Christ's charge to Peter

St Peter's, Hatfield

St Peter's Catholic Church,
Bishop's Rise, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. AL10 9HN


Mediaeval Wedding


Marriage is a Sacrament

Marriage is for the good of the individuals and of society as a whole. Thus, it is part of the order of God’s Creation for all humanity. However, between baptised man and woman, the institution of marriage was raised by Christ the Lord to the level of a sacrament. That means it is an action of Jesus Himself and in marriage we receive His grace to live out our married and family lives.

The Purposes of Marriage

There are two purposes of marriage : the mutual welfare and support of the couple, and the procreation and upbringing of children. To be a valid marriage, the couple cannot deliberately exclude either of these purposes. Marriage is about love – you must be certain that is the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life with. Marriage is also about openness to receiving children as a gift from God. The physical relationship between a couple is something beautiful and precious – but to be reserved for marriage so children can be brought up in a loving and stable home. The Church’s teaching about sexuality and fertility is based on self-control, generosity and mutual respect, it is life-enhancing and for our own happiness. Yet it is often misunderstood and seldom taught as it ought to be. Useful links giving further information include :

Fertility Care

Billings Life


The Properties of Marriage

1.   Unity :Marriage is between one man and one woman. A husband and wife have a legitimate claim to each other’s time and affection. There must be mutual trust and commitment. This cannot be an “open” relationship.

2.   Indissolubility :At the wedding ceremony you take vows “till death us do part.” Christ taught that marriage is for life. The Catholic Church upholds His teaching – as all Christian denominations did until recently. Where a valid marriage is celebrated, there is no divorce in the eyes of God.

These are difficult commitments to make. That is why we need the grace of the sacrament and the strength gained from living a Christian life. Yet marriage is celebrated after proper prayer and preparation and in accordance with the teaching of the Church, is the most beautiful state of life, something which brings life and true joy to this world and contributes towards the eternal happiness of the whole family. A good Christian family is at the heart of all parish life.

Preparation for Marriage


Frequently asked questions


“What God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” (Matthew 19:6)


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