Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doctrinal Quiz Show! Marriage and the Eucharist!

Can you believe it?? It's time, finally, for another:

And with all the blechy, icky yuckiness that has gone on in the past couple of days in our neck o' the blogosphere, I think it's time for a little palate cleanser. And there is nothing that cleanses the palate of the heart, mind, soul and body than the Holy Eucharist.

And to make it a little more complicated than a catechism Q&A, I am going to throw in the topic which is causing such a ruckus in these morally troubled times: Marriage. Everyone wants it but no one can define it. And although no one can define it, everyone wants to redefine it. Weird.

In the meantime, Holy Marriage and the Holy Eucharist remain ever the same. Including, interestingly, their theological connectedness. And so here comes the question, which begs for beautiful and creative answers:

In what ways are the Eucharist and Marriage related?

The beauty of this DQS is that the best answer will be presented as the official answer… meaning I won't have to do a lick of research, ha ha! (Well, I do have the most difficult part of all, which is the crafting and presenting of the world's least most coveted bloggy awards: The Bubble Awards!)

And for the Grand Prize Winner (who will have won fairly and squarely, without cheating, googling or cutting and pasting from somewhere else), you will receive your choice of a stunning rosary or chaplet from our very own Becky! Check out some of your choices:

(Note the unborn child beads in this pro-life rosary)

To see the full selection of her gorgeous offerings, go here.

Okay, let's hear some amazing comparisons, connections and similarities between the incredible, grace-filled, life-altering sacraments of the Eucharist and Marriage!



  1. The Eucharist and Holy Matrimony relate to each other in that they are both Sacraments that involve unity and true sacrifical love. In the Eucharist, we receive the Body of Christ and become one with Him through His suffering, offered out of love for us, in return, we receive Christ with deep love for Him. In order to worthily receive Christ, we must be free of any mortal sin, which means we must sacrifice some sinful desires that come upon us. In marriage, man and woman unite themselves to each other to form one family, each offering their individual selves for the sake of the other. Out of true love, they commit to making any sacrifice necessary to serve the other. So, both Marriage and the Eucharist involve a death and resurrection. Christ died so we could receive Him, but then made His glorious resurrection. In Marriage, the husband and wife lovingly "die" to themselves, and rise to serve the other. Also, just as the Eucharist strengthens and gives us life, Marriage forms a new life in the birth of children. Furthermore, just as the Eucharist symbolizes the love of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Marriage also symbolizes that in the father and mother coming to create new life.

  2. 1) In marriage, the spouses become one, each dying to self.

    The Eucharist is Christ's own dying to self for his bride, the Church.

    2) The Sacrament of marriage is a covenant between two people.

    The Eucharist (inclusive of the Blood of Christ "the new covenant in My Blood") is Christ's covenant with his bride.

    3) In marriage, spouses are supposed to help lead each other (and their children) to salvation.

    The Eucharist leads to salvation.

    Seriously? I learned all of this through reading Catholic blogs, not in CCD. Hope I learned something! ;-)

  3. They are both sacraments! And I'm sure others can go into a lot of details about the two and how they relate but I wanted to at least mention something! ;)

  4. The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church. Marriage pre-figures our final union with God in Heaven. In marriage man and wife are joined and become, "one flesh". By taking in Christ's body, blood, soul, and divinity, we are united with Him and become what we eat, more Christ-like.

    In marriage man and wife are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving. This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together. Christ gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, and we are called to give our lives back to Him.

    Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church...This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church- Eph 5:25,32

  5. Can I answer even if I can't win my own stuff? :-)

    My answer is that both become one.

  6. Both are total, self-giving covenants, sealed in blood through the death of Christ and the consummation of the marriage. Both give of the body fully, for the sake of the other.

