Marriage: civil vs sacramental


Most of the major religions have their own internal debates, frequently heated, over the status of same-sex unions. Some denominations have endorsed marriage for same-sex couples. Others have taken a friendly position toward these unions. Mainline Protestant denominations are divided on the issue, although some have taken negative positions. Apparently we Anglicans and Catholics are divided. Still other denominations and religions seem to be strongly opposed collectively. There is no single “religious” position on these unions in our Churches today. In Canada, under the law, religions are free to marry or not marry same-sex couples.
John Paul II wrote, “God created man and woman in such a way that through their bodies it would be self-evident to them that they are called to love, called to give themselves to one another” Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.” “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” However marriage is not about sexuality; marriage is about becoming one with each other and God.
The issue of how a secular state defines marriage has nothing to do with the Church or what is the Church’s area of focus and responsibility – the sacrament of marriage. The sacrament is a mystery that is regulated by the church’s internal system. The sacrament of marriage is not just a prayer during the wedding. It has a much deeper spiritual and religious meaning and much higher level of purpose than just couples expressing their love for each other in vows they often write themselves. The sacrament of matrimony is a couple becoming one in God.and vowing their love before God and to God.
As my priest said today, “God extends love and grace to all who are thirsty, not just to those who are deemed worthy.” Basically we are loved by God and equal in the eyes of God. It makes sense to me that the couple should be fully initiated into the faith and receive the graces from it. A Church marriage is sacramental, a civil marriage is not. The sacrament of Christian marriage involves a journey to God to becoming one with God and each other, to giving to and receive from each other. Their life becomes sacramental to the extent that the couple cooperates with God’s action in their life and see themselves as living “in Christ” and Christ living and acting in their relationship, attitudes and actions. In a sacramental marriage the couple begin their journey to C.S. Lewis’ “God and us.”
— June 21st, 2019 was the 50th anniversary of Patricia Bow and I marrying in St. Stephen’s in the Field Toronto and marriage has been on my mind all weekend.

About thebows99krug

Hi, I am Eric, a retired librarian. I was born in St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto and raised in the downtown area north of the Art Gallery, south of the University of Toronto. I went to Orde Street Public School, Harbord C.I., University College at the UofT and the UofT's Faculty of Library and Information Science. I meet my wife Patricia at FLIS; our first date was on November 15, 1968. We were engaged February 14, 1969 and married on June 21, 1969. Our family includes son, James; daughter-in-law, Erin; (both writers), grand-daughters, Vivian and Eleanor; and Sonic, a very friendly ginger tabby. My beloved wife died January 7, 2017 and our 19 year old cat Pooka died January 8, 2017. I would like to hear from any other class of '63 alumni of Harbord C.I. and class of '67 alumni of UofT's University College.
This entry was posted in Bow, Patricia A., Family, Grief, Love, Marriage, Religion, Religion - Anglican, Soulmates. Bookmark the permalink.

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