Church Teaching on Marriage and Family

Marriage and family are sacred gifts from God and are vital for society and the Church.

Sacred Scripture

Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb” as a symbol of God’s reign about to begin.

“The LORD God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him. ...That is why a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” Genesis 2:18,24.

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready" Revelation 19:7.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

For Your Marriage (English) / Por tu matrimonio (Spanish)

"Marriage is a vocation to holiness. From their first days as husband and wife through their golden years, married couples have the awesome task of witnessing to God’s faithful love to each other, their children, and society. No couple does this perfectly, and everyone needs help when love feels strained and the going gets tough. All marriages can grow in knowledge, faith, joy, and love." Married Life home page on For Your Marriage

Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan is a pastoral letter on marriage with resources in English and Spanish.

"Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race. His hand has inscribed the vocation to marriage in the very nature of man and woman (see Gn 1:27-28, 2:21-24)" Introduction

FAQ on Church Teachings about Marriage and Family Life

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA)

Chapter 6 Man and Woman in the Beginning
Chapter 21 The Sacrament of Marriage
Chapter 28 The Fourth Commandment: Strengthen Your Family

"The Catholic family as a domestic church is the fundamental community or cell of the parish, the diocese, and the universal Church. Christ has called all family members to union with God through Baptism and the other Sacraments and to share in the mission of the whole Church. Family members carry out the Church’s mission by fostering mutual love in the home and, through that love, by building up the community of the Church and society" USCCA p 376.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, paragraphs 1601-1666

"The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament." CCC 1660

Amoris Laetitia

The Joy of Love in the Family - Pope Francis, 2016

"In addition to the small circle of the couple and their children, there is the larger family, which cannot be overlooked,  Indeed, ‘the love between husband and wife and, in a derivative and broader way, the love between members of the same family – between parents and children, brothers and sisters and relatives and members of the household – is given life and substance by an unceasing inner dynamism leading the family to ever deeper and more intense communion, which is the foundation and soul of the community of marriage and the family.  Friends and other families are part of this larger family, as well as communities of families who support one another in their difficulties, their social commitments and their faith" Amoris Laetitia n. 19.

Why do Catholics get married in the Church?

This short video gives a reason rooted in Christ and the couple.

Bishop Barron Video link