What do You Know About Catholic Marriage?

We play Catholic Trivia over on Instagram each month. These are the questions and answers to this month’s #4thFridayTrivia game.

It’s that season.

Weddings, anniversaries, love is in the air.

Just how much exactly do you know about Catholic marriage?

See if you can answer these 10 Catholic Trivia questions to find out just how marriage-savvy you are.

Thanks to our Sponsors:

Our monthly Catholic Trivia games are made possible by our generous sponsors. I’d like to introduce them to you, and then we’ll get back to talking about the Bible.

Please support the following sponsors by following them on social media, visiting their websites, and browsing their shops!

Surprised by Marriage

Jen and Logan of Surprised by Marriage are a sweet (and funny) YouTube-ing Catholic couple. Their videos are addictive, and their marriage advice is always stellar.

Check them out on:

Use the code TRIVIA for 25% off in the Surprised by Marriage shop!

Della Madonna Rosaries

Della, the creator behind Della Madonna Rosaries, makes beautiful handcrafted heirloom rosaries and chaplets.

Check out her work on:

Use coupon code: TRIVIA15 for 15% off through July 31 in the Della Madonna Rosary Shop!

…and now, time for another round of Catholic Trivia!

What do you Know about Catholic Marriage!

See how many questions you can answer correctly (without peeking!) Share your score in the comments at the end of the post.

Read the in-depth answers to learn something new!

1. Fill in the blank. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and ____________________.” (Gen 2:24 – but no peeking!)

Answer: Clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

God’s plan for marriage and the family was there right from the beginning (CCC 1605), as is shown in the first two chapters of Genesis.

In the first chapter, man and woman are the pinnacle of God’s creation. They were created for complementarity: “Male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). He gave them the directive: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). God created everything on the earth and called it good, but after he created man and woman, he called it very good.

God’s plan for marriage is very good. It’s one of the greatest gifts he gives us in this life – a way to reflect his nature as Trinity – in our humble existence in his image.

In Chapter 2 of Genesis, the author goes on again to stress the importance of man and woman’s relationship. “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So God made woman to be his companion.

You can practically feel Adam’s relief and excitement upon receiving the great gift of the woman, Eve, in his life: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 1:23).

Adam’s exclamation is immediately followed by this very telling conclusion of marital love: “Therefore a man leaves his mother and his father and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 1:24–25).

Marriage is for the good of the spouses. They are created for each other (CCC 1605). And God calls them to leave behind their old families to become “one flesh.” It’s in this union that man and woman can be naked and not ashamed – this is where sex belongs.

2. Who is the author of marriage?

Answer: God is the author of marriage.

God is the author of marriage – as we can easily conclude from the story of Creation discussed in question 1.

God is the one who brought us into existence. It’s he who designed us, right down to the tiniest detail. Our human bodies witness to God’s purpose for marriage, sex, and sexuality.

Too often today, people try to define marriage and sexuality to be something different. But any time we go against God’s plan for us, we hurt ourselves and others. The abuse of God’s plan is easy to see when we look at the brokenness of the culture around us.

We can’t be happy by doing whatever we think will make us happy. The true path to happiness is to use our bodies in the way and for the purpose God designed them for.

“The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they come from the hand of the creator” (CCC 1603).

Marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman, ordered for the good of the spouses and the procreation and formation of children. God made it that way, and nothing we do or say can change it.

3. What is the twofold end of spousal love (sex)?

Answer: Union and Procreation.

Question 2 directly leads us to this question.

“The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life” (CCC 2363).

God made sex is made for union and procreation.

Union.

There’s something different about human sex that sets it apart from animal mating. Among animals, things like forced mating and … I don’t even know, can I use the words “polygamy” or “infidelity” when referring to animals?

Not really, because it’s natural for animals to breed by instinct, and not from love.

Humans, however, as body-soul composites, engage in sex as a whole body – with their entire being. Sex fuses man and woman together to become one flesh. “Sexuality… is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such” (CCC 2361).

God gave us sex because it is good. It is pleasurable, it strengthens our marriages, and it helps us know each other more intimately, be vulnerable with each other, and practice self-sacrificing love.