  7. Ok, I haven't read any of the comments. But I'm going to say it's the total and complete gift of self. Just as Christ died for us and gave His entire self for our sake, as spouses we do so for each other. We are called to give of ourselves totally and completely in marriage to one another. I'm going to add that both are our means of salvation! Meaning that the Eucharist brings our Savior to us, and in marriage we are called to bring one another to our Savior. So both are meant to unite us to heaven :)

  8. For love to be real, it must be (1) Free, (2) Total, (3) Faithful, and (4) Fruitful.

    (1) Free: Marriage – For marital love to be real, the couple must offer themselves to each other freely, meaning no strings attached. This is reflected in the Marriage vows, “Do you come here of your own free will?”
    The same applies to the Eucharist. Jesus did not have his life taken from him, but rather, he laid it down freely for his spouse, the Church.

    (2) Total: Marriage – The couple have to give of themselves completely to each other. They cannot hold anything back. If the Marriage relationship is to grow, they have to die to themselves, and give themselves totally to each other. If the couple were to hold anything back (secrets, contraception, etc.), they are not dying to self, and are inserting a thorn into their relationship which may end up festering and destroying the relationship.
    Eucharist – Jesus HAD to give himself totally to his bride. He had to completely die to self for the Eucharist to be anything more than a symbol.

    (3) Faithful: Marriage – Husband and Wife must be faithful to each other in order for their love to be real. Knowing that, or at least hoping that, one’s spouse is faithful is what keeps one going throughout the day. I remember being in the military … without anyone back home, it is very difficult. What is the point of going on in times of crisis?
    Eucharist – Through Christ’s faithfulness to us, we are able to rely on Him and know that He will be there, until the end of time. Knowing that we can trust in Him, gives us confidence to be able to keep going and slugging it out in the trenches day in and day out.

    (4) Fruitful: Marriage – The Sacrament of Marriage must be fruitful. The fruit could be children, but it could also be the palpable love that bleeds over into others who see your love. I have seen several couples who cannot conceive who so love each other that it inspires others into more loving relationships. (For some reason, the same cannot be said for those who contracept and choose not to have children. Maybe it’s just me.)
    Eucharist – The Eucharist is fruitful, in that it brings us the graces which Christ had promised us. It is bringing us His life, in a supernatural way that we cannot completely understand.

    My first statement was taken from Christopher West’s talk ($1 charge at www.catholicity.com), the rest is me. But, if I don’t win, I understand.


    Christopher West also has some incredible talks regarding the Theology of the Body, taken from Pope John Paul the Great’s teachings.

  9. Ohhh, I like The Girl From New Yorks comment! Nice!

  10. Well, I was going to say "they're both Sacraments" but you kind of stole my answer in the last sentence. So maybe instead I will say...they both involve sacrificial love? Oooo wait, I got it...in marriage we are supposed to show the kind of sacrificial love for our spouse that Christ shows us in the Eucharist? like marriage is supposed to mirror the Eucharist? Am I close? Please?

  11. In the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, the two become "one flesh," just as the Jesus becomes the "one flesh" of the Eucharist. Both sacraments give us sanctifying grace and help us to grow in holiness.

    Incidentally, John Martignoni has an EXCELLENT talk about this called Marriage and the Eucharist: The Two Shall Become One. (And no, I did not listen to it prior to typing my answer!)

  12. The following is from Nubby, who asked me to post this for her as she's having technical trouble!

    Marriage is a sacrament, the Eucharist is a sacrament. With those sacraments comes graces to grow in God.

    The Eucharist is Christ, the bridegroom, coming for his bride, the Church.

    The purpose of marriage is sanctity, growing in holiness. The purpose of Christ giving himself to us in the Eucharist is the same, to grow in holiness.

    In marriage, the two flesh of the spouses mystically become one flesh through the bonds of marriage, as Christ gives Himself to us with his literal flesh, that we may be one in him.

  13. I have no idea what the answer is, I'm just stopping by to report I enjoyed my little foray into the world of daily Mass this morning even if I was rather lost amongst all the responses and bell rings. The Church of San Felipe de Neri sure is a beautiful place.


  14. Gwen, awesome! If you ever want to do a guest post for me on an atheist's experience at daily mass, email me! I'm serious.

