Christian Marriage -Tertullian

Christian Marriage -Tertullian

From a letter by Tertullian, an Early Church Father, to his wife, ca. 202 AD, illustrating the great esteem for the sacrament of holy marriage in the days of the early Catholic Church.

How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.

They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.

They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.

Side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.

Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not.

This selection comes from the second chapter of Tertullian’s letter to his wife (Ad Uxorem 2) written areound the year 202 AD.   The Latin text can be found in Migne, PL 1: 1273ff.  For more information on this work of Tertullian , see http://www.tertullian.org/works/ad_uxorem.htm

For more resources on Marriage, visit the SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY library of the Crossroads Initiative.

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