When we deny the unitive aspect of sex through contraception, masturbation, pornography, adultery, fornication, or other sins of unchastity, we are going against the way God made us. These things get in the way of the unitive aspect of sex, and we will not find happiness or fulfillment in them (see CCC 2351–56).

Procreation.

One of the things that baffles me about our culture is its refusal to acknowledge that sex makes babies. Although not every act of sex produces a baby, that’s what sex is designed for.

Consequently, sex belongs within the context of marriage – where children can be raised in a stable, loving home.

“A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment” (CCC 2366).

We cannot treat children as a by-product (whether wanted or unwanted) of sex. To do so is to overlook the very nature of the sexual act. Sex is a participation in the creative power of God (CCC 2367).

We must resist things such as contraception, sterilization, and in-vitro fertilization, which attempt to remove procreation from the sexual act.

The Catechism reminds us that there is an “inseparable connection… between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act” (CCC 2366).

4. Fill in the blank. The family is called “the ______________ Church” – a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.

Answer: Domestic Church.

I love that the members of the Catholic Church today are beginning to take to heart the teaching of the “Domestic Church.”

The Catechism summarizes the Church’s teaching on this:

“The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called ‘the domestic church,’ a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.”

CCC 1666

It’s important for spouses to realize that their spirituality and life of faith will look different than it did when they were single. And it will necessarily look different than it does for consecrated religious.

Spouses live their spiritual life in the context of their family.

We don’t have to leave our homes to practice virtue and charity. We may not be able to spend hours upon hours in prayer each day. But we can find these things in our families – the “domestic church.”

We can build up the church, beginning within our homes.

Our homes are a little extension of the family of the Church. The Catechism reminds us to open our homes to those in the Church without a home – including single persons, and others in situations without a family. (CCC 1658)

By inviting them into our domestic Church, they can experience God in a different and sacred way.

5. Where did Jesus perform his first public miracle?

Answer: The Wedding at Cana

I’m going to grab the explanation straight from the Bible for ya.

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:1-11, Bible Gateway

We can infer that at this time Jesus raised marriage to be a Sacrament.

How beautiful that Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding. That says something powerful about the importance of marriage!

Not just lend-a-hand important, but miracle important.

Here’s a reflection on the Wedding at Cana: When You Bring the Water, Jesus Works the Miracles.

6. Which book of the Bible includes an example of husband and wife praying before sex?

Answer: The book of Tobit. Tobit 8 (and CCC 2361).

In his article, Marriage, Sex, and Prayer: What the Scriptures Say, Philip Kosloski reminds us that sex is good, beautiful, and holy.

Sex and religion are often thought to be opposed to each other and many think that the Catholic Church believes sex is “dirty,” “tainted” or even “sinful.”

On the contrary, the Church has always stressed the holiness of the conjugal act. St. John Paul II wrote in Familiaris Consortio, “By virtue of the mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ, of which the spouses are made part in a new way by marriage, conjugal love is purified and made holy.”

Aleteia

One way for spouses to remind each other of the holiness of sex is to bring prayer into it.

Here’s the prayer Tobias and Sarah prayed on their wedding night.

Blessed art thou, O God of our fathers,
and blessed be thy holy and glorious name for ever.
Let the heavens and all thy creatures bless thee.
Thou madest Adam and gavest him Eve his wife
as a helper and support.
From them the race of mankind has sprung.
Thou didst say, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone;
let us make a helper for him like himself.’
And now, O Lord, I am not taking this sister of mine because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that I may find mercy and may grow old together with her

Tobit 8:5-7, Bible Gateway

Here’s the prayer I share on my blog, that my husband and I pray! (Short, sweet, to the point): The Prayer that Changed my Sex Life.

7. Which book of the Bible is a love poem about human matrimony, which can be understood as an allegory of Christ and the Church?

Answer: Song of Songs

Have you ever read this book?

It is… very colorful! I mean, this love poem is dripping with romantic imagery. It is possibly one of the weirdest and most awkward books of the Bible to read.

And then you realize, it’s not only about the love of a husband and wife. This book is written to give you an understanding of God’s great and passionate love for you.

