Catholic Wedding Marriage

Matrimony, sacrament of service

By Isaak A. Isaak.

The Church has long talked about vocation and sacrament. The one sacrament referred to as a vocation, a calling, has been priesthood and religious life. The sacrament of matrimony was rarely referred to as vocation.

Today, it is! Our sacrament of matrimony is indeed a true sacrament. It is an outward sign of unity only achieved through years of letting go of self for the purpose of feeding the relationship. Those years couples share are years of adjustment, struggle, joy, peace and turmoil. They are years of happiness and sorrow, gain and loss. Slowly, two become one, sometimes despite the struggle each goes through to hold on to their own individual self.

The sacrament of matrimony has the same purpose as Holy Orders; to bring people to a deeper relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. It does so in a different format, relating to specified individuals as opposed to reaching out to masses of people at the same time. Both vocations rely on modeling, setting example and being consistent in one’s own relationship with God.

Couples are charged with bringing in new life, educating that new life and reaching out to those around them with the touch and love of Christ. They are to do all this with minimum training. Oftentimes, couples find themselves asking for the manual to being married and raising children.

Today, society is struggling to maintain its balance. Marriages are breaking up at unreasonable rates, couples living together imitating marriage, society striving to redefine marriage and its purpose, attempting to eliminate God and his purpose for humankind. If society is to rebound from where it finds itself at this point, it will have to be through strong, God–centered couples intent on living out their vocation.

The basic cell of society is the family. The family has conquered difficult environments, overcome strife and deprivation, but in the midst is still able to teach new life of God and God’s ways. It is the faith and families we celebrate. It is the vocation of matrimony which holds hope for society.

It is time to regain society as God intended for us, one family at a time. Therefore, “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.” (Heb. 13:4)

Isaak A. Isaak is co-director of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization.