Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  310 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 310 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

282 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated


According to the Latin tradition, the spouses as min-

isters of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each

other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their

consent before the Church. In the traditions of the

Eastern Churches, the priest (bishops or presbyters) are

witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses,

but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is

also necessary.

—CCC, no. 1623

In the Latin Church, the free consent of the couple is at the heart of the

marriage celebration. By Church law, when two Catholics marry they

must exchange this consent in the presence of the Church’s minister,

two witnesses, and the congregation. The priest or deacon calls forth

this consent, but the marriage itself takes place through the public con-

sent of the couple. The priest invites the couple to do so in these words:

“Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands

and declare your consent before God and his Church.” There are vari-

ous formulas for this consent. One that may be used is as follows: “I,



], take you, [


], to be my [


]. I promise to be true

to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love

you and honor you all the days of my life.” In the Eastern Churches, the

Sacrament is conferred by the blessing of the priest after receiving the

couple’s consent.

The consent is further symbolized in the Latin Church by the bless-

ing and exchange of rings with the words: “Take this ring as a sign of

my love and fidelity, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of

the Holy Spirit.”