Catholic Answers has a great explanation on the possible interpretations of the Song of Songs.

Probably no other Old Testament book is open to so many interpretations. However, from the beginning Jews, and later Christians, have taken this book mainly as an allegory, as we have said. The love between the couple represents Yahweh’s love for his people-the same metaphor as used by the prophets from Hosea onwards (cf. Hos. 2; Is. 54:6ff; 62:4ff; Jer. 2:2; Ezek. 16:1-58), and the same as used in the New Testament to symbolize the relationship of Jesus Christ with his Church, St. Paul applies this image to the Church, Christ’s spouse, whom our Lord presents to himself “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). whom he deeply loves and on whose behalf he readily goes to his death, death on a cross (cf. Matt. 9:15; 22:1-14; John 3:29). 

Song of Songs, Catholic Answers

8. Fill in the blank. In their conjugal love, spouses are called to renew the marital covenant spouses and share in the F____, T____, F_____, F______ love of God.

Answer: Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful.

If this phrase came to mind easily for you, that may be because it’s one of those catchy things drilled into the memory of many Catholics!

However, you’d be hard-pressed to find this exact list, with this exact wording, within the Catechism.

The teaching is there! But in more difficult to remember terms.

The “Free, Faithful, Total, Fruitful” phrase is one you’ll want to memorize if you haven’t already!

CatholicMom.com has a great summary of how spousal love reflects God’s free, faithful, total, and fruitful love of us.

Free: We need to be able love our spouse freely.  If we ask for conditions, that’s not love.  If we force our spouse to do something, that’s not love.  If we cannot control our passions, if we cannot say no to our sexual urges, then we are not free.  If we can’t say no, our yes means nothing.

Total: The love for our spouse must be total.  We can’t say, “Well, I’ll give you everything, honey, except for my arm.”  Total means total. (Re: CCC 1643).

Faithful: Obviously, faithfulness means we must only have intercourse with our spouse and no other.  If we want to be truly faithful to our spouse, we must be faithful in word, action and thought.

Fruitful: We must allow relations with our spouse to be fruitful, to be open to children, each and every time we have sex.  That doesn’t mean we will conceive (or want to conceive) a child with every marital embrace.  It just means we need to be open.

The Theology of the Body in a Nutshell CatholicMom.com

If you want to dig further, you can check out CCC1625-1632, and CCC2360-2372.

9. Who are the ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage?

Answer: The spouses confer the Sacrament on each other.

I bet you thought it was the priest.

I thought it was the priest!

Wrongo.

“The spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church” (CCC 1623).

Church weddings are public events for this reason! I mean, typically people won’t crash your wedding ceremony, just for no reason. But the Church has an important role in witnessing to the sacrament of Marriage: to witness you and your spouse confer the sacrament on each other. (CCC 1663)

And something else cool, the sacrament of marriage is not completely conferred until it’s concluded and consummated in the marital act (sex!) (CCC 1640). After which, the marriage can never be dissolved.

10. What conditions necessitate a dispensation from the Church in order to get married?

Answer: Disparity of Cult (Catholic and non-baptized person seeking marriage).

In case anyone tries to tell you otherwise, “Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage” (CCC 1634).

It’s right there in the Catechism.

Obviously, the ideal is for a Catholic man and a Catholic woman to get married and raise kids in the Catholic faith together.

But in many cultures and societies this isn’t always the norm (or even always possible).

And heck, sometimes God just calls people to different paths.

However, there are certain difficulties that can arise in marriages of mixed faith. And the Church wants to make sure that the faithful are committed to passing on the faith to their children.

So she requires certain permissions to be sought after and granted in certain circumstances.

Here are two scenarios: A mixed marriage (between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) requires “express permission of ecclesiastical authority” while disparity of cult (marriage between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires “express dispensation” (CCC 1635).

Want to know when the next round of Trivia is happening?

Did you enjoy testing your knowledge of Catholic Marriage and learning a few new things?

Sign up to get an email reminder (and other blog news) so you can play along for next round of Catholic Trivia on Instagram!

Share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.