The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage. A Christian man and woman cannot be united in lawful marriage in any other way than by the Sacrament of Matrimony, because Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a Sacrament. The bond of Christian marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power.
The effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony are:
To sanctify the love of husband and wife;
To give them grace to bear with each other´s weaknesses;
To enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.
To receive the Sacrament of Matrimony worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace, and it is necessary also to comply with the laws of the Church. The Church alone has the right to make laws concerning the Sacrament of marriage, though the state also has the right to make laws concerning the civil effects of the marriage contract. Christians should prepare for a holy and happy marriage by receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist; by begging God to grant them a pure intention and to direct their choice; and by seeking the advice of their parents and the blessing of their pastors.
Biblical references: Matt 19:5; Mark 10:7-12; Eph 5:22-32; 1 Thess 4:4; Mal 2:14-16;
Matt 5:32-33; Matt 19:4-6,9; Mark 10:11-12; Lk 16:18; Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor 7:10-11