"A committed, permanent, faithful relationship of husband and wife is the root of a family. It strengthens all the members, provides best for the needs of children, and causes the church of the home to be an effective sign of Christ in the world" (U.S. Catholic Bishops, Follow the Way of Love: A Pastoral Message to Families, 1994).
Marriage is an original gift from God to humanity. Although sin entered the world damaging the marital relationship, this gift was not lost but redeemed by Christ and raised to a sacrament (see Eph. 5:28-32; see also Mtt. 19:4-6). Sacred Scripture proclaims that God created humanity in "His image" as "male and female" (see Gen. 1:27). So unique is this relationship that the marital union makes of the husband and wife "one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). Procreation, Scripture teaches, is a gift from God (Gen. 1:28). When spouses conceive new life, they participate in the Lord God's creative power. This is an awesome privilege and sacred responsibility! Over the centuries and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church has reflected upon marriage. Below you will find foundational documents which articulate these teachings.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with "the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Rev 19:7, 9). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church. Man and woman were created for each other. By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ's spousal love for the Church. One of the Nuptial Blessings in the liturgical celebration of marriage refers to this in saying, "Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church."
The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy. (USCCB)