1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by christ the lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
1661 The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of christ and the church.  it gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which christ has loved his church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf. council of trent: ds 1799).


(excerpts taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; copyright © 1994 Concacan Inc., Canada)