Monday, October 31, 2016

Sexual Relationship is a Sacrament

Sex, sexuality, relationships have always been ideas and themes which interested people in every time, culture, religion, society. Christianity can be quite open about it, but at times we do see that it is very conservative in explaining sex, in understanding it or in accepting it for its members, especially when this is done outside of marriage. However, the fact that Christ performed his first miracle at a wedding, even the fact that he was present at one signifies that God accepts marriage and considers sexual relationship as a sacrament. Philip Sherrard expands on this in his book Christianity and Eros, where he writes:

‘The idea of the sexual relationship as a sacrament is of course affirmed by the Christian Church. It is the corner-stone of the Christian conception of marriage. It is understood that Christ’s presence at the marriage in Cana and the fact that it was there that he performed his first miracle implies that God not only approves of marriage but also gives it his special blessing. If it is asked why such a dignity has been conferred on marriage the answer generally given is that there are two main reasons to account for it. The first is that it unites man and woman and that this union has a sacred significance. Here the traditional authority is St Paul. In the Epistle to the Ephesians (5.31-2), it is indicated that in marriage man and woman become one flesh and that this great mystery corresponds to the relationship between Christ and the Church. Marriage – the union of man and woman – symbolises the union of Christ and the Church and so is sacred. The second main reason for regarding marriage as sacred is that it is the established institution for the procreation of children. God said to our forefathers: ‘Be fruitful and multiply’; and this is taken to mean that he wanted Adam and Eve to have children and must therefore regard the procreation of children by husband and wife as a holy procedure under all circumstances. It follows that marriage, through which man and woman become husband and wife, must also be holy, provided that the Church gives it her blessing.’ (pp.3-4).

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