Marriage Is a Covenant

Contracts are about goods and services; and they can be revoked. Let's say you sign a contract with someone to remodel your kitchen. It's a business deal exchanging payment for the labor and materials. If you don't like the work, you can break the contract. And once the job is done, the contract is finished.

But marriage is a covenant. It's about giving our selves; and it cannot be revoked. It is a sacramental oath, action, and vocation, calling for God to assist a man and woman in their lifelong bond of free, total, faithful, and fruitful unity.

God has always worked through covenants with His people to effect bonds of faithfulness and self-giving. And, interestingly, the marital covenant is the metaphor most often used in Scripture to help us understand God' relationship to His people (Is 54:5, Ezek 16:8, Eph 5:25 for example). As such, the relationship between husband and wife should mirror the self-giving and self-sacrificing love perfected in the relationship between Christ and the Church. As St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:31-32:

A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery* is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church.

*Dr. Scott Hahn notes in Swear to God that "Paul's word for mystery, mysterion, is the early Church's preferred term for "sacrament".



If you are unclear about Church teaching or the rationale behind it, please take the time to find faithful sources, learn, and pray about it. Church teaching is beautiful, inter-related, and always Christ-centered; but we miss all of that if we only work with limited or inaccurate information.

The resources listed below and to the left may help you get started. You can also try our Useful Resources page or Contact Us for additional assistance.


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Anointing of the Sick






Holy Orders






Be subject

to one another

out of reverence

for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21




A man and woman hoping to be married in the Catholic Church at St. Bartholomew should contact Deacon Gerry at least 6 months prior to the proposed date to check on availability and communicate intended arrangements. At least one of the engaged persons should be a registered member of our parish for 6+ months before opening discussion with the parish about wedding plans.


As part of marriage preparation, we highly recommend: