Pastors of souls are obliged to ensure that their own church community provides for Christ’s faithful the assistance by which the married state is preserved in its christian character and develops in perfection. This assistance is to be given principally:
1° by preaching, by catechetical instruction adapted to children, young people and adults, indeed by the use of the means of social communication, so that Christ’s faithful are instructed in the meaning of christian marriage and in the role of christian spouses and parents;
2° by personal preparation for entering marriage, so that the spouses are disposed to the holiness and the obligations of their new state;
3° by the fruitful celebration of the marriage liturgy, so that it clearly emerges that the spouses manifest, and participate in, the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;
4° by the help given to those who have entered marriage, so that by faithfully observing and protecting their conjugal covenant, they may day by day achieve a holier and a fuller family life.
It is the responsibility of the local Ordinary to ensure that this assistance is duly organised. If it is considered opportune, he should consult with men and women of proven experience and expertise.
§1 Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before being admitted to marriage, if this can be done without grave inconvenience.
§2 So that the sacrament of marriage may be fruitfully received, spouses are earnestly recommended that they approach the sacraments of penance and the blessed
Before a marriage takes place, it must be established that nothing stands in the way of its valid and lawful celebration.
The Episcopal Conference is to lay down norms concerning the questions to be asked of the parties, the publication of marriage banns, and the other appropriate means of enquiry to be carried out before marriage. Only when he has carefully observed these norms may the parish priest assist at a marriage.
In danger of death, if other proofs are not available, it suffices, unless there are contrary indications, to have the assertion of the parties, sworn if need be, that they are baptised and free of any impediment.
Before the celebration of a marriage, all the faithful are bound to reveal to the parish priest or the local Ordinary such impediments as they may know about.
If someone other than the parish priest whose function it is to assist at the marriage has made the investigations, he is by an authentic document to inform that parish priest of the outcome of these enquiries as soon as possible.
§1 Except in a case of necessity, no one is to assist without the permission of the local Ordinary at:
1° a marriage of vagi;
2° a marriage which cannot be recognised by the civil law or celebrated in accordance with it;
3° a marriage of a person for whom a previous union has created natural obligations towards a third party or towards children;
4° a marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the catholic faith;
5° a marriage of a person who is under censure;
6° a marriage of a minor whose parents are either unaware of it or are reasonably opposed to it;
7° a marriage to be entered by proxy, as mentioned in can. 1105
§2 The local Ordinary is not to give permission to assist at the marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith unless, with the appropriate adjustments, the norms of can. 1125
have been observed.
Pastors of souls are to see to it that they dissuade young people from entering marriage before the age customarily accepted in the region.
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