1661 The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf Council of Trent: DS 1799).

1662 Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant offaithful and fruitful love.

1663 Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.

1664 Unity, indissolubility and openness tofrrtility are essential to marriage. Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage; divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal offertility turns married life away from its ‘supreme gift’, the child (GS 50 § i).

,6ó~ The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated f rom the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.

66 The Christian home is the place where children receive thefirstproclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called ‘the domestic church’, a community ofgrace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.


Chapter Four

OTHER LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS


Article i

SACRAMENTALS

1667 ‘Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramen tals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”


The characteristics of sacramentals 1668 Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain