What Makes a Marriage Valid?
Marriage is a sacrament that is regulated by Church law, mainly in the Code of Canon Law of 1983. It is different from the rest of the sacraments, because what makes it valid is mainly marriage consent. A person must want to get married to his spouse, and manifest this will verbally to the priest or deacon at the wedding ceremony. Marriage is defined by the Code in c. 1055, as a covenant between a man and a woman who wish to be together for life, and that has two natural ends: the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children. How do we enter into this wonderful and sacred reality? Are there any requirements established by the law? The answer is yes, the validity of a canonical marriage rests upon three “pillars”: consent, absence of legal impediments, and canonical form. The law establishes that: