Catholic marriage: your complete guide
A Catholic marriage is very popular while Catholics make a lion’s share of people on earth. It is a union of two people based on love, patience, trust, loyalty, and commitment that must last their whole life. A holy union is created by God and must not be separated by people.
However, not all Catholics are too religious and not all of them stick to all the traditions and customs. Still, even modern and not very religious Catholic couples tend to marry in church and have this beautiful and holy ceremony.
In the guide below, you will find out everything about the catholic marriage prep, symbols, and everything you need to know about marriage in Catholic Church. If you are not Catholic yourself but are going to marry a girl of that faith, it will be also helpful for you to learn that information and know what you should be prepared for. Most likely, you will have two weddings and one of them will be contracted according to Catholic traditions.
What is marriage for Catholics?
Just like for any other religion, a marriage in the Catholic faith is a holy union called for having children. It is mentioned in the Catholic Catechism issued in the 17th century. The union of a man and a woman is created by God and cannot be separated by a human. The main task of each couple is to bring children to this world.
However, bringing children isn’t the only thing they should do. Taking care of them is even more important. In other words, the goal of marriage in the Catholic religion is to create a new family. Both people must be committed to each other, take care, and support one another in any situation. Both men and women are equal in marriage. Both a man and a woman must be baptized. This rule concerns not only Catholics but all Christians.
Catholic marriage symbols
Like any other religion, the Catholic faith has its symbols for marriage. These traditions have been developed through ages and they are still kept. People tend to acquire them from one generation to another and it’s really great that no one forgets about their origin and customs.
Here are the main symbols of Catholic marriage but keep in mind they can be different in some countries and even parts of one country. For example, Catholics in western Ukraine will have something different from traditions in Mexico or the United States, etc. Here is what you may find common for all the countries:
Candles. You can see candles in any Christian marriage since they symbolize people’s faith in Christ. The roots of the tradition come from the Bible, the candles being the symbols of lamps. They mean that a couple is ready and willing to unite their hearts and lives by accepting Christ.
Wedding colors. For Catholic marriage, three colors are the main symbols for the ceremony. They are ivory, turquoise, and coral. All of them symbolize something like life-giving, love, loyalty, respect, and purity.
The groom must enter the church first. The groom symbolizes Christ and always enters first.
White wedding dresses. White wedding dresses of the brides symbolize their purity.
The veil. The veil of the bride also is a symbol of purity and obedience of the bride.
Right hands joining. The bride and the groom join their right hands symbolizing that they become one entity now and can separate from their parents and families to create their own.
The rings. The rings play a special role in Catholic marriage. Once they exchange their rings, they exchange everything, and all they have in life becomes their common property, including their wealth, emotions, possessions, and everything else.
After that, the bride and groom are officially declared a husband and a wife. The ceremony isn’t over yet and they have a celebration. However, after being declared a bride and a groom, a couple now represents one single unity in God’s eyes.
The church doesn’t recognize an official marriage without marriage in the Catholic church. However, you still cannot marry in the church before your official marriage. When having a church wedding, you must be the official wife and husband already.
Catholic marriage advice
Catholic marriage is a very serious step and it requires a lot of preparation. It must be a thoughtful and weighed decision. This marriage is a unity in the eyes of God and if something goes wrong and you decide to fall apart, you will have to ask for permission from the priest.
Keep in mind that the church has a very limited number of reasons for which a couple can divorce. They include abuse, cheating, alcoholism or drug usage of one of the partners, etc. As you see, the reasons for a divorce are very limited and serious. Thus, before making a decision to marry, you must weigh everything and be sure of your decision, otherwise, the church will not approve of it.
If you doubt whether you should get married in the Catholic Church right now, you can attend catholic marriage encounters and get the advice from the priest. For that reason, it is much better not to have a ceremony in the church at once.
Try to get married officially, spend a couple of years together, and only then marry in the church following the Catholic traditions. It will help you understand whether your union is strong enough and overcome all changes before making this serious step.
Any marriage is hard work. You work on yourself, your relationship, financial and psychological issues. Not every couple can overcome such issues, unfortunately. Remember that after being married in Catholic Church, you both are one unity and now, all of your problems become common ones.
If your partner experiences financial issues at work, they are your issues as well and you cannot refuse to help your spouse. It is important not to lose patience no matter what problems and challenges God sends to you.
Patience is the key to success for every couple. Without it, it is impossible to create a really strong union. Overcoming challenges is an integral part of any marriage, no matter whether it is Catholic or Muslim. If you are not ready for problems, you are not ready for marriage while any of them is accompanied by many issues.
Be patient no matter what. Learn how to cope with various obstacles while all your issues are common for a wife and husband. You can never say that this is her problem and I am not going to interfere. There are no your or your wife’s problems, there are only your common obstacles that have to be overcome by you both as one entity!
Loyalty and love
Love and loyalty are the basis of any marriage and the union of two Catholics is not an exception. Love doesn’t exist without loyalty, so needless to say, you have to always be committed and devoted to your partner no matter what.
Love is unconditional and you should not ask your partner to change anything if you really have this strong feeling for him or her. Catholic bride and husband must accept each other for who they are without any conditions.
Keep in mind that loyalty must not only be physical but spiritual. You may not have any physical contact with other people but can betray your partner spiritually by feeling passion or affection for someone else. In the Christian faith, it is as bad as factual physical cheating, so make sure to avoid this and be loyal to your partner in all aspects.
Respect your partner and her parents
Yes, after Catholic marriage, a man and a woman become one unity and are separated from their families and parents. However, it doesn’t mean you should not love or respect her parents. Unfortunately, it often happens that her or his parents and husband don’t find common languages.
It doesn’t mean though you should not respect them. Even if you don’t like everything they do or say, or don’t see their good attitude to you, you must always be respectful. If you love your spouse, you will love her parents. If you don’t respect them, you don’t respect your partner. Everything is very easy.
If the parents of your husband or wife need some help, you should never refuse your spouse to provide it. Remember that you are a Catholic married couple who cannot leave anyone in trouble. Her family is your family and if you refuse to help her father, mother, sister, etc., you refuse to help your own family, your parents, sisters, or brothers.
Both of you must treat each other’s families with respect, so if you are not ready for it, you are not ready for Catholic marriage. Remember that it requires some work and sacrifices. Nothing comes easy and your marriage will not be just full of fun, joy, and happiness. It will be full of troubles, hard times, and difficulties. Your task is to support your partner during such times and solve these issues together.