A Case for the Sacrament of Marriage

Did God intend marriage to be a union between one man and one woman, a union that is both permanent and indissoluble? Is marriage at its very essence meant to be a covenantal bond between a man and a woman, or is it just as easily entered into as dissolved?

In all truth, God intended from the beginning, through the very creation of the first man and first woman, a complementarity present in the physical makeup of man and woman. God made them male and female for a reason: that the two, become one flesh. This special gift from God, this Sacrament of Marriage, is entered into freely by one man and one woman and was never intended to be something entered into lightly. Rather, it was always intended by God to be a union, a bond, that is both indissoluble and permanent.

To arrive at the proper understanding of this truth we must consider the nature of original solitude and original unity as they are present in the thought of St. John Paul II, as explicated within his work Theology of the Body. This will form a foundation for speaking about the unity and communion of persons which God intends in the life of this sacrament—a marriage between one man and one woman—and that the bond between these two persons ends only with the death of one of the spouses.

In considering original unity, that is, the unity between Adam and Eve as man and woman, one must first examine the original solitude experienced by Adam and Eve. Original solitude is to be understood in two ways: the first is realized in Adam as the sole creature other than the angels capable of a unique relationship with God, because only he was given the power of reason. The other animals and creatures were not given this power. As a result, only Adam has the ability to know and to love God. In this sense, original solitude is experienced both by Adam and Eve, because they are both able to know and love God through the power of reason and each possesses a unique, singular relationship between their respective persons and God. Another sense in which the term original solitude must be considered is that Adam is alone—he is without another person, another creature like him, able to reason and capable of sharing a loving relationship creature to creature. Until the creation of Eve, this relationship had not yet entered the realm of possibility for Adam.

Within his work Theology of the Body, St. John Paul II speaks about the second chapter of Genesis, an account of creation in which God forms man from the dust of the ground. God creates man before He fashions all of the other animals and creatures that roam the face of the earth. And he states that the meaning of man’s original solitude “is defined based on a specific ‘test’ or on an examination that man undergoes before God (and in some way also before himself). Through this ‘test,’ man gains the consciousness of his own superiority, that is, that he cannot be put on a par with any of the other species of living beings on the earth.”1 And it is through the honor allotted Adam, in naming the creatures God created, that Adam recognizes that he is one of a kind and unique.

In Genesis 2:18, we see that God acknowledges a second aspect of original solitude: “‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’”2 Yet it is not until God gives Adam the test—the task of naming the other creatures—that Adam comes to a consciousness, a self-awareness, and this self-awareness is confirmed in “his own dissimilarity before them…. In fact, solitude illustrates man’s subjectivity, which constitutes itself through self-knowledge. Man is alone because he is ‘different’ from the visible world, from the world of living beings.”3 Adam’s self-awareness is awakened; he realizes that he is different, he realizes that he is a subject, a person, and, through the power of reason, Adam understands that he exists, that he “is alone: this is to say that, through his own humanity, through what he is, he is at the same time set into a unique, exclusive, and unrepeatable relationship with God himself.”4 And it is only after this sense is fully awakened in Adam that God creates Eve:

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore, a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.5

When Adam sees Eve for the first time, he states, this is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Adam understands her to be a proper helper and he names her Woman because she was taken out of Man. Thus, man’s original solitude, the absence of a creature-to-creature relationship prior to the creation of Eve, “presents itself to us not only as the first discovery of the characteristic transcendence proper to the person, but also as the discovery of an adequate relation ‘to’ the person, and thus as opening toward and waiting for a ‘communion of persons.’”6 Adam is looking for, and is waiting for, another person to whom and with whom he can relate and commune. This bond, this union in which Adam and Eve become one flesh in the conjugal act, “leads us to turn to what the biblical text expresses before this with respect to union in humanity, which connects the woman and the man in the very mystery of creation.”7 There is a bond which occurs before the conjugal bond between Adam and Eve—there is the creation of Eve from the rib of Adam.

St. John Paul II states that Genesis 2:24 not only indicates “that human beings, created as man and woman, have been created for unity, but also that precisely this unity, through which they become one flesh,’ has from the beginning the character of a union that derives from a choice…. The choice is what establishes the conjugal covenant between the persons, who become ‘one flesh’ only based on this choice.”8 This choice—that is, the choice to marry and to freely enter into this conjugal covenant—is marked by irrevocable personal consent between the man and the woman. The man and woman who freely choose to become one flesh in this conjugal union give themselves to each other in total self-gift:

there is a new discovery of the same original consciousness of the unitive meaning of the body in its masculinity and femininity; the biblical text thereby indicates at the same time that each union of this kind renews in some way the mystery of creation in all its original depth and vital power. ‘Taken from the man’ as ‘flesh from his flesh,’ the woman consequently becomes, as ‘wife’ and through her motherhood, mother of the living (Gen 3:20), because her motherhood has its proper origin also in him. Procreation is rooted in creation, and every time it reproduces in some way its mystery.9

Here we must see that the unitive meaning of the body is mutually understood on the physical level through the physical makeup of the male and female body; man and woman are made to become one flesh. At the same time, it is through the marital conjugal union of the man and the woman that another aspect of creation can be understood. Just as the woman was formed from the rib, a seed of the man, by a creative act of God, so the woman’s motherhood has its origin in the seed of the man. Procreation, a gift from God to mankind, through which mankind is given an opportunity to share in the creative act of God, has its roots firmly planted in creation, most especially in the creation of the first man and the first woman.

God intended this union, the union between one man and one woman, to be a bond, something stable, permanent and indissoluble. This teaching has its basis in a passage taken from the Gospel of Matthew 19:4–8, in the words of Jesus Christ himself:

He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.’ They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?’ He said to them, ‘For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.’10

From the beginning God created human beings both male and female, and it is for this reason that a man leaves his mother and his father to be joined in an indissoluble union with his wife, a bond so strong that only death can separate. The permanency God intended for this union can be seen in the words of Jesus Christ: what therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Due to the hardness of men’s hearts, Moses allowed for divorce: but from the beginning it was not so.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church uses the word communion to describe this complementarity of union:

Man and woman were made ‘for each other’—not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be ‘helpmate’ to the other, for they are equal as persons (‘bone of my bones. . .’) and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming ‘one flesh,’ they can transmit human life: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’ By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator’s work.11

God intended that there be a complementarity between the man and the woman, that they each be a helpmate to the other, and as such they become a communion of persons. God unites the man and the woman in marriage, in a bond secured by their reason and free choice. The two form one flesh, and through this union they cooperate with God in transmitting human life to their descendants. As spouses and parents they cooperate in a unique way in the Creator’s work.

It becomes clear from this what God did not intend: that two men or two women be married, or that they enter into a counterfeit version of the conjugal union between a man and a woman. It is precisely this ‘counterfeit union’ which is against the natural law, proven by the fact that it is fruitless in every way, never to result in true love or the transmission of human life, and was prohibited in the book of Leviticus: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is perversion.”12

Rather, God intended that one man and one woman be joined in a union, a union in which the two become one flesh: “‘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.’”13 It is here that we see that marriage is ordered to the good of spouses. Thus, a husband leads his wife to holiness through living out a virtuous life, just as the wife leads her husband to holiness through living out a virtuous life. Each spouse perfects the other in love, and the fruit of their mutual love for each other is manifested in a special and powerful way with the birth of children. Therefore, the married state and the mutual perfection of spouses is made possible only through God’s grace, and it is through this bond that they are prepared for their final end, union with God in eternal beatitude.

The Catechism uses the words covenant and sacrament to describe this union of man and wife in marriage. A covenant is defined as a “solemn agreement between human beings or between God and a human being, involving mutual commitments or guarantees.”14 A covenant is both solemn and binding. It involves the swearing of an oath. “Taking an oath binds a person by covenant in a way that transcends mere legality. A covenant is personal, absolute and utterly secure, because it is a holy commitment made before – and enforced by – a holy God.”15 The nature of covenant provides the character of indissolubility to this union of man and wife. Once they give their mutual consent to each other, it is a holy commitment made before—and enforced by—God. A marriage between two such baptized persons has been raised by God to the dignity of a sacrament and is ordered to the mutual good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of offspring.

Canon 1056 defines the essential properties of marriage as being unity and indissolubility. It goes on further to state that within Christian marriage these essential properties obtain a special firmness by reason of the sacrament. The New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law defines unity as a property of marriage as:

an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. In marriage, a man and a woman mutually give and accept each other. To include anyone else within this privileged sphere of marital intimacy violates the unity proper to marriage…. However, post conciliar reflection on marriage as a consortium of the whole of life has led to the recognition that violations of the unity of marriage need not involve extramarital sexual relationships. For example, a man may marry to have a wife for sexual relations, children, and companionship, but continue an unhealthily ‘close emotional relationship to his mother after marriage… In such a case, the man may be judged to have violated the unity of marriage.16

This commentary makes it clear that unity within marriage is between one man and one woman. Period. No one else is included within this privileged sphere of marital intimacy. Further, the commentary also points out, inordinate emotional attachments to other people outside of the marriage is a violation of the marital unity proper to marriage, as in the violation of this same unity through extramarital sexual relationships.

This bond, this union within marriage, is said to be indissoluble, what therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. St. Augustine speaks of this bond as being one of inseparability (indissolubility), fidelity, and sacrament:

It is certainly not fecundity only, the fruit of which consists of offspring, nor chastity only, whose bond is fidelity, but also a certain sacramental bond (2) in marriage which is recommended to believers in wedlock. Accordingly, it is enjoined by the apostle: ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church.’ (3) Of this bond, the substance (4) undoubtedly is this, that the man and the woman who are joined together in matrimony should remain inseparable as long as they live; and that it should be unlawful for one consort to be parted from the other, except for the cause of fornication. (5) For this is preserved in the case of Christ and the Church; so that, as a living one with a living one, there is no divorce, no separation for ever. And so complete is the observance of this bond in the city of our God, in His holy mountain (6) – that is to say, in the Church of Christ – by all married believers, who are undoubtedly members of Christ, that, although women marry, and men take wives, for the purpose of procreating children, it is never permitted one to put away even an unfruitful wife for the sake of having another to bear children.17

St. Augustine asserts that those who enter into a marriage bond should remain inseparable, in fidelity to one another, as long as they live, and that it is unlawful for one consort (spouse) to be parted from the other except for the cause of fornication. It is permissible, in the mind of St. Augustine, for one consort (spouse) to be separated from the other spouse if this spouse is having sexual relations with another person outside of the marriage, making him a fornicator. This is the only reason St. Augustine lists for a lawful separation of the two in the marriage. As long as both spouses are alive, there should be no divorce and no separation forever.

However, the idea of separation from one’s spouse for the cause of infidelity should not be confused with the dissolution of the marriage: “Nothing supervenient to marriage can dissolve it: wherefore adultery does not make a marriage cease to be valid. For, according to Augustine (De Nup. et Concup. i. 10), as long as they live they are bound by the marriage tie, which neither divorce nor union with another can destroy. Therefore, it is unlawful for one, while the other lives, to marry again.”18 Here St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine confirm that the indissolubility of the marriage covenant remains as long as both spouses live, even though they may live separately in terms of locality.

St. Augustine goes on to state that in the case of an unfruitful wife, a wife who is unable to have children, it is not permissible to put her away for the sake of taking another spouse who is able to bear children. The Roman Catholic Church has made distinctions pertaining to this issue. Impotence has been defined as “the incapacity of a spouse to perform a complete conjugal act.”19 In the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, concerning canon 1084, it is clear that in order “[t]o invalidate marriage, impotence must be both antecedent to the exchange of consent and perpetual.”20 If the impotence is prior to the exchange of consent and is permanent—that is, unable to be medically corrected using ordinary means—the marriage can be invalidated. However, sterility is another case entirely; sterility, which is defined as “the incapacity to generate offspring,”21 does not invalidate marriage unless “one party deliberately fails to disclose his or her sterility (c. 1098)”22 to the other party when giving consent to marry.

St. Thomas Aquinas gives his teaching on the unity and indissolubility of marriage in ST suppl., q. 67, a. 1, ad. 2:

Indissolubility belongs to marriage in so far as the latter is a sign of the perpetual union of Christ with the Church, and in so far as it fulfills an office of nature that is directed to the good of the offspring, as stated above. But since divorce is more directly incompatible with the signification of the sacrament than with the good of the offspring, with which it is incompatible consequently, as stated above (Q. 65, A. 2, ad 5), the indissolubility of marriage is implied in the good of the sacrament rather than in the good of the offspring, although it may be connected with both. And in so far as it is connected with the good of the offspring, it is of the natural law, but not as connected with the good of the sacrament.23

St. Thomas links the indissolubility of marriage with the perpetual union of Christ and the Church. He goes on to state that the indissolubility of marriage is a sign of the union between Christ and his Church. Marriage as the sign of this perpetual union of Christ and the Church is compatible only with indissolubility because the union of Christ and the Church is perpetual and everlasting. Divorce or the separation of spouses is therefore an inadequate sign of the union of Christ and the Church. St. Thomas goes on to state that divorce is also incompatible with the true good of offspring, that is, the care of one’s children. In so far as the true good of offspring is concerned, it is of the natural law that parents dutifully and lovingly care for their children.

