Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MARRIAGE

As a natural institution, the lasting union of a man and a woman who agree to give and receive rights over each other for the performance of the act of generation and for the fostering of their mutual love.

The state of marriage implies four chief conditions: 1. there must be a union of opposite sexes; it is therefore opposed to all forms of unnatural, homosexual behavior; 2. it is a permanent union until the death of either spouse; 3. it is an exclusive union, so that extramarital acts are a violation of justice; and 4. its permanence and exclusiveness are guaranteed by contract; mere living together, without mutually binding themselves to do so, is concubinage and not marriage.

Christ elevated marriage to a sacrament of the New Law. Christian spouses signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and his Church, helping each other attain to holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their children.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20