  15. Man alive, you have some smart readers Leila!

    And Gwen, there have been many a comical skit made about the rubrics of the mass! But it really all does have meaning, I promise! I commend you for exploring it for yourself. Very cool!

  16. 1) Both are based on promises; i.e. covenant love: Eucharist: Jesus promising he will be with us until the end of the age; Marriage: Spouses promising they will be together until death do they part
    2) Both are based on becoming one body: Marriage: In Open to Life total giving of self in the marital act; Eucharist: Christ the head of the mystical body giving us his body, blood, and divinity so we can have his divine life within us and better live out our discipleship to follow and nurture others in the mystical body of Christ to heaven--in other words becoming more fully and fruitfully a member of the mystical body of Christ
    3)both are meant to bear fruit: Marriage: in either children, or in the case of infertility fruit in the bearing of suffering for the intention of furthering the Kingdom in a mystical way; as well as bearing fruit by the overall witness of generous, self-forgetful, self-emptying love to live out lives as faithful spouses and if children, generous and devoted parents; Eucharist: the body, blood, soul, and divinity are not meant to be for our own benefit only but to strengthen us to bear fruit for the Kingdom in terms of nurturing other members of the mystical body of Christ, and in terms of leading others into the mystical body of Christ through teaching the Gospel in word and deed
    3) Both come with sanctifying grace: Marriage: those called to this vocation receive the sanctifying grace in persevering in love (in thought, prayer, word, and action) in fulfillment of their vows; Eucharist: those who step forward to receive Christ receive sanctifying grace in fulfillment with Christ's promise, unless you eat of my body and drink my blood you will not have eternal life. Eternal life requires sanctifying grace.
    4) Both are signs of the Faithfulness of God: Marriage: Only with God's grace is a couple faithful to each other, and without the love and grace of God, and I would add fruitful intercession of the Blessed Mother it would be impossible, or extremely difficult; Eucharist: This is the remembrance and non-bloody, sacrifice of Our Lord's Faithfulness to save us from our sinfulness and the justice due for ours and our parents' sins

    I wouldn't have thought of it myself, but I love the dying to self stuff too. This was straight off the top of my head without pulling out the Catechism or searching for something from Scott Hahn. Which was tough but only fair to play by the rules. This was fun.

  17. Whoops -- I guess I miscounted there are two 3s.

  18. Glad to hear you celebrated mass, Gwen. Would be interested if anything struck you as moving or powerful whether in the mass itself or in the congregation as they celebrated? Did you get a sense of unity? Peace? Joy? Solemnity?

  19. Love.

    The sacrament of Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy matrimony are related mainly because they both embody the love of God.

    When Jesus says "There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John, 15:13) he simply wasn't speaking literally and prophetically about his own passion and death, but figuratively as well.

    Where Jesus not only suffered, died on a cross and descended into Hell, he first gave his body and blood to everyone, so that their sins could be forgiven, and so that we can live in eternity with God and Christ. In the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist we receive the body and blood of Christ, we receive that perfect love.

    A husband and wife give each other not only their own bodies, but their own souls, their sufferings and sacrifices, their wants and desires, and yes, even their sins. And as a husband or a wife, we receive all of that and more when we are united in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Marriage is about being willing to give up EVERYTHING in order to help our spouse receive the gift of eternity with God and Christ.

    It's as close to "perfect love" as we humans can get, and even though we fall far short of Jesus' example, the relation to the Eucharist is undeniable.

    So that's my answer, Holy Eucharist and Holy Matrimony are related in love, out of love and because of LOVE.

    And please tell Stacy, that I've been thinking about her and praying for her. I've tried to get on and read some of the comments, but I get so overwhelmed (and when I get overwhelmed I get angry and emotional, even when not pregnant) and at the moment the less stress the better. At least until the baby comes.

  20. The Eucharist and Marriage are both Sacraments, and not only that, but they are Sacraments of Community. The Eucharist is Christ's flesh, blood, soul, and divinity gift to us, to live in community with him. In marriage, we give ourselves to our spouse as free gifts, to live in a community of life and love. Both Sacraments give us grace to live our lives and accept more grace from God.

