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On Matrimony - Lesson Twenty-Sixth

Baltimore Catechism No. 2 (Confirmation Catechism)

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Lesson Twenty-Sixth concludes the discussion of the sacraments in the Baltimore Catechism No. 2 by examining the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Between two Christians, marriage is not only a lifelong bond; it sanctifies their love and provides them with the grace to bear with each other and to bring their children up in the ways of God. The Church alone has the authority to define marriage; the state can legislate concerning the effects of marriage, but not the definition.

The questions are numbered consecutively with Lesson Twenty-Fifth. For more information and links to other resources, click on each question below.

282. Q. What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?

A. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage.

283. Q. Can Christians be united in lawful marriage other than by Matrimony?

A. A Christian man and woman cannot be united in lawful marriage in any other way than by the Sacrament of Matrimony, because Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a Sacrament.

284. Q. Can the bond of Christian marriage be dissolved by any human power?

A. The bond of Christian marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power.

285. Q. Which are the effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony?

A. The effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony are: 1st, To sanctify the love of husband and wife; 2d, To give them grace to bear with each other's weaknesses; 3d, To enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.

286. Q. To receive matrimony worthily must one be in the state of grace?

To receive the Sacrament of Matrimony worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace, and it is necessary also to comply with the laws of the Church.

287. Q. Who has the right to make laws concerning the Sacrament of marriage?

A. The Church alone has the right to make laws concerning the Sacrament of marriage, though the state also has the right to make laws concerning the civil effects of the marriage contract.

288. Q. Does the Church forbid mixed marriages and marriages to the unbaptized?

The Church does forbid the marriage of Catholics with persons who have a different religion or no religion at all.

289. Q. Why does the Church forbid mixed marriages and marriages to unbaptized?

The Church forbids the marriage of Catholics with persons who have a different religion or no religion at all, because such marriages generally lead to indifference, loss of faith, and to the neglect of the religious education of the children.

290. Q. Why do many marriages prove unhappy?

A. Many marriages prove unhappy because they are entered into hastily and without worthy motives.

291. Q. How should Christians prepare for a holy and happy marriage?

A. Christians should prepare for a holy and happy marriage by receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist; by begging God to grant them a pure intention and to direct their choice; and by seeking the advice of their parents and the blessing of their pastors.

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