Trinity Cluster Preparation Process:
The couple must contact Fr. Martin Coolidge at least six months in advance.
The Church sees Matrimony as a Sacrament. The couple, who articulate their vows with the priest as witness, illuminate the presence of Christ in their lives. The Nuptial Blessing says that God formed man and woman in God’s own image to bear witness to the love of Christ before all people.
In every step toward sacramental Matrimony and from sacramental Matrimony, the presence of Christ is strengthened in the woman and the man. This is what makes the difference between a civil marriage and a sacramental matrimony. It is a way of life or “vocation.”
As the couple matures together, the presence of Christ grows. Their children, their extended family, and their friends see the couple as unique because the presence of Christ is very evident in their sacramental relationship. In this way, the vocational call to the sacrament of Matrimony is like the vocational call to the priesthood. The couple, as the presence of Christ through the graces of sacramental Matrimony, preside over the church in the home much like the priest presides over the church in the parish.
In the church in the home (the domestic church), the couple teaches the values of Catholicism, the prayers, and the acts of charity and love to family and friends alike. This is why we understand the sacramental Rite of Matrimony in a unique way.
The central symbols of the Sacrament of Matrimony are first, the couple and second, their vows.
It is good to highlight these three symbols, the couple, the consent, and the rings in the celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony. The symbols establish a new household in Christ and are a foundation for the birth of children.
When the Rite of Matrimony is celebrated at Mass, the couple expresses unity in an additional symbolic way as they share in the unity of Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ. This sacramental sharing is central in the life of all Catholics and is a life-long practice expressing their ongoing bonding and unity in Christ. Beyond that, other elements from other settings that are meant to symbolize a unity already celebrated by the couple, consent, and exchange of rings, are secondary.
The couple that chooses Sacramental Matrimony, expresses a vocation or call, to be the presence of Christ in their love for one another, their children, their extended family, and friends. The symbol of their unity is expressed through the vows they exchange as a couple. The outward sign of their unity is forever expressed by their love for one another, the children born by that love, and the rings they wear.