marriage \mar"riage\ (?), n. [oe. mariage, f. mariage. see marry, v. t.] 1. the act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony. marriage is honorable in all. xiii. 4. 2. the marriage vow or contract. [obs.] 3. a feast made on the occasion of a marriage. the kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which made a marriage for his son. xxii. 2. 4. any intimate or close union. marriage brokage. (a) the business of bringing about marriages. (b) the payment made or demanded for the procurement of a marriage. marriage favors, knots of white ribbons, or bunches of white flowers, worn at weddings. marriage settlement (law), a settlement of property in view, and in consideration, of marriage.
left-handed marriage mixed marriage jactitation of marriage kinship by marriage marriage brokage marriage favors marriage settlement
→ Its origin and history .-The institution of marriage dates from the time of man's original creation. (Genesis 2:18-25) From (Genesis 2:24) we may evolve the following principles: (1) The unity of man and wife, as implied in her being formed out of man. (2) The indissolubleness of the marriage bond, except on; the strongest grounds, Comp. (Matthew 19:9) (3) Monogamy, as the original law of marriage (4) The social equality of man and wife. (5) The subordination of the wife to the husband. (1 Corinthians 11:8,9; 1 Timothy 2:13) (6) The respective duties of man and wife. In the patriarchal age polygamy prevailed, (Genesis 16:4; 25:1,8; 28:9; 29:23,26; 1 Chronicles 7:14) but to a great extent divested of the degradation which in modern times attaches to that practice. Divorce also prevailed in the patriarchal age, though but one instance of it is recorded. (Genesis 21:14) The Mosaic law discouraged polygamy, restricted divorce, and aimed to enforce purity of life. It was the best civil law possible at the time, and sought to bring the people up to the pure standard of the moral law. In the Post-Babylonian period monogamy appears to have become more prevalent than at any previous time. The practice of polygamy nevertheless still existed; Herod the Great had no less than nine wives at one time. The abuse of divorce continued unabated. Our Lord and his apostles re-established the integrity and sanctity of the marriage bond by the following measures: (a) By the confirmation of the original charter of marriage as the basis on which all regulations were to be framed. (Matthew 19:4,5) (b) By the restriction of divorce to the case of fornication, and the prohibition of remarriage in all persons divorced on improper grounds. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Romans 7:3; 1 Corinthians 7:10,11) (c) By the enforcement of moral purity generally (Hebrews 13:4) etc., and especial formal condemnation of fornication. (Acts 15:20) → The conditions of legal marriage .-In the Hebrew commonwealth marriage was prohibited (a) between an Israelite and a non-Israelite. There were three grades of prohibition: total in regard to the Canaanites on either side; total on the side of the males in regard to the Ammonites and Moabites; and temporary on the side of the males in regard to the Edomites and Egyptians, marriages with females in the two latter instances being regarded as legal. The progeny of illegal marriages between Israelites and non-Israelites was described as "bastard." (23:2) (b) between an Israelite and one of his own community. The regulations relative to marriage between Israelites and Israelites were based on considerations of relationship. The most important passage relating to these is contained in (Leviticus 18:6-18) wherein we have in the first place a general prohibition against marriage between a man and the "flesh of his flesh," and in the second place special prohibitions against marriage with a mother, stepmother, sister or half-sister, whether "born at home or abroad," granddaughter, aunt, whether by consanguinity on either side or by marriage on the father's side, daughter in-law, brother's wife, stepdaughter, wife's mother, stepgranddaughter, or wife's sister during the lifetime of the wife. An exception is subsequently made, (26:5-9) in favor of marriage with a brother's wife in the event of his having died childless. The law which regulates this has been named the "levirate," from the Latin levir, "brother-in-law." → The modes by which marriage was effected .-The choice of the bride devolved not on the bridegroom himself, but on his relations or on a friend deputed by the bridegroom for this purpose. The consent of the maiden was sometimes asked (Genesis 24:58) but this appears to have been subordinate to the previous consent of the father and the adult brothers. (Genesis 24:51; 34:11) Occasionally the whole business of selecting the wife was left in the hands of a friend. The selection of the bride was followed by the espousal, which was a formal proceeding undertaken by a friend or legal representative on the part of the bridegroom and by the parents on the part of the bride; it was confirmed by oaths, and accompanied with presents to the bride. The act of betrothal was celebrated by a feast, and among the more modern Jews it is the custom in some parts for the bride. groom to place a ring on the bride's finger. The ring was regarded among the Hebrews as a token of fidelity (Genesis 41:42) and of adoption into a family. (Luke 15:25) Between the betrothal sad the marriage so interval elapsed, varying from a few days in the patriarchal age, (Genesis 24:55) to a full year for virgins and a month for widows in later times. During this period the bride-elect lived with her friends, and all communication between herself and her future husband was carried on through the medium of a friend deputed for the purpose, termed the "friend of the bridegroom." (John 3:29) She was now virtually regarded as the wife of her future husband; hence faithlessness on her part was punishable with death, (22:23,24) the husband having, however, the option of "putting her away." (24:1; Matthew 1:19) The essence of the marriage ceremony consisted in the removal of the bride from her father's house to that of the bridegroom or his father. The bridegroom prepared himself for the occasion by putting on a festive dress, and especially by placing on his head a handsome nuptial turban. (Psalms 45:8; Song of Solomon 4:10,11) The bride was veiled. Her robes were white, (Revelation 19:8) and sometimes embroidered with gold thread, (Psalms 45:13,14) and covered with perfumes! (Psalms 45:8) she was further decked out with jewels. (Isaiah 49:18; 61:10; Revelation 21:2) When the fixed hour arrived, which was, generally late in the evening, the bridegroom set forth from his house, attended by his groomsmen (Authorized Version "companions," (Judges 14:11) "children of the bride-chamber," (Matthew 9:15) preceded by a band of musicians or singers, (Genesis 31:27; Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9) and accompanied by persons hearing flambeaux, (Jeremiah 25:10) 2 Esdr. 10:2; (Matthew 25:7; Revelation 18:23) and took the bride with the friends to his own house. At the house a feast was prepared, to which all the friends and neighbors were invited, (Genesis 29:22; Matthew 22:1-10; Luke 14:8; John 2:2) and the festivities were protracted for seven or even fourteen days. (Judges 14:12; Job 8:19) The guests were provided by the host with fitting robes, (Matthew 22:11) and the feast was enlivened with riddles, (Judges 14:12) and other amusements. The last act in the ceremonial was the conducting of the bride to the bridal chamber, (Judges 15:1; Joel 2:16) where a canopy was prepared. (Psalms 19:5; Joel 2:16) The bride was still completely veiled, so that the deception practiced on Jacob, (Genesis 29:23) was not difficult. A newly married man was exempt from military service, or from any public business which might draw him away from his home, for the space of a year, (24:5) a similar privilege was granted to him who was 'betrothed. (20:7) → The social and domestic conditions of married life .-The wife must have exercised an important influence in her own home. She appears to have taken her part in family affairs, and even to have enjoyed a considerable amount of independence. (Judges 4:18; 1 Samuel 25:14; 2 Kings 4:8) etc. In the New Testament the mutual relations of husband and wife are a subject of frequent exhortation. (Ephesians 5:22,33; Colossians 3:18,19; Titus 2:4,5; 1 Peter 3:1-7) The duties of the wife in the Hebrew household were multifarious; in addition to the general superintendence of the domestic arrangements, such as cooking, from which even women of rank were not exempt. (Genesis 18:8; 2 Samuel 13:5) and the distribution of food at meal times, (Proverbs 31:13) the manufacture of the clothing and of the various fabrics required in her home devolved upon her, (Proverbs 31:13,21,22) and if she were a model of activity and skill, she produced a surplus of fine linen shirts and girdles, which she sold and so, like a well-freighted merchant ship, brought in wealth to her husband from afar. (Proverbs 31:14,24) The legal rights of the wife are noticed in (Exodus 21:10) under the three heads of food, raiment, and duty of marriage or conjugal right. → The allegorical and typical allusions to marriage have exclusive reference to one object, viz., to exhibit the spiritual relationship between God and his people. In the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:19) In the New Testament the image of the bridegroom is transferred from Jehovah to Christ, (Matthew 9:15; John 3:29) and that of the bride to the Church, (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7; 21:2,9)
Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.
