When two people marry, the whole complex gathering of rites-some from the state, some from the family, some from the church-serves many purposes. For one, they show what all these groups think about marriage, and they try to impress these understandings on the couple. For another, they let everyone adjust to the idea that there is something new among us: We cannot think of these two tomorrow as we thought of them yesterday. And yet another task of the rites: Some of them are meant to allow us to express our sheer delight in the festival. When ritual does its work, all these things happen. But there are some¬times difficulties when it comes to the church’s part in the wedding. If the couple has no feeling of belonging, they are likely to be indifferent, seeing what happens in the church building as only another obligation. Apart from the bridal party’s entrance procession and a favorite song or two, they may say that “anything Father wants is fine with us.”

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Holy Orders

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church “the sacrament of apostolic ministry.”(For a full discussion of Holy Orders see CCC paragraphs1536-1600) “Ordination” comes from the Latin word ordinatio, which means to incorporate someone into an order. The word order in the Roman empire meant to describe an established civil body, especially a “governing body”.  So the Church adapted this understanding to their “governing” leadership.  There were many Orders in the early Church: the …

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