2Section A: “On the Way to Marriage” (Pages 223—230) 1. What has research shown about the relationship between the length of time a couple go together and the success of their marriage?A marriage has the best chance for long-term success when the couple have gone together at least two years before marriage, and the poorest chance when they have gone together for less than six months.2. In terms of the argument for and against cohabitation, what conclusion does the text give on the best way for a couple to discover whether they want to get married?Communication offers couples the best way to discover whether they want to get married.3.See pages 226—230 for the list of questions that a couple consideringmarriage should communicate about.
3Section B: “Why Marry?” (Pages 231—233) Six purposes of marriage:Sharing life with a loving companion: The first and most obvious purpose of marriage is the loving companionship of another person—deep friendship for life.Creating New Life: Conceiving children is the mostobvious way of creating new life in a marriage. By bringingchildren into the world, parents co-create with God, the sourceof life.Strengthening individual identities. Marriage is intendedto strengthen the individuals’ identities, not to merge them orrepress them. Rather than giving than giving up theiridentities when they marry, the partners should nourish eachother’s particular gifts.
44. Calling forth the best in each person: Marriage has the potential to draw out the best of each partner. If the wife andhusband care for each other, gradually they can put aside masks that they previously hid behind; they can honestly be themselves.5. Enabling the couple to reach out: Secure in the love that they have for each other, the marriage partners are in a position to love beyond the bounds of their relationship and are freed to reach out to other people in hospitality and compassion.6. Supporting the journey of faith: For Christians, marriage becomes a means of support for their journey in faith.Couples who share and develop a common faith are moresatisfied in their marriage than couples who lack this dimension in their relationship.
5Section C: “Marriage as a Covenant of Love” (Pp. 234—236) What is a covenant? In what way is the sacrament ofmarriage considered symbol of God’s covenant with thechosen people?A covenant is a deeply personal, solemn promise madebetween persons. In God’s covenant with the chosen people,God is always faithful to them, through the good times and thebad times.The sacrament of marriage is considered a symbol of thecovenant because, in this sacrament, two persons freely givetheir love to each other forever, “in good times and in bad, insickness and in health.”
62. What is the basis for the church’s teaching on the permanence of marriage?The church’s belief in the permanence of marriage is basedon Jesus’ response to a crowd that asked him about divorce.He said that in marriage, “the two shall become one flesh.”So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what Godhas joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:8—9.)Permanence in marriage is necessary for the good of allsociety, which ultimately contributes to the good of individualpersons. If marriages end easily, society suffers frominstability. Broken marriages cause emotional, financial,spiritual, and interpersonal pain and dislocation.
7The church is not oblivious to the pain of many marriages. It does not want people to live with intolerable maritalconditions. But, the church’s emphasis is on preventing suchdifficulties through adequate marriage preparation.And when problems do arise, the church encourages marriedcouples to work with all their strength to resolve theirproblems, relying also on the love and support of the churchcommunity.
83. What two conditions must both persons have at the time of a marriage in order for their vows to be considered valid by theCatholic church?First, each person must be free from internal and externalpressures to marry and thus be able to freely consent to themarriage.Second, each person must enter into the marriage withknowledge of what the marriage promises really mean andmust have the capacity and willingness to fulfill thosepromises.
94. Under what condition may an annulment be granted by the church? What is the difference between an annulment and adivorce?The church will grant an annulment if, at the time of thewedding ceremony, one or both of the persons were not able totake a valid vow. Therefore, the marriage was never a validsacrament in the eyes of the church.A divorce dissolves the legal contract of marriage, whereasan annulment acknowledges that as a sacrament, the marriagenever existed.
10Section D: “The Engagement” (Pp. 237—238) 1. What is the difference between a church wedding and a marriage in the church?A church wedding is just a wedding ceremony performedin a church building. A marriage in the church implies beingunited with the Catholic church and its intent for marriage.
112. Briefly describe the preparation that is required for couples intending to marry in the Catholic church.The Catholic church requires couples who intend tomarry in the church to attend a marriage preparation programoffered by the parish or diocese.These programs are designed to assist couples in fulfilling their mutual commitments.Programs include topics such as the sacramental nature of marriage, communication skills, goal setting and goal sharing, decision making, development of intimacy, conflict resolution, practical adjustments to married life, sexuality, and children.
12Section E: “The Wedding Celebration” (Pp. 239—241) What does the text recommend as a consideration indeciding what kind of wedding celebration to have?The text recommends that the love and commitment of the couple and the support of the community should serve as the guide for deciding what kind of wedding celebration to have.
132. What questions by the priest and statements by the couple are at the heart of the wedding ceremony?Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to each other in marriage?Will you love an honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his church?I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.