The New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law speaks of indissolubility in this manner:

To say that marriage is indissoluble means that it is a perpetual relationship which not only should not be terminated but cannot be terminated, even if the couple’s existential relationship is irretrievably broken. Canonical tradition distinguishes between the intrinsic and extrinsic indissolubility of marriage. All marriages, whether the spouses are baptized or not, are intrinsically indissoluble. That is, once the marriage is validly entered, it cannot be dissolved by the subsequent withdrawal of consent of the parties. A marriage is extrinsically indissoluble when it cannot be dissolved either by the intervention of external authorities or by the realization of certain conditions.24

Here we can see that the commentary defines the indissolubility of marriage to mean a relationship that cannot be terminated, even if the existing relationship between the man and the woman is irretrievably broken. According to canonical tradition there is both an intrinsic indissolubility to marriage and an extrinsic indissolubility. The intrinsic indissolubility applies to all marriages, whether the spouses are baptized or not. This is pertinent as long as the marriage was validly entered and, this being so, the marriage cannot be dissolved by the later withdrawal of consent by one of the parties who entered freely into the marriage covenant.

A marriage is extrinsically indissoluble when external authorities, such as civil authorities, do not have the power to dissolve the marriage. For instance, a civil authority who attempts to dissolve a sacramental marriage that was entered validly within the forum of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, the Church does not recognize the authority of the state to dissolve sacramental marriages, just as the Church cannot itself dissolve a sacramental marriage that was entered into validly through the mutual consent of one man and one woman qualified by law and then properly consummated by these two parties. A properly consummated marriage “is called ratum et consummatum if the spouses have performed between themselves in a human fashion a conjugal act which is suitable in itself for the procreation of offspring, to which marriage is ordered by its nature and by which the spouses become one flesh.”25 It would seem, therefore, that the state has the authority to dissolve a natural marriage, a contract that joins two people but is not properly a marriage as concerns the Church. The Roman Catholic Church “does claim the authority, under certain conditions, to dissolve non-sacramental marriages involving at least one unbaptized person and sacramental marriages that have not been consummated. Thus, current church law considers only sacramental marriages that have been consummated to be extrinsically indissoluble by any cause except death.”26

So what significance does unity and indissolubility have within the Sacrament of Marriage? It is clear that God intended the Sacrament of Marriage to have the character of being permanent, a lifelong union, shared by three parties: one man, one woman, and God. When a baptized man and a baptized woman give their mutual consent to each other and enter into a marriage bond, barring any coercion or force, the two consenting parties, before God, and with the help of God, make a covenant. A covenant is not just an oath sworn by one party to a second party—that is, one creature to another creature—but an oath which is personal, absolute, and utterly secure, an oath that is a holy commitment made before and enforced by God, able to flourish only through his grace. Therefore, the sacrament of marriage is intended by God to have this permanent, stable character for two reasons: First, for the good of the spouses, who enter the state of life within which husband and wife come to live a virtuous life in grace, through and with the help of their spouse. Second, God intends the permanency and stability of this union for the good of the offspring who will only truly flourish in a stable, loving relationship shared between two spouses.

It is this permanent and indissoluble marital union, this ordered and sacramental covenant, that is a proper sign and symbol of the perfect fidelity between Christ and the Church. Both the fidelity shared between spouses and the perfect fidelity between Christ and his Church are signs of the perfect union we will share with God when we enter into his presence in eternal beatitude. It is for this reason that St. Paul exhorts the people in his letter to the Ephesians on this marital union:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.’ This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.27

