QUESTION 64: OF THE THINGS ANNEXED TO MARRIAGE, AND FIRST OF THE PAYMENT OF THE MARRIAGE DEBT
In the next place we must consider those things which are annexed to
marriage: (1) the payment of the marriage debt; (2) plurality of wives;
(3) bigamy; (4) the bill of divorce; (5) illegitimate children.
Under the first head there are ten points of inquiry:
(1) Whether one spouse is bound to pay the marriage debt to the other?
(2) Whether one is sometimes bound to pay without being asked?
(3) Whether a wife may demand the debt during the menses?
(4) Whether she is bound to pay it at that time?
(5) Whether husband and wife are equal in this matter?
(6) Whether the one without the other's consent may take a vow that
prohibits the payment of the debt?
(7) Whether it is forbidden to ask for the debt at any particular time?
(8) Whether it is a mortal sin to ask for it at a holy time?
(9) Whether it is an obligation to pay it at the time of a festival?
(10) Whether weddings should be forbidden at certain times?
Article 1: Whether husband and wife are mutually bound to the payment of the marriage debt?
Objection 1: It would seem that husband and wife are not mutually bound, under
the obligation of a precept, to the payment of the marriage debt. For no
one is forbidden to receive the Eucharist on account of fulfilling a
precept. Yet he who has had intercourse with his wife cannot partake of
the flesh of the Lamb according to Jerome [*Serm. de Esu Agni viii]
quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 32). Therefore the payment of the debt
does not come under the obligation of a precept.
Objection 2: Further, it is lawful to everyone to abstain from what is hurtful
to his person. But it is sometimes harmful to a person to pay the debt
when asked, whether on account of sickness, or because they have already
paid it. Therefore it would seem allowable to refuse the one who asks.
Objection 3: Further, it is a sin to render oneself unfit to fulfill an
obligation of precept. If, therefore, the payment of the debt comes under
the obligation of a precept, it would seem sinful to render oneself unfit
for paying the debt, by fasting or otherwise weakening the body: but
apparently this is untrue.
Objection 4: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 12), marriage
is directed to the begetting and rearing of children, as well as to the
community of life. Now leprosy is opposed to both these ends of marriage,
for since it is a contagious disease, the wife is not bound to cohabit
with a leprous husband; and besides this disease is often transmitted to
the offspring. Therefore it would seem that a wife is not bound to pay
the debt to a leprous husband.
On the contrary, As the slave is in the power of his master, so is one
spouse in the power of the other (1 Cor. 7:4). But a slave is bound by an
obligation of precept to pay his master the debt of his service according
to Rm. 13:7, "Render . . . to all men their dues, tribute to whom tribute
is due," etc. Therefore husband and wife are mutually bound to the
payment of the marriage debt.
Further, marriage is directed to the avoiding of fornication (1 Cor. 7:2). But this could not be the effect of marriage, if the one were not
bound to pay the debt to the other when the latter is troubled with
concupiscence. Therefore the payment of the debt is an obligation of
I answer that, Marriage was instituted especially as fulfilling an
office of nature. Wherefore in its act the movement of nature must be
observed according to which the nutritive power administers to the
generative power that alone which is in excess of what is required for
the preservation of the individual: for the natural order requires that a
thing should be first perfected in itself, and that afterwards it should
communicate of its perfection to others: and this is also the order of
charity which perfects nature. And therefore, since the wife has power
over her husband only in relation to the generative power and not in
relation to things directed to the preservation of the individual, the
husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife, in matters pertaining to
the begetting of children, with due regard however to his own welfare.
Reply to Objection 1: It is possible through fulfilling a precept to render
oneself unfit for the exercise of a sacred duty: thus a judge becomes
irregular by sentencing a man to death. In like manner he who pays the
marriage debt, in fulfillment of the precept, becomes unfit for the
exercise of divine offices, not because the act in question is sinful,
but on account of its carnal nature. And so, according to the Master
(Sent. iv, D, 32), Jerome is speaking only of the ministers of the
Church, and not of others who should be left to use their own discretion,
because without sin they may either abstain out of reverence or receive
Christ's body out of devotion.
Reply to Objection 2: The wife has no power over her husband's body, except as is
consistent with the welfare of his person, as stated above. Wherefore if
she go beyond this in her demands, it is not a request for the debt, but
an unjust exaction; and for this reason the husband is not bound to
Reply to Objection 3: If the husband be rendered incapable of paying the debt
through a cause consequent upon marriage, for instance through having
already paid the debt and being unable to pay it, the wife has no right
to ask again, and in doing so she behaves as a harlot rather than as a
wife. But if he be rendered incapable through some other cause, then if
this be a lawful cause, he is not bound, and she cannot ask, but if it be
an unlawful cause, then he sins, and his wife's sin, should she fall into
fornication on this account, is somewhat imputable to him. Hence he
should endeavor to do his best that his wife may remain continent.
Reply to Objection 4: Leprosy voids a betrothal but not a marriage. Wherefore a
wife is bound to pay the debt even to a leprous husband. But she is not
bound to cohabit with him, because she is not so liable to infection from
marital intercourse as from continual cohabitation. And though the child
begotten of them be diseased, it is better to be thus than not at all.
Article 2: Whether a husband is bound to pay the debt if his wife does not ask for it?
Objection 1: It would seem that the husband is not bound to pay the marriage
debt if his wife does not ask for it. For an affirmative precept is
binding only at a certain time. But the time fixed for the payment of the
debt can only be when it is asked for. Therefore he is not bound to
Objection 2: Further, we ought to presume the better things of everyone. Now
even for married people it is better to be continent than to make use of
marriage. Therefore unless she ask expressly for the debt, the husband
should presume that it pleases her to be continent, and so he is not
bound to pay her the debt.
Objection 3: Further, as the wife has power over her husband, so has a master
over his slave. Now a slave is not bound to serve his master save when
the latter commands him. Therefore neither is a husband bound to pay the
debt to his wife except when she demands it.
Objection 4: Further, the husband can sometimes request his wife not to exact
the debt when she asks for it. Much more therefore may he not pay it when
he is not asked.
On the contrary, By the payment of the debt a remedy is afforded against
the wife's concupiscence. Now a physician who has the care of a sick
person is bound to remedy the disease without being asked. Therefore the
husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife although she ask not for it.
Further, a superior is bound to apply a remedy for the sins of his
subjects even though they rebel against it. But the payment of the debt
on the husband's part is directed against the sins of his wife. Therefore
sometimes the husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife even though
she ask it not of him.
I answer that, The debt may be demanded in two ways. First, explicitly,
as when they ask one another by words; secondly, implicitly, when namely
the husband knows by certain signs that the wife would wish him to pay
the debt, but is silent through shame. And so even though she does not
ask for the debt explicitly in words, the husband is bound to pay it,
whenever his wife shows signs of wishing him to do so.
Reply to Objection 1: The appointed time is not only when it is demanded but also
when on account of certain signs there is fear of danger (to avoid which
is the purpose of the payment of the debt) unless it be paid then.
Reply to Objection 2: The husband may presume this of his wife when he perceives
in her no signs of the contrary; but it would be foolish of him to admit
this presumption if he does see such signs.
Reply to Objection 3: The master is not ashamed to demand of his slave the duty
of his service, as a wife is to ask the marriage debt of her husband. Yet
if the master were not to demand it, either through ignorance or some
other cause, the slave would nevertheless be bound to fulfill his duty,
if some danger were threatening. For this is what is meant by "not
serving to the eye" (Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22) which is the Apostle's command
Reply to Objection 4: A husband should not dissuade his wife from asking for the
debt, except for a reasonable cause; and even then he should not be too
insistent, on account of the besetting danger.
Article 3: Whether it is allowable for a menstruous wife to ask for the marriage debt?
Objection 1: It would seem lawful for a menstruous wife to ask for the
marriage debt. For in the Law a man who had an issue of seed was unclean,
even as a menstruous woman. Yet a man who has an issue of seed may ask
for the debt. Therefore a menstruous wife may also.
Objection 2: Further, leprosy is a worse complaint than suffering from monthly
periods, and would seem to cause a greater corruption in the offspring.
Yet a leper can ask for the debt. Therefore, etc.
Objection 3: Further, if a menstruous wife is not allowed to ask for the debt,
this can only be because it is feared this may be detrimental to the
offspring. Yet if the wife be unfruitful there is no such fear.
Therefore, seemingly, at least an unfruitful wife may ask for the debt
during her menses.
On the contrary, "Thou shalt not approach to a woman having her flowers"
(Lev. 18:19) where Augustine observes: "Although he has already
sufficiently forbidden this he repeats the prohibition here lest he seem
to have spoken figuratively."
Further, "All our justices" are become "as the rag of a menstruous
woman" (Is. 64:6) where Jerome observes: "Men ought then to keep away
from their wives because thus is a deformed blind lame leprous offspring
conceived: so that those parents who are not ashamed to come together in
sexual intercourse have their sin made obvious to all": and thus the same
I answer that, It was forbidden in the Law to approach to a menstruous
woman, for two reasons both on account of her uncleanness, and on account
of the harm that frequently resulted to the offspring from such
intercourse. With regard to the first reason, it was a ceremonial
precept, but with regard to the second it was a moral precept. For since
marriage is chiefly directed to the good of the offspring, all use of
marriage which is intended for the good of the offspring is in order.
Consequently this precept is binding even in the New Law on account of
the second reason, although not on account of the first. Now, the
menstrual issue may be natural or unnatural. The natural issue is that to
which women are subject at stated periods when they are in good health;
and it is unnatural when they suffer from an issue of blood through some
disorder resulting from sickness. Accordingly if the menstrual flow be
unnatural it is not forbidden in the New Law to approach to a menstruous
woman both on account of her infirmity since a woman in that state
cannot conceive, and because an issue of this kind is lasting and
continuous, so that the husband would have to abstain for always. When
however the woman is subject to a natural issue of the menstruum, she can
conceive; moreover, the said issue lasts only a short time, wherefore it
is forbidden to approach to her. In like manner a woman is forbidden to
ask for the debt during the period of that issue.
Reply to Objection 1: The issue of seed in a man is the result of infirmity, nor
is the seed in this case apt for generation. Moreover a complaint of this
kind is continual or lasting like leprosy: wherefore the comparison falls.
This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.
Reply to Objection 3: As long as a woman is subject to the menses it cannot be
certain that she is sterile. For some are sterile in youth, and in course
of time become fruitful, and "vice versa," as the Philosopher observes
(De Gener. Anim. xvi).
Article 4: Whether a menstruous woman should or may lawfully pay the marriage debt to her husband if he ask for it? [*This and the previous article are omitted in the Leonine edition.]
Objection 1: It would seem that a menstruous wife may not pay the marriage
debt to her husband at his asking. For it is written (Lev. 20:18) that if
any man approach to a menstruous woman both shall be put to death.
Therefore it would seem that both he who asks and she who grants are
guilty of mortal sin.
Objection 2: Further, "Not only they that do them but they also that consent
to them are worthy of death" (Rm. 1:32). Now he who knowingly asks for
the debt from a menstruous woman sins mortally. Therefore she also sins
mortally by consenting to pay the debt.
Objection 3: Further, a madman must not be given back his sword lest he kill
himself or another. Therefore in like manner neither should a wife give
her body to her husband during her menses, lest he be guilty of spiritual
On the contrary, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the
husband" (1 Cor. 7:4). Therefore at his asking his wife must pay the debt
even during her menses.
Further, the menstruous wife should not be an occasion of sin to her
husband. But she would give her husband an occasion of sin, if she paid
him not the debt at his asking; since he might commit fornication.
I answer that, In this regard some have asserted that a menstruous woman
may not pay the debt even as she may not ask for it. For just as she
would not be bound to pay it if she had some personal ailment so as to
make it dangerous for herself, so is she not bound to pay for fear of
danger to the offspring. But this opinion would seem to derogate from
marriage, by which the husband is given entire power of his wife's body
with regard to the marriage act. Nor is there any parallel between bodily
affliction of the offspring and the danger to her own body: since, if the
wife be ailing, it is quite certain that she would be endangered by the
carnal act, whereas this is by no means so certain with regard to the
offspring which perhaps would not be forthcoming.
Wherefore others say that a menstruous woman is never allowed to ask for
the debt; and that if her husband ask, he does so either knowingly or in
ignorance. If knowingly, she ought to dissuade him by her prayers and
admonitions; yet not so insistently as possibly to afford him an occasion
of falling into other, and those sinful, practices, if he be deemed that
way inclined. If however, he ask in ignorance, the wife may put forward
some motive, or allege sickness as a reason for not paying the debt,
unless there be fear of danger to her husband. If, however, the husband
ultimately persists in his request, she must yield to his demand. But it
would not be safe for her to make known [*"Indicare," as in the
commentary on the Sentences; the Leonine edition reads "judicare."] her
disaffection, lest this make her husband entertain a repulsion towards
her, unless his prudence may be taken for granted.
Reply to Objection 1: This refers to the case when both willingly consent, but
not when the woman pays the debt by force as it were.
Reply to Objection 2: Since there is no consent without the concurrence of the
will, the woman is not deemed to consent in her husband's sin unless she
pay the debt willingly. For when she is unwilling she is passive rather
Reply to Objection 3: A madman should be given back his sword if a greater danger
were feared from its not being returned to him: and thus it is in the
case in point.
Article 5: Whether husband and wife are equal in the marriage act?
Objection 1: It would seem that husband and wife are not equal in the marriage
act. For according to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xii) the agent is more
noble than the patient. But in the marriage act the husband is as agent
and the wife as patient. Therefore they are not equal in that act.
Objection 2: Further, the wife is not bound to pay her husband the debt
without being asked; whereas he is so bound, as stated above (Articles ,2).
Therefore they are not equal in the marriage act.
Objection 3: Further, the woman was made on the man's account in reference to
marriage according to Gn. 2:18, "Let us make him a help like unto
himself." But that on account of which another thing is, is always the
principal. Therefore, etc.
Objection 4: Further, marriage is chiefly directed to the marriage act. But in
marriage "the husband is the head of the wife" (Eph. 5:23). Therefore
they are not equal in the aforesaid act.
On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 7:4): "The husband . . . hath not
power of his own body," and the same is said of the wife. Therefore they
are equal in the marriage act.
I answer that, Equality is twofold, of quantity and of proportion.
Equality of quantity is that which is observed between two quantities of
the same measure, for instance a thing two cubits long and another two
cubits in length. But equality of proportion is that which is observed
between two proportions of the same kind as double to double.
Accordingly, speaking of the first equality, husband and wife are not
equal in marriage; neither as regards the marriage act, wherein the more
noble part is due to the husband, nor as regards the household
management, wherein the wife is ruled and the husband rules. But with
reference to the second kind of equality, they are equal in both matters,
because just as in both the marriage act and in the management of the
household the husband is bound to the wife in all things pertaining to
the husband, so is the wife bound to the husband in all things pertaining
to the wife. It is in this sense that it is stated in the text (Sent. iv,
D, 32) that they are equal in paying and demanding the debt.
Reply to Objection 1: Although it is more noble to be active than passive, there
is the same proportion between patient and passivity as between agent and
activity; and accordingly there is equality of proportion between them.
Reply to Objection 2: This is accidental. For the husband having the more noble
part in the marriage act, it is natural that he should be less ashamed
than the wife to ask for the debt. Hence it is that the wife is not bound
to pay the debt to her husband without being asked, whereas the husband
is bound to pay it to the wife.
Reply to Objection 3: This proves that they are not equal absolutely, but not
that they are not equal in proportion.
Reply to Objection 4: Although the head is the principal member, yet just as the
members are bound to the head in their own respective capacities, so is
the head in its own capacity bound to the members: and thus there is
equality of proportion between them.
Article 6: Whether husband and wife can take a vow contrary to the marriage debt without their mutual consent?
Objection 1: It would seem that husband and wife may take a vow contrary to
the marriage debt without their mutual consent. For husband and wife are
equally bound to pay the debt, as stated above (Article ). Now it is lawful
for the husband, even if his wife be unwilling, to take the cross in
defense of the Holy Land: and consequently this is also lawful to the
wife. Therefore, since this prevents the payment of the debt, either
husband or wife may without the other's consent take the aforesaid vow.
Objection 2: Further, in taking a vow one should not await the consent of
another who cannot dissent without sin. Now the husband or wife cannot,
without sin, refuse their consent to the other's taking a vow of
continence whether absolutely or for a time; because to prevent a
person's spiritual progress is a sin against the Holy Ghost. Therefore
the one can take a vow of continence either absolutely or for a time,
without the other's consent.
Objection 3: Further, in the marriage act, the debt has to be demanded just as
it has to be paid. Now the one can, without the other's consent, vow not
to demand the debt, since in this he is within his own rights. Therefore
he can equally take a vow not to pay the debt.
Objection 4: Further, no one can be bound by the command of a superior to do
what he cannot lawfully vow or do simply, since one must not obey in what
is unlawful. Now the superior authority might command the husband not to
pay the debt to his wife for a time, by occupying him in some service.
Therefore he might, of his own accord, do or vow that which would hinder
him from paying the debt.
