308. XII. THAT THE MARRIAGE IS TO BE CONSECRATED BY A PRIEST. The reason is because, viewed in themselves, marriages are spiritual and hence holy; for they descend from the heavenly marriage of good and truth, and things conjugial correspond to the Divine marriage of the Lord and the Church. Hence they are from the Lord Himself, and are according to the state of the Church with the contracting parties. Now because on earth the ecclesiastical order administers those things with the Lord which pertain to the priesthood, that is, which pertain to His Love, and thus also those which pertain to blessing, it is necessary that marriages be consecrated by His ministers. And because at the same time these ministers are also the chief witnesses, it is likewise necessary that the consent to the covenant be heard, accepted, confirmed, and thus established by them.