Most Catholics recognize that sacraments are an important part of life in the church. They see them as significant moments that mark the transitions in life. They bring babies to be baptized and send their second graders to prepare for First Communion. They come to the church to be married and ask for the anointing when someone is seriously ill. Sacraments, however, are much more than mileposts in the spiritual life. They are of course a means of grace, events in which bring about sanctification. Helping people understand the sacramental signs is the goal of this series of booklets. This one deals with the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
Sacraments are at the heart of our lives as Catholics, the way we celebrate together our continuing conversion and encounter with God. Sacramental preparation is essential if we are to experience the fullness of our life in community and in Christ. Ever conscious of the complex history of the church and its dynamic relationship to ritual, Father Lawrence Mick gives us these books--convenient, individual chapters of his popular Understanding the Sacraments Today--as a companion to the ongoing and repeated practices that nourish us. There is perhaps no sacrament more difficult to understand than marriage. What does it mean that Christian marriage is a sacrament? How is marriage part of the continuing revelation of the mystery of God? We often think of marriage as a one-time occurrence marked by a wedding. Marriage, however, like baptism, is an entrance into a way of life. Just as we renew our sacraments of initiation by participating in the Eucharist and reaffirming our baptismal vows during the year, we also need to see marriage as continuing conversion and encounter with God. In Marriage, Mick meaningfully explores the sacrament and answers many questions Christians have, whether they are preparing for or already living a married life.
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