Skip to comments.Do we need to set aside the Word “Marriage” and use “Holy Matrimony” exclusively?
Posted on 06/27/2013 5:14:21 PM PDT by markomalley
In the wake of the supreme decisions of this week, I would like to return to a question I have Asked before: Are we coming to a point where we should consider dropping our use of the word marriage?
It is a simple fact that word marriage as we have traditionally known it is being redefined in our times. To many in the secular world the word no longer means what it once did and when the Church uses the word marriage we clearly do not mean what the increasing number of states mean.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines Marriage (i.e. Holy Matrimony) in the following way:
The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament (CCC # 1601)
The latest actions by numerous states and the hat-tip that the Supremes gave Same sex unions mean that increasingly, the secular worlds definition of marriage no longer even remotely resembles what the Catechism describes.
To be fair, as we have previously noted, this is not the first redefinition of marriage that has occurred in America. The redefinition has actually come in three stages:
Proposal: So the bottom line is that what the secular world means by the word marriage is not even close to what the Church means. The secular world excluded every aspect of what the Church means by marriage. Is it time for us to accept this and start using a different word? Perhaps it is, and I would like to propose what I did back in March of 2010, that we return to an older term and hear what you think.
I propose that we should exclusively refer to marriage in the Church as Holy Matrimony.
According to this proposal the word marriage would be set aside and replaced by Holy Matrimony. It should be noticed that the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to this Sacrament formally as The Sacrament of Matrimony.
The word matrimony also emphasizes two aspects of marriage: procreation and heterosexual complementarity. The word comes from Latin and old French roots. Matri = mother and mony, a suffix indicating action, state, or condition. Hence Holy Matrimony refers to that that holy Sacrament wherein a woman enters the state that inaugurates an openness to motherhood. Hence the Biblical and Ecclesial definition of Holy Matrimony as heterosexual and procreative is reaffirmed by the term itself. Calling it HOLY Matrimony distinguishes it from secular muddle that has marriage for its nomen.
Problems to resolve To return to this phrase Holy Matrimony is to return to an older tradition and may sound archaic to some (but at least it isnt as awkward sounding as wedlock). But clearly a new usage will be difficult to undertake. It is one thing to start officially referring to it as Holy Matrimony. (Which, by the way I have done in my parish we no longer prepare people for marriage, but for Holy Matrimony) But it is harder when, for example, a newly engaged couple approaches the priest and says, We want to be married next summer. It seems unlikely we easily train couples to say, We want to enter Holy Matrimony next summer. or even just to say, We want to have a wedding next summer. Such dramatic changes seem unlikely to come easily. Perhaps you, who read this blog can offer some resolutions to this problem.
Perhaps, even if we cannot wholly drop the terms marry, marriage and married a more modest form of the proposal is that we at least officially discontinue the use of the word marriage and refer to it as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
What do you think? Do we need to start using a new word for marriage? Has the word been so stripped of meaning that we have to use different terminology to convey what we really mean?
When I proposed this two years ago this very time, many of you we rather unconvinced and some were even perturbed that we were handing on over our vocabulary to the libertines. That may be, but we already know that gay will never mean what it used to, and it would seem that marriage will never again mean what it did.
A secondary but related proposal is that we begin to consider getting out of the business of having our clergy act as civil magistrates in weddings. Right now we clergy in most of America sign the civil license and act, as such, as partners with the State. But with increasing States interpreting marriage so differently, can we really say we are partners? Should we even give the impression of credibility to the States increasingly meaningless piece of paper? It may remain the case that the Catholic faithful, for legal and tax reasons may need to get a civil license, but why should clergy have anything to do with it?
Frankly, I am uncomfortable signing DC Marriage licenses, and do so only because my Ordinary has indicated we should continue doing this. I am happy to obey him in this and defer to his judgment in the matter. There is a reason his is the Ordinary and I am not. That said, I have told him what I think. But for now, it seems clear we must stay the course and still sign them until the Bishop says, no more.
If we did stop signing civil licenses, we would surely need a strong catechesis directed to our faithful that reiterates that civil marriage (what ever that means anymore) is not Holy Matrimony and that they should, in no way consider themselves as wed, due to a (meaningless) piece of paper from a secular state that reflects only confusion and darkness rather than clarity and Christian light.
Here too, what do you think? Should the Catholic Bishops disassociate Catholic clergy from civil marriage licenses?
I think it is time that the good Cardinal put up or shut up and start excommunicating the many phony Catholics that infest the beltway.
I don't know, but I do know the word "fiance" seems about beyond redemption.
Yes, we should talk about holy matrimony, or unity covenants, or some other term which means a man and a woman coming together in such a union.
Since the meaning of marriage has now been changed, this seems like a good idea.
Ya, the homosexual community changed the definition of gay. Nobody uses the dictionary definition of gay anymore. Nowadays, gay means only homosexual. It just can’t be used to mean anything else anymore.
In the case of marriage, liberals will tell us it’s bigoted if we assume a married woman is married to a man. So perhaps it is time to use a term which by definition will be an opposite sex union, not a same sex union.
Better to have no state involvement in the area of marriage.
I like the thought process here....
Let it go, please let it go! The internet, the TV and the talk radio shows are all full of this DOMA crap. I’m tired of watching this squirrel. We have much more important political issues to pay attention to. The homosexuals can go marry chickens for all I care.
If you have a church ceremony, you are morally married.
Dispense with the piece of paper, and the feral government has no further say.
IMO, good idea. Think I’ll start using that phraseology. Give them “marriage.” Let’s see how blasphemous the Left can become. After ringing the National Cathedral bells yesterday I’m curious...
“Let it go, please let it go! The internet, the TV and the talk radio shows are all full of this DOMA crap. Im tired of watching this squirrel. We have much more important political issues to pay attention to. The homosexuals can go marry chickens for all I care.”
OK, so you solves those “more important issues”. Now tell me how your let this crap fester and you’ll take care of it later? BTW, our sons and daughters will be subjected to homosexuality, rape, sodomy, sexual assault all the while. Hope you can live with yourself knowing that.
Homosexuals are mentally deranged and must not be trusted with children!
The Church should - stop filling in and submitting documents to the state and then change the requirements for a person to receive Holy Matrimony in a Church.
People can then go and to a registry office to have the marriage sanctioned/recognized by the state if that is what they want.
They do this in places like Singapore. First they will do the legal wedding and then the Church service later.
Firstly though the Pope needs to make it clear to all clergy that anyone performing a service or “wedding” for homos will be forcibly excommunicated i.e. kicked out of the church - their living accommodation the full works. Not this “has “automatically excommunicated themselves but nothing is ever done rubbish”.
I think giving up a perfectly good word because judges, pols, or the voting public have such a hard time defining it is foolish. I mean we didn’t change the word because of civil divorce and remarriage. I don’t think we should let the people that have the problem make us change. No one suggests that we quit using the word priest because some wackadoos think they can be ‘women priests.’
If you want a concrete way to demonstrate the difference between what the Church knows marriage to be and the state, stopping acting as the state’s representatives for the civil side might be the way to go. Explain why the change is being made, show everyone that yes, it is a big deal. It’s not like the Church looks at the civil recognition as the determining factor to decide if someone is married or not anyhow if you consider civil divorce and remarriage.
Honestly, they'll put on their little whiny voices and cry: "it's not faaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrr that I can't have Holy Matrimony toooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"
If that's so, why bother to read the thread, and then post on the thread?
I agree with this statement
Did it twice, can't recommend it.