  21. I, too, would love to hear Gwen's honest perspective. It would also be interesting to know how orthodox the church is that she attended, although she might not be able to tell, and, out of respect for that parish, its identity should remain anonymous.

    The reason I mention that is because once I visited a church whose priest delivered what I've referred to as a "drive thru" Mass: it was rushed, with little reflection, with an overall lack of spirituality, almost bordering on irreverant. Even as someone who is not a devout Catholic along the lines of most of the people who visit this blog, I could see how poorly the Mass was said and I was so turned off. I'd hate for anyone non-Catholic or non-religious to have attended that church as their first/only time attending a Mass, as they would have come away with the wrong impression.

    Mirror that Mass with ones provided by the young, orthodox priest at my parish and there is no comparison.


  22. The Eucharist and Holy Matrimony are most similar because of their ability to bring humans into a physical and spiritual communion with God: the Eucharist through the body and blood of Christ and Holy Matrimony through being joined and bonded to a spouse.
    Another way in which they are similar and beautiful Sacraments is that they are equally personal and shared with the community. They are personal because as we receive each Sacrament, we enter into a very personal relationship in that moment with God and/or our spouse. They are shared with the community in many ways - by receiving the Eucharist, we become one with the body of Christ. We also frequently receive the Sacrament along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, we are also usually in the presence of our community of loved ones, who we rely upon to help that Sacrament grow in holiness.
    Additionally, in receiving each of these Sacraments we become better prepared to act as Christians among our community - bringing the good news to others as Christ lives in us, and showing how the love of God is alive and growing in our marriages.

    Finally, the Eucharist and Holy Matrimony because both Sacraments teach us how to be truly OPEN TO LIFE (in ways even the other Sacraments cannot)!

  23. YEA!!! I love quiz shows!!!!

    1) Both Sacraments

    2) Both unite- Eucharist unites God and man,
    as well as body of Christ within itself and Marriage unites man and woman.

    3) Both involve one flesh union- man and woman through the marital act and the Eucharist as Christ gives us His flesh.

    4) Both involve a wedding of sorts. The Eucharist is the marriage feast as the Bridegroom gives Himself completely to His bride (the Church) and she receives Him wholly. The same is true within a marriage- the bridegroom gives himself wholly to his bride who receives him wholly.

    5) Both are life-giving. The marital act gives life to the marriage and, God willing, children. The Eucharist gives Life to the Church. Both "impregnate" their bride.

    6) Both are a renewal of committment. The Eucharist obeys the command to do this in remembrance of me and renews the new and everlasting Covenant. The marriage act renews the wedding vows.

    7) Both involve a TOTAL, FAITHFUL, FRUITFUL LOVE. They hold nothing back. They give and receive completely.

    8) Both nourish and sustain us!

    GREAT question, Leila! Can't wait to read the other answers. I know these quiz shows take a lot of time from you. Thanks for hosting! They're so fun!

  24. Wow! I am super impressed by all the answers. It looks like it is going to be a tight competition for those gorgeous rosaries. Great job everyone :) and Gwen, I am so happy to hear that you decided to check out daily mass. I too would like to hear your perspective on the experience.

  25. OK there are already a bunch of answers and I noticed that some are long (although I did not read them yet, of course, because I thought I was going to post an answer ;)) so I am probably too late but here's my answer:

  26. ps - I would have said more if 1) there weren't already so many answers ;) and 2) I wasn't so tired. And maybe a little lazy...maybe...
    my eyesight seems to be going, too - can I get a sympathy award or something? hahahahahaha

  27. brain too friend to even begin to think on this one.....

  28. that was beautiful, Bethany! Thank God for the Eucharist! Leila, after I posted my answer I went back and read your entire post and saw where you said, "no cheating". I used the CCC so I think maybe I am disqualified...

