back to the National Black Catholic Congress : Home Page THE NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS
The Black Catholic Monthly | African Americans | Catholic News Black Catholic Congress: "We hold ourselves accountable to our baptismal 
    commitment to witness and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ"
Calendar Of Events Calendar Congress X Media Center  Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News      Contact Us Contact Us
World Meeting of Families 2015 Philadelphia updates - click here.
To Black Catholic Monthly Home Page

Featured Article: To Whom Do Black Lives Matter? Videos don’t lie - “In the age of dashboard video cameras and cell-phone-captured arrests, there is so much that we see and can’t ever unsee. Police in Staten Island putting Eric Garner in a choke hold, while he gasps, over and over, that he can’t breathe.* The Texas state trooper threatening to use his Taser on Sandra Bland (a driver he’d pulled over for the infraction of failing to signal when she changed lanes), shouting “I’m going to light you up!” Read Full Story

 African American Catholic Bishops
 Congress Directory
 Board of Trustees
 NBCC Staff
Parish Search
 Find a Parish in your State
Black Catholic Newsletter
 To Whom Do Black Lives Matter?
 The Vesting of the Priest: What does it mean?
 Who Says You Can’t Sing?
 First Profession celebration for Josephites
 Fatherhood’s 12 Secrets
 A Seminarian’s Testament to the IPF
 Day Trips and More
 Almost Everything You Know About Addiction is Wrong
 Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
 World Youth Day 2016
 Book Of The Month:
What You Take to Heaven
 Author Of The Month:
Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak
NBCC Spotlight
 The Five Keys to Success: Honesty, Integrity, Productivity, Assiduity, and Determination
 The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary
Upcoming Events
 Archdiocesan Activities to Commemorate 10 Years Since Hurricane Katrina
Now through Labor Day
 Diocese of Camden 2015 Racial Justice Commission Annual Dinner
September 10, 2015
 Annual Fall Young Adult Weekend Retreat
September 11-13, 2015
 Women of God - Blessed and Highly Favored Celebrate the “Triumph of the Cross”
September 12, 2015
In The News
 October is Respect Life Month
 National Tekakwitha Conference
 Pope Francis Visit to Philadelphia
 Xavier University Announces Appointment of Dr. Pamela Franco
 Light In The Darkness
 New Josephite Calendar
NBCC Media
  Visit the NBCC Media Center
  Listen Live to Vatican Radio
requires Real Audio)
 Site Links

NBCC Featured Article

The Basics of Being Married in the Catholic Church

Article Index

View Featured
Article Index

Become a Friend of the National Black Catholic Congress

Pastoral Letter: "What We Have Seen and Heard" Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Fundraising as Ministry: Vision, Invitation and Conversion

The Experience of God's Presence

The Basics of Being Married in the Catholic Church

Building a Bridge over Troubled Waters

Reading as a Subversive Act: Libraries as the Guide to Liberation

Son, They Have No Wine! Reflections on the Importance of Devotion to Mary

Tenth National Black Catholic Congress

Appreciative Inquiry: Become a Positive Force for Change

Catholic Campus Ministry

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part I)

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part II)

His Greatest Gift

Joannes Paulus II, Magnus

Lent to Easter: Preparation for Celebration

Mary - Mother, Woman, Disciple

Research That Matters

Silent No More: A Major Crisis in the African-American Community

The Best Kept Secret

The Food Crisis in Niger

The Passion of Mel Gibson's "Passion"

To Marry or Not To Marry - That is the question!

View Featured
Article Index

Rev. Raymond L. Harris, Jr.Life is shaped by the commitments that we make and by our ability to maintain them with the help of the grace of God. A vocation is a way of life that is offered to God because God has given us the opportunity to live it. Among the distinctive vocations in the Church is married life.

The purpose of this article is to provide basic information for Catholic Christians who want to be married. Some of the information is repeated in different sections to minimize the possibility of confusion. Further information is available from your parish clergy or diocesan chancery (i.e., the tribunal and/or another office that addresses marriage and family life). The reader should not rely on this article alone.

While this information is taken from the Code of Canon Law, I will not cite every relevant canon for the sake of simplicity.1 Canons regarding the responsibilities of the clergy in this matter are beyond the scope of this article.

What does the Catholic Church teach about marriage?

The Catholic Church teaches that it is a matter of divine revelation that God has established the institution of marriage between one man and one woman. A sacramental marriage is between the baptized. Otherwise, it is considered a natural marriage, whether it is: (1) between a baptized person and a person who has not been baptized; or (2) between two persons who have not been baptized.

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man or a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of the sacrament between the baptized. (canon 1055 §1)

The understanding that marriage is an unconditional covenant between one man and one woman is part of the "natural law" (i.e., it binds all persons regardless of whether or not they believe that God exists). The mutual giving and receiving of the consent by persons lawfully able to do so establishes a marriage. (canon 1057 §1)

Of course, love motivates them to establish this covenant. A loving relationship provides acceptance, affirmation, and affection for those who benefit from the relationship. In a relationship, parties accept each other for who they are and not what they perceive the other can do for them. They affirm what is for their well-being and salvation. They show affection, expressing care and concern appropriately, respecting their emotional and physical boundaries. However, the affection of the "one flesh" union is uniquely expressed between a married couple in the conjugal embrace. Quoting from the first book of the Torah, our Lord Jesus Christ taught,

But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate. (Mark 10:6-9)

to top of page


[ 1 ] | [ 2 ] | [ 3 ] | [ 4 ]

Next page

Subscribe to our
FREE Bi-Monthly
Black Catholic
email newsletter.

Black Catholic Calendar Calendar Of Events Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News       NBCC Forum NBCC Forum Contact Us Contact Us

Web Design : Web Marketing : Web Management : Baltimore Maryland - SLEEPER Technologies
An STI Site | Web Design by SLEEPER Technologies
Copyright © 2003 | All Rights Reserved | Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without the expressed written permission of is prohibited.