On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 7:5): "Defraud not one another,
except . . . by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to
Further, no one can vow that which belongs to another. Now "the husband
. . . hath not power of his own body, but the wife" (1 Cor. 7:4).
Therefore, without her consent, the husband cannot take a vow of
continence whether absolutely or for a time.
I answer that, A vow is a voluntary act, as its very name implies: and
consequently a vow can only be about those goods which are subject to our
will, and those in which one person is bound to another do not come under
this head. Therefore in matters of this kind one person cannot take a vow
without the consent of the one to whom he is bound. Consequently, since
husband and wife are mutually bound as regards the payment of the debt
which is an obstacle to continence, the one cannot vow continence without
the other's consent; and if he take the vow he sins, and must not keep
the vow, but must do penance for an ill-taken vow [*Cf. Question , Articles ,4;
Question , Article ].
Reply to Objection 1: It is sufficiently probable that the wife ought to be
willing to remain continent for a time, in order to succor the need of
the universal Church. Hence in favor of the business for which the cross
is given to him, it is laid down that the husband may take the cross
without his wife's consent, even as he might go fighting without the
consent of his landlord whose land he has leased. And yet the wife is not
entirely deprived of her right, since she can follow him. Nor is there a
parallel between wife and husband: because, since the husband has to rule
the wife and not "vice versa," the wife is bound to follow her husband
rather than the husband the wife. Moreover there would be more danger to
the wife's chastity as a result of wandering from country to country,
than to the husband's, and less profit to the Church. Wherefore the wife
cannot take this vow without her husband's consent.
Reply to Objection 2: The one spouse, by refusing to consent to the other's vow
of continence, does not sin, because the object of his dissent is to
hinder not the other's good, but the harm to himself.
Reply to Objection 3: There are two opinions on this point. For some say that one
can without the other's consent vow not to demand the debt, not however
not to pay it, because in the former case they are both within their own
rights, but not in the second. Seeing, however, that if one were never to
ask for the debt, marriage would become too burdensome to the other who
would always have to undergo the shame of asking for the debt, others
assert with greater probability that neither vow can be lawfully taken by
one spouse without the other's consent.
Reply to Objection 4: Just as the wife receives power over her husband's body,
without prejudice to the husband's duty to his own body, so also is it
without prejudice to his duty to his master. Hence just as a wife cannot
ask her husband for the debt to the detriment of his bodily health, so
neither can she do this so as to hinder him in his duty to his master.
And yet the master cannot for this reason prevent her from paying the
Article 7: Whether it is forbidden to demand the debt on holy days?
Objection 1: It would seem that a person ought not to be forbidden to ask for
the debt on holy days. For the remedy should be applied when the disease
gains strength. Now concupiscence may possibly gain strength on a feast
day. Therefore the remedy should be applied then by asking for the debt.
Objection 2: Further, the only reason why the debt should not be demanded on
feast days is because they are devoted to prayer. Yet on those days
certain hours are appointed for prayer. Therefore one may ask for the
debt at some other time.
On the contrary, Just as certain places are holy because they are
devoted to holy things, so are certain times holy for the same reason.
But it is not lawful to demand the debt in a holy place. Therefore
neither is it lawful at a holy time.
I answer that, Although the marriage act is void of sin, nevertheless
since it oppresses the reason on account of the carnal pleasure, it
renders man unfit for spiritual things. Therefore, on those days when
one ought especially to give one's time to spiritual things, it is not
lawful to ask for the debt.
Reply to Objection 1: At such a time other means may be employed for the
repression of concupiscence; for instance, prayer and many similar
things, to which even those who observe perpetual continence have
Reply to Objection 2: Although one is not bound to pray at all hours, one is
bound throughout the day to keep oneself fit for prayer.
Article 8: Whether it is a mortal sin to ask for the debt at a holy time?
Objection 1: It would seem that it is a mortal sin to ask for the debt at a
holy time. For Gregory says (Dial. i) that the devil took possession of a
woman who had intercourse with her husband at night and came in the
morning to the procession. But this would not have happened had she not
sinned mortally. Therefore, etc.
Objection 2: Further, whoever disobeys a Divine command commits a mortal sin.
Now the Lord commanded (Ex. 19:15): "Come not near your wives," when
namely they were about to receive the Law. Much more therefore do
husbands sin mortally if they have intercourse with their wives at a time
when they should be intent on the sacred observances of the New Law.
On the contrary, No circumstance aggravates infinitely. But undue time
is a circumstance. Therefore it does not aggravate a sin infinitely, so
as to make mortal what was otherwise venial.