  1. John Paul II and Michael Waldstein, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2006), 148. (Hereafter cited as TOTB.)
  2. Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain), The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Translated from the Original Tongues, Being the Version Set Forth A.D. 1611, Old and New Testaments Revised A.D. 1881–1885 and A.D. 1901 (Apocrypha Revised A.D. 1894), Compared with the Most Ancient Authorities and Revised A.D. 1952 (Apocrypha Revised A.D. 1957), Catholic ed. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994), Gen. 2:18. (Hereafter cited as RSV.)
  3. TOTB, 150.
  4. Ibid., 151.
  5. RSV, Gen. 2:21–24.
  6. TOTB, 162.
  7. Ibid., 167.
  8. Ibid., 168.
  9. Ibid., 169.
  10. RSV, Mt. 19:4–8.
  11. Catholic Church Catechism of the Catholic Church: Revised in Accordance with the Official Latin Text Promulgated by Pope John Paul II, 2nd ed. (Vatican City; Washington, DC: Libreria Editrice Vaticana; United States Catholic Conference, 1997), 372, as quoting Gen 2:24, Gen 1:28. (Hereafter cited as CCC.) Cf. GS 50 § 1.
  12. RSV, Lev. 18:22–23.
  13. CCC 1601, as quoting CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf. GS 48 § 1.
  14. Ibid., glossary, 873.
  15. Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Charis, 1998), 24–25.
  16. John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Canon Law Society of America, and Catholic Church, New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (New York: Paulist Press, 2000. c. 1056), 1249. (Hereafter cited as New Commentary.)
  17. Philip Schaff, Augustine, and John Chrysostom, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, vol. 5 (Peabody, MA: Hendrikson Publishers, 1994), On Marriage and Concupiscence, I:11, 268.
  18. Thomas Aquinas and Dominicans, English Province, Summa Theologica, vol. 3., 1st complete American ed. (New York: Benziger Bros., 1947), ST Suppl., q. 62, a. 5. (Hereafter cited as Summa.)
  19. New Commentary, c. 1084, 1284.
  20. Ibid., c. 1084, 1285.
  21. Ibid., c. 1084, 1286.
  22. Ibid., c. 1084, 1286.
  23. Summa, ST Suppl., q. 67, a. 1, ad. 2.
  24. New Commentary, c. 1056, 1249.
  25. Ibid, c. 1061 § 1, 1257.
  26. Ibid, c. 1056, 1249.
  27. RSV, Eph. 5:25–33.
Rev. Kenneth M. Dos Santos, MIC About Rev. Kenneth M. Dos Santos, MIC

Rev. Kenneth M. Dos Santos, MIC, is a member of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and was ordained a priest in 2010. He is currently serving as Provincial Secretary for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and an MDiv from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.


  1. Avatar Deacon Ken Dos Santos says:

    An excellent article explaining the beauty of marriage and the everlasting bond held by God and His Holy Church.

  2. Avatar Mrs. Deborah Nuzzo says:

    Thank you Fr. Dos Santos! How refreshing to hear true Catholic teaching on marriage. How disgraceful that so many priests and pastors immediately recommend the local diocesan tribunals to those who are struggling in their valid marriages! Catholic annulment mills–most US tribunals grant nullity at 100% rate–totally disgrace this sacrament. How will so many liberal judges stand before God when the time comes.
    May God bless you for your courage and faithfulness to his teachings!

  3. Avatar Sharelle Temaat says:

    All fine and good, Father Dos Santos, but what if spouses don’t keep their word, as many today don’t. We need to hear the rest of the story. That adulterous spouse won’t look so good after Judgment Day. One priest who gave a sermon recently on this subject mentioned a painting in Quito, Ecuador, titled El Infierno by Hernando de la Cruz. It’s a painting of Hell, one part showing a naked man and woman, snakes wrapped around their bodies; he has her by the heels and is trying to swing her away from him. He’ll be doing that for all eternity. She was his honey-pot in this life, but she’s his burning hate in the next.

    Too harsh for today’s Catholics? No one in this priest’s audience spoke up. Today’s Catholics need to take their lessons from the past. Until they do, they’ll be stuck in Freudian excuses that promote misery.

  4. Fr. Dos Santos wrote about the civil authority: “For instance, a civil authority who attempts to dissolve a sacramental marriage that was entered validly within the forum of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, the Church does not recognize the authority of the state to dissolve sacramental marriages.”
    . However, the government divorce courts don’t purport to decide anything about whether, or not, a valid sacramental marriage occurred. The civil courts do, however, illicitly purport to decide everything about the obligations of man and woman toward each other and their children. This is an abomination against natural law, divine law, and canon law, about which Catholics should object. On behalf of all the dedicated spouses who had their children forcibly denied natural everyday contact with Dad (or Mom if she was the abandoned spouse), please recognize that civil courts were never supposed to have power to judge obligations of man and woman toward each other. This judgement is reserved to the to the Church (1983 CIC c. 47, 1611.2, 1689 & 1692; Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex c. 1691; III Plen. Balt. n. 124, 126; Council of Trent 24th, n. 8 & 12).

  5. Avatar Timothy O’Donnell says:

    Outstanding article Father!!!
    Hearing the truth about the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is both needed and appreciated. Your essay adds much depth to our understanding without overly complicating or dramatizing it either.
    The beauty and luster of marriage shines through.

    Bravo Father!!!


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