They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands
and by the giving and receiving of rings.
I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.
from the Marriage Service
Celebrating weddings is one of the highlights of being your parish
priest. Marriage is a celebration of love - the greatest of God’s
gifts - as a popular reading declares. I find a wedding couple’s
faith in love so moving because that love motivates them to make
a lifetime commitment to one another, in front of family, friends
and God. Their love inspired hope is greater than past hurts or
current statistics on the temporary nature of so many relationships.
Marriage is a time of faith, hope and love - but especially love.
We celebrate a royal wedding this month with the marriage of
William and Kate. On this joyful day, our hope will be that the love of
this young couple can flourish, even with the particular pressures of
a royal marriage lived under the public’s glare. Whatever one’s view
of inherited monarchy, their faith in one another should be a cause
of celebration and joy.
Within the Christian tradition marriage has always been a
celebration, a feast. We see this when Jesus turned gallons of
water into gallons of wine at the wedding reception in Cana of
Galilee. We also see the beauty of erotic love in Bible’s Song of
Solomon. Marriage is a particular way of life and it reminds us that
stability and commitment is the ideal environment in which to enjoy
physical love and to raise children. Although,of course, many single
parents provide an excellent home life for children.
Christians understand God as love and have celebrated human
love, with the possibility of having children, as mirroring the creative
love of God. The belief that God shared a physical human life in
Jesus of Nazareth, helps us to rejoice in the physical in all our lives.
So we celebrate the love of all of those getting married and we pray
that their relationship will be creative in many ways.
With love and prayers