particular way of living the universal call to holiness given to every Christian in the Sacrament of Baptism. The calls to priesthood, or to the vowed religious life, or to the single life are other Christian vocations. Along with marriage, all of them equally though in different ways, are a response to the Lord who says, “Follow me.”” (source)
In the context of this lifelong sacramental union, and with the divine grace the sacrament bestows on them, husband and wife are called, to love and honor each other all the days of their lives, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. In their love for each other, they model Christ’s love for his church, and they become co-creators with God by bringing new life into the world.
Marriage preparation provides support and assistance in discernment to couples wanting to be married. Participation in this program is a requirement for couples wishing to be married in the Catholic Church. Couples must contact the priest or coordinators at least six months prior to their wedding date.
Catholic Engaged Encounter : Marriage Preparation www.visionww.com/ceeore/
Resources for Couples