Marriage


Marriage
   The sad prevalence of divorce in the United States might not have come to pass if people had clear ideas of what Marriage really is. Marriage is a great deal more than simply a civil contract. It is a divine institution, "an honorable estate, instituted by God in the time of man's innocency." It is a religious ceremony and is sacramental in character. It ought, therefore, to be clearly understood that marriage simply by a "squire" or other legal officer, detracts from the sacredness and dignity of "this holy estate," and belittles the binding character of the "marriage tie." Even a secular paper could declare, "We do not believe there should be any civil marriages of any kind. Every ceremony should be solemnized by the Church and lifted above the level of a real estate transaction." In this custom of civil or legal marriages may be found at least one cause, perhaps the principal cause of divorce, for it encourages such a low view of the sacredness of the Marriage Rite.
   Taught by our Lord and His Apostles, the Church emphasizes the religious and sacramental character of Holy Matrimony and has always enjoined its solemnization with ecclesiastical ceremonies and by ecclesiastical persons. This is clearly set forth by the earliest Christian writers. Thus St. Ignatius in one of his Epistles says: "It is fitting for those who purpose matrimony to accomplish their union with the sanction of the Bishop, that their marriage may be in the Lord." Tertullian speaks of marriages being "ratified before God," and adds, "How can we find words to describe the happiness of that Marriage in which the Church joins together, which the Oblation confirms, the Benediction seals, the Angels proclaim when sealed, and the Father ratifies." St. Ambrose calls Marriage a Sacrament, and says, "Marriage must be sanctified by the Priest's sanction and blessing."
   These utterances unfold the mind of the Church in the times nearest the days of our Lord and His Apostles, and in all ages ever since the Church has never abandoned this position in her practice and formularies. A careful study of the Marriage Service in the Prayer Book will show it to be a very clear setting forth of the nature of Marriage. It will also be seen how fully this Service has retained the belief concerning Marriage which the Church has always held since the time of our Lord and His Apostles.
   See Betrothal, also Espousal.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • marriage — mar·riage / mar ij/ n 1: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual, and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law see also divorce 2: the ceremony… …   Law dictionary

  • marriage — is traditionally conceived to be a legally recognized relationship, between an adult male and female, that carries certain rights and obligations. However, in contemporary societies, marriage is sometimes interpreted more liberally and the phrase …   Dictionary of sociology

  • marriage — marriage, matrimony, wedlock, wedding, nuptial, espousal are comparable though not always synonymous because they all refer directly or indirectly to acts by which a man and woman become husband and. wife or to the state of being husband and wife …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Marriage — Mar riage, n. [OE. mariage, F. mariage. See {Marry}, v. t.] 1. The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony. [1913 Webster] Marriage is honorable in all.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • marriage — (n.) c.1300, act of marrying, entry into wedlock; also state or condition of being husband and wife; from O.Fr. mariage marriage; dowry (12c.), from V.L. *maritaticum (11c.), from L. maritatus, pp. of maritatre to wed, marry, give in marriage… …   Etymology dictionary

  • marriage — ► NOUN 1) the formal union of a man and a woman, by which they become husband and wife. 2) a combination of two or more elements. ● marriage of convenience Cf. ↑marriage of convenience ORIGIN Old French mariage, from marier marry …   English terms dictionary

  • marriage — [n] legal joining of two people; a union alliance, amalgamation, association, confederation, conjugality, connubiality, consortium, coupling, espousal, holy matrimony, link, match, mating, matrimony, merger, monogamy, nuptials, pledging,… …   New thesaurus

  • marriage — [mar′ij] n. [ME mariage < OFr < marier: see MARRY1] 1. the state of being married; relation between spouses; married life; wedlock; matrimony 2. the act of marrying; wedding 3. the rite or form used in marrying 4. any close or intimate… …   English World dictionary

  • Marriage — For other uses, see Marriage (disambiguation). Married and Matrimony redirect here. For other uses, see Married (disambiguation) and Matrimony (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • MARRIAGE — This article is arranged according to the following outline: the concept in the bible in sectarian teaching in rabbinic literature in medieval and modern times marriage ceremony in the bible in the talmud post talmudic period the marriage… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • marriage — /mar ij/, n. 1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. 2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy… …   Universalium