Noun 1. the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce); "a long and happy marriage"; "God bless this union" (synonym) matrimony, union, spousal relationship, wedlock (hypernym) marital status (hyponym) bigamy (classification) law, jurisprudence 2. two people who are married to each other; "his second marriage was happier than the first"; "a married couple without love" (synonym) married couple, man and wife (hypernym) family, family unit (hyponym) mixed marriage (member-meronym) spouse, partner, married person, mate, better half 3. the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony; "their marriage was conducted in the chapel" (synonym) wedding, marriage ceremony (hypernym) ritual, rite (hyponym) bridal, espousal (derivation) marry, wed, tie, splice 4. a close and intimate union; "the marriage of music and dance"; "a marriage of ideas" (hypernym) union, unification
For a woman to dream that she marries an old, decrepit man, wrinkled face and gray headed, denotes she will have a vast amount of trouble and sickness to encounter. If, while the ceremony is in progress, her lover passes, wearing black and looking at her in a reproachful way, she will be driven to desperation by the coldness and lack of sympathy of a friend.
To dream of seeing a marriage, denotes high enjoyment, if the wedding guests attend in pleasing colors and are happy; if they are dressed in black or other somber hues, there will be mourning and sorrow in store for the dreamer.
If you dream of contracting a marriage, you will have unpleasant news from the absent.
If you are an attendant at a wedding, you will experience much pleasure from the thoughtfulness of loved ones, and business affairs will be unusually promising.
To dream of any unfortunate occurrence in connection with a marriage, foretells distress, sickness, or death in your family.
For a young woman to dream that she is a bride, and unhappy or indifferent, foretells disappointments in love, and probably her own sickness. She should be careful of her conduct, as enemies are near her.
The marriage vow or contract. (v. t.)
The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony. (v. t.)
Any intimate or close union. (v. t.)
A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4; 22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record. It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23, 25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change. In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22, 27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home. Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be "honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3). The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 19:7-9). Marriage-feasts (John 2:1-11) "lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Matt. 15:27; Mark 7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room, perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins hung up on pegs on the wall. (Comp. Ps. 119:83.)
A contract made in due form of law, by which a free man and a free woman reciprocally engage to live with each other during their joint lives, in the union which ought io exist between husband and wife. By the terms freeman and freewoman in this definition are meant, not only that they are free and not slaves, but also that they are clear of all bars to a lawful marriage.
To make a valid marriage, the parties must be willing to contract, able to contract, and have actually contracted.
They must be willing to contract. Those persons, therefore, who have no legal capacity in point of intellect, to make a contract, cannot legally marry, as idiots, lunatics, and infants; males under the age of fourteen, and females under the age of twelve; and when minors over those ages marry, they must have the consent of their parents or guardians. There is no will when the person is mistaken in the party whom he intended to marry; as, if Peter intending to marry Maria, through error or mistake of person, in fact marries Eliza; but an error in the fortune, as if a man marries a woman whom he believes to be rich, and he finds her to be poor; or in the quality, as if he marries a woman whom he took to be chaste, and whom he finds of an opposite character, this does not invalidate the marriage, because in these cases the error is only of some quality or accident, and not in the person.
When the marriage is obtained by force or fraud, it is clear that there is no consent; it is, therefore, void ab initio, and may be treated as null by every court in which its validity may incidentally be called in question.
Generally, all persons who are of sound mind, and have arrived to years of maturity, are able to contract marriage. To this general rule, however, there are many exceptions, among which the following may be enumerated:
The previous marriage of the party to another person who is still living.
Consanguinity, or affinity between the parties within the prohibited degree. It seems that persons in the descending or ascending line, however remote from each other, cannot lawfully marry; such marriages are against nature; but when we come to consider collaterals, it is not so easy to fix the forbidden degrees, by clear and established principles. In several of the United States, marriages within the limited degrees are made void by statute.
Impotency, which must have existed at the time of the marriage, and be incurable.
Adultery. By statutory provision in Pennsylvania, when a person is convicted of adultery with another person, or is divorced from her husband, or his wife, he or she cannot afterwards marry the partner of his or her guilt. This provision is copied from the civil law. And the same provision exists in the French code civil.