I answer that, To ask for the debt on a feast day is not a circumstance
drawing a sin into another species; wherefore it cannot aggravate
infinitely. Consequently a wife or husband does not sin mortally by
asking for the debt on a feast day. It is however a more grievous sin to
ask for the sake of mere pleasure, than through fear of the weakness of
Reply to Objection 1: This woman was punished not because she paid the debt, but
because afterwards she rashly intruded into the divine service against
Reply to Objection 2: The authority quoted shows not that it is a mortal sin but
that it is unbecoming. For under the Old Law which was given to a carnal
people many things were required under an obligation of precept, for the
sake of bodily cleanness, which are not required in the New Law which is
the law of the spirit.
Article 9: Whether one spouse is bound to pay the debt to the other at a festal time?
Objection 1: It would seem that neither are they bound to pay the debt at a
festal time. For those who commit a sin as well as those who consent
thereto are equally punished (Rm. 1:32). But the one who pays the debt
consents with the one that asks, who sins. Therefore he sins also.
Objection 2: Further, it is an affirmative precept that binds us to pray, and
therefore we are bound to do so at a fixed time. Therefore one ought not
to pay the debt at a time when one is bound to pray, as neither ought one
at a time when one is bound to fulfill a special duty towards a temporal
On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 7:5): "Defraud not one another,
except by consent, for a time," etc. Therefore when one spouse asks the
other must pay.
I answer that, Since the wife has power of her husband's body, and "vice
versa," with regard to the act of procreation, the one is bound to pay
the debt to the other, at any season or hour, with due regard to the
decorum required in such matters, for this must not be done at once
Reply to Objection 1: As far as he is concerned he does not consent, but grants
unwillingly and with grief that which is exacted of him; and consequently
he does not sin. For it is ordained by God, on account of the weakness of
the flesh, that the debt must always be paid to the one who asks lest he
be afforded an occasion of sin.
Reply to Objection 2: No hour is fixed for praying, but that compensation can be
made at some other hour; wherefore the argument is not cogent.
Article 10: Whether weddings should be forbidden at certain times?
Objection 1: It would seem that weddings ought not to be forbidden at certain
times. For marriage is a sacrament: and the celebration of the others
sacraments is not forbidden at those times. Therefore neither should the
celebration of marriage be forbidden then.
Objection 2: Further, asking for the marriage debt is more unbecoming on feast
days than the celebration of marriage. Yet the debt may be asked for on
those days. Therefore also marriages may be solemnized.
Objection 3: Further, marriages that are contracted in despite of the law of
the Church ought to be dissolved. Yet marriages are not dissolved if they
be contracted at those times. Therefore it should not be forbidden by a
commandment of the Church.
On the contrary, It is written (Eccles. 3:5): "A time to embrace, and a
time to be far from embraces."
I answer that, When the newly married spouse is given to her husband,
the minds of husband and wife are taken up with carnal preoccupations by
reason of the very newness of things, wherefore weddings are wont to be
signalized by much unrestrained rejoicing. On this account it is
forbidden to celebrate marriages at those times when men ought especially
to arise to spiritual things. Those times are from Advent until the
Epiphany because of the Communion which, according to the ancient Canons,
is wont to be made at Christmas (as was observed in its proper place, TP,
Question ), from Septuagesima until the octave day of Easter, on account of
the Easter Communion, and from the three days before the Ascension until
the octave day of Pentecost, on account of the preparation for Communion
to be received at that time.
Reply to Objection 1: The celebration of marriage has a certain worldly and
carnal rejoicing connected with it, which does not apply to the other
sacraments. Hence the comparison fails.
Reply to Objection 2: There is not such a distraction of minds caused by the
payment of a request for the debt as by the celebration of a marriage;
and consequently the comparison fails.
Reply to Objection 3: Since time is not essential to a marriage contracted within
the forbidden seasons, the marriage is nevertheless a true sacrament. Nor
is the marriage dissolved absolutely, but for a time, that they may do
penance for having disobeyed the commandment of the Church. It is thus
that we are to understand the statement of the Master (Sent. iv, D, 33),
namely that should a marriage have been contracted or a wedding
celebrated at the aforesaid times, those who have done so "ought to be
separated." Nor does he say this on his own authority, but in reference
to some canonical ordinance, such as that of the Council of Lerida, which
decision is quoted by the Decretals.