Robert L. Fastiggi
From What the Church Teaches About Sex: God's Plan For Human Happiness
Getting married is certainly a "rite of passage," but it's much more. It is a sacrament, a holy mystery, "an efficacious sign instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is entrusted to us." One of the most beautiful prayers in the "Rite of Marriage," is the nuptial blessing given by the priest that says:
Marriage is a sacred mystery that symbolizes the covenantal love between Christ and His Church (cf. Eph. 5:21-32). It is a primordial blessing that goes back to the creation of the human race. The dynamics of this blessing should be obvious: love, intimacy, communion, and fruitfulness. So precious are these gifts that God preserved them for humanity even after the fall.Father, You have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and His Church.
Father, by your plan man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away by the flood.