The parties must not only be willing and able, but must have actually contracted in due form of law.
The common law requires no particular ceremony to the valid celebration of marriage. The consent of the parties is all that is necessary, and as marriage is said to be a contract jure gentium, that consent is all that is needful by natural or public law. If the contract be made per verba de presenti, or if made per verba de futuro, and followed by consummation, it amounts to a valid marriage, and which the parties cannot dissolve, if otherwise competent; it is not necessary that a clergyman should be present to give validity to the marriage; the consent of the parties may be declared before a magistrate, or simply before witnesses; or subsequently confessed or acknowledged, or the marriage may even be inferred from continual cohabitation, and reputation as husband and wife, except in cases of civil actions for adultery, or public prosecutions for bigamy. But a promise to marry at a future time, cannot, by any process of law, be converted into a marriage, though the breach of such promise will be the foundation of an action for damages.
In some of the states, statutory regulations have been made on this subject. In Maine and Massachusetts, the marriage must be made in the presence, and with the assent of a magistrate, or a stated or ordained minister of the gospel. The statute of Connecticut on this subject, requires the marriage to be celebrated by a clergyman or magistrate, and requires the previous publication of the intention of marriage, and the consent of parents; it inflicts a penalty on those who disobey its regulations. The marriage, however, would probably be considered valid, although the regulations of the statutes had not been observed. The rule in Pennsylvania is, that the marriage is valid, although the directions of the statute have not been observed. The same rule probably obtains in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Kentucky. In Louisiana, a license must be obtained from the parish judge of the parish in which at least one of the parties is domiciliated, and the marriage must be celebrated before a priest or minister of a religious sect, or an authorized justice of the peace; it must be celebrated in the presence of three witnesses of full age, and an act must be made of the celebration, signed by the person who celebrated the marriage, by the parties and the witnesses. The 89th article of the Code declares, that such marriages only are recognized by law, as are contracted and solemnized according to the rules which it prescribes. But the Code does not declare null a marriage not preceded by a license, and not evidenced by an act signed by a certain number of witnesses and the parties, nor does it make such an act exclusive evidence of the marriage. The laws relating to forms and ceremonies are directory to those who are authorized to celebrate marriage.
A marriage made in a foreign country, if good there, would, in general, be held good in this country, unless when it would work injustice, or be contra bonos mores, or be repugnant to the settled principles and policy of our laws.
Marriage is a contract intended in its origin to endure till the death of one of the contracting parties. It is dissolved by death or divorce.
In some cases, as in prosecutions for bigamy, by the common law, an actual marriage must be proved in order to convict the accused. But for many purposes it may be proved by circumstances; for example, cohabitation; acknowledgment by the parties themselves that they were married; their reception as such by their friends and relations; their correspondence, on being casually separated, addressing each other as man and wife declaring, deliberately, that the marriage took place in a foreign country, describing their children, in parish registers of baptism, as their legitimate offspring or when the parties pass for husband and wife by common reputation. After their death, the presumption is generally conclusive.
The civil effects of marriage are the following:
It confirms all matrimonial agreements between the parties.
It vests in the husband all the personal property of the wife, that which is in possession absolutely, and choses in action, upon the condition that he shall reduce them to possession; it also vests in the husband right to manage the real estate of the wife, and enjoy the profits arising from it during their joint lives, and after her death, an estate by the curtesy when a child has been born. It vests in the wife after the husband's death, an estate in dower in the husband's lands, and a right to a certain part of his personal estate, when he dies intestate. In some states, the wife now retains her separate property by statute.
It creates the civil affinity which each contracts towards the relations of the other.
It gives the husband marital authority over the person of his wife.
The wife acquires thereby the name of her husband, as they are considered as but one, of which he is the head. In general, the wife follows the condition of her husband. The wife, on her marriage, loses her domicile and gains that of her husband.
One of the effects of marriage is to give paternal power over the issue.
The children acquire the domicile of their father.
It gives to the children who are the fruits of the marriage, the rights of kindred not only with the father and mother, but all their kin.
It makes all the issue legitimate.
This entry contains material from Bouvier's Legal Dictionary, a work published in the 1850's.