Updated: Jul 28
Dear friends in Christ,
I have had the great joy to celebrate many weddings during my priesthood. They have been some of the most joyful and memorable moments in my life. And every time I celebrate a wedding Mass, I am captivated by the uniqueness of the way the Sacrament of Marriage is conferred.
You may be aware that Marriage is the only one of the seven Sacraments which is not administered by a bishop, priest or deacon. The Church teaches that during the wedding Mass, the bride and groom minister the Sacrament to each other and the priest receives it on behalf of the Church. During the wedding preparation and often in context of the wedding homily, I will reflect on this:
“It is by your words, the vows that you make, the joining of your hands, your bodies into one flesh, by the blessing and exchange of rings, that you enter into a bond which is steadfast and unbreakable.”
The couple are making a profound act of trust and hope in each other and to God as they entrust their souls to each other for safe keeping until death do them part. From that day forth, they are signing on for a life of loving self-emptying and sacrifice for each other’s good, for their family, God willingly their children and for the world. The mutual consent and free gift of self are the matter of the Sacrament and the vows which they speak to each other are the form. It’s incredible to witness couples giving each other this gift!
The Church in the United States is currently celebrating National Marriage Week, from February 7-14th (ending on Saint Valentine's Day, how lovely!) Also, World Marriage Day is Sunday, February 13.
Please join me in giving thanks to God that our parish is enriched by so many devout couples who witness the love of God through the graces of sacramental marriage. I pray also for so many of our young people who are conscientiously discerning the vocation to Catholic marriage and family life.
May each of you be richly blessed and may you know the peace, provision, and kindness of our loving God.
Warmly in Christ,