The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, derives its force and strength from creation, but for the Christian faithful it is also raised up to a higher dignity, since it is numbered among the Sacraments of the new covenant.
A Marriage is established by the conjugal covenant, that is, the irrevocable consent of both spouses, by which they freely give themselves to each other and accept each other. Moreover, this singular union of a man and a woman requires, and the good of the children demands, the complete fidelity of the spouses and the indissoluble unity of the bond.
Furthermore, the institution of Marriage itself and conjugal love are, by their very nature, ordered to the procreation and education of children and find in them, as it were, their ultimate crown. Children are truly the supreme gift of Marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves.
By the Sacrament of Matrimony Christian spouses signify and participate in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church; therefore, both in embracing conjugal life and in accepting and educating their children, they help one another to attain holiness and have their own place and particular gift among the People of God.
Through this Sacrament the Holy Spirit brings it about that, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, Christian spouses also strive to nurture and foster their union in equal dignity, mutual giving, and the undivided love that flows from the divine font of charity, so that, uniting divine and human realities, they persevere in good times and in bad, faithful in body and mind... (Rite of Marriage)
To help you prepare for marriage, we have prepared two booklets for you. The first, Preparing for Your Marriage, contains all the information you and your future spouse will need to plan a wedding at the Church of Saint Boniface. The second book, Readings and Music for the Rite of Marriage, includes all the texts you will need for the celebration of the Rite of Marriage: readings, music, and petitions.