  29. During the consecration at each Mass, a simple piece of bread literally becomes the flesh of Christ. His divinity and humanity are hidden under the appearance of simple bread, but He is truly present.
    In the sacrament of marriage, God spiritually binds the couple, and their souls are forever entwined. On the outside, they may look like an ordinary married couple, but when they join in the sacrament of marriage by the grace of God, something greater happens beneath the surface.
    Christ gives us His physical body in the Eucharist, and we are able to unite physically with Christ whenever we go to Communion. We are given graces we need to follow Christ in our daily lives.
    In the sacrament of marriage, husband and wife come together as one body, and when they do, they are showered with graces and strengthened in their marriage vows.
    Finally, Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross for our sins, and He is the ultimate example of self giving. He gives himself to us again and again each time we receive the Eucharist no matter how we have sinned or acted in a way so undeserving of His eternal love.
    Similarly, we, as married people, are called to give ourselves over and over again to our spouses even when we feel that they do not deserve it. We are called to make the choice to love our spouse every day through our words and actions even when it requires self sacrifice.
    Both marriage and the Eucharist are sacraments which are physical signs of God's grace, and when experienced authentically as God intended, both of these sacraments strengthen our souls and prepare us to spend Eternity with God in Heaven.

  30. Hmm, thinking maybe I should attend Sunday service as well before putting together my impressions. I will definitely keep you updated on the experience Leila.


  31. Wow! The comments are all quite impressive! The answer Lauren gave is probably my favorite. Since everyone has taken all the really good answers I’ll just add a detail. The Eucharist and Marriage both require our fiat to receive them.

  32. Both the Eucharist and marriage are sacraments established by Christ for his church.

    They both represent dying to self for the love of another. Jesus Christ literally died for us on the cross and before he died he instituted the Eucharist as a way for us to remember him and unit with him. The Eucharist unites the Church with him each time it is celebrated and consumed.

    Marriage represents dying to self as you make small and large sacrifices for your spouse, the one you love. Marriage is also unitive in the conjugal act. Marriage is between one man and one woman and symbolizes Christ's (male) unity with the Church (female).

    That's my answer. I hope I did OK... I'm still learning! Now I'll go read the others! :) I didn't want to accidentally copy anyone's answer.

  33. Man alive. You're all way too smart for me!

  34. I keep meaning to post and get sidetracked. So here's a post and run! :) When the priest lifts the Host and says, "This is my body, given up for you... " I find my thoughts almost always think of marriage, especially the sacrificial elements... of how we pledge ourselves to one another and give ourselves to one another. The scripture, I believe it's in Romans, talks about how the wife's body does not belong to herself but to her husband, and the husband's belongs to the wife. Of course, this submission is something we freely choose. In the Eucharist, Christ gives himself to us. When receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we freely accept that gift and also give of ourselves all we have (hopefully). And in receiving Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, we receive new spiritual life.

    In marriage, we freely give God and each other our bodies (and our full selves really), not just sexually but in a day-to-day dying to self. Like Jesus' death, our dying to self in marriage brings forth new life (spiritual benefits for ourselves and each other, physical life, etc).

    Receiving the Eucharist is also about union. Jesus of course, gives Himself to us for our benefit but also just because He just loves us and wants to be with us. Marriage too, is about union. The union of two individuals who love each other and chose each other because, well, we just wanted to. Of course, both forms of union respect the dignity of the individual and even enhance each individual's personhood. I don't get swallowed up by my husband and Jesus doesn't turn me into a robot.

    Ultimately, the Eucharist is God, the Source of Love, and the source of graces for us fragile humans to begin to love as He loves. In experiencing and contemplating union with God through the Eucharist, we grow in our own love of God and each other.

  35. I would LOVE to see a guest post on Gwen's perspective on the Mass, for sure... especially things that really stood our to her. I would also recommend checking out Sunday Mass... I find sometimes that daily Mass can be rushed, especially if it's in a place where people have to get to work!

  36. Gwen,
    Oh yes Please give us your honest atheist opinion on daily Mass and Sunday Mass.. I am really interested in hearing your impressions, good or bad. Was this your first time at a catholic Mass??


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