Matrimony as creative union : A liturgical theology drawn from The Order of Celebrating Matrimony

PhD Thesis

McGrath, David Patrick. (2022). Matrimony as creative union : A liturgical theology drawn from The Order of Celebrating Matrimony [PhD Thesis]. Australian Catholic University
AuthorsMcGrath, David Patrick
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

In 1981 Pope John Paul II exhorted the Church to develop new and better programs of marriage preparation, including the use of the marriage liturgy as an effective educational and spiritual resource, to enable the bride and bridegroom to receive greater benefit from the celebration of this sacrament. Innovative programs of marriage preparation have been developed; however, the Australian statistics since 1981 indicate that many Catholics have turned away both from marriage as institution and marriage as sacrament.
Enabling couples to receive greater benefit from the celebration of the sacrament of matrimony implies the need to assist them to recover a sense of the power and relevance of sacraments in general. A fuller comprehension of the principle of sacramentality can provide a meaningful context for enriching understandings of the sacramental system in general and sacramental marriage in particular.
Elements of Kevin Irwin’s liturgical-sacramental method are employed to develop a contemporary sacramental theology of matrimony derived from The Order of Celebrating Matrimony (2015). In Irwin’s method of liturgical theology, the Church’s liturgy (lex orandi), influences what the faithful believe (lex credendi), and both of these influence the lived reality of a sacrament (lex vivendi). A contemporary theology derived from the rite, and particularly from its teaching that matrimony derives its force and strength from creation, discloses that matrimony, like the Eucharist, can motivate us to be stewards of all creation.
Since dialogue between theology and science has the potential to produce a fruitful synthesis, the theology derived from the rite is assessed in dialogue with key contemporary social scientific research. Findings from social psychology, which seek to identify why marriages succeed or fail, and from the burgeoning field of positive psychology, which seek to identify the qualities that contribute to human flourishing, are presented in dialogue with the theology revealed in The Order of Celebrating Matrimony (2015).

Keywordsmatrimony; marriage; sacrament; creation; liturgical theology; social psychology
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Page range1-271
Final version
File Access Level
Supplementary Files (Layperson Summary)
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication process dates
Completed22 Jun 2022
Deposited25 Oct 2022
Permalink -

Restricted files

Supplementary Files (Layperson Summary)

Final version

  • 24
    total views
  • 2
    total downloads
  • 2
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as