A reflection on the Sacrament of Marriage

We live in an age that is becoming increasingly open to the spiritual dimension of human existence. More and more couples in preparation for their marriage say that the most important part of their wedding day is what happens in the church. This is equally true of those who are not regular church-goers as it is of those who participate in the celebration of the Eucharist each weekend. The desire to be married in a church shows that there is something 'sacred' about your love. Your relationship embodies something special that transcends the realm of a mundane experience.

When real friendship' and deep love awaken in your life it leads to a re-birth of the human heart. Each couple approaching marriage is a unique pair, carrying in their hearts a love that is overflowing and generous.

Few, if any, events in life surpass that of the celebration of marriage. The occasion of a marriage is one of extraordinary joy, excitement and happiness, not only for the couple, but also for their parents, grandparents, family members, bridal party and friends who gather to share in their promise of life-long faithful love in the Sacrament of Marriage.

The celebration of a marriage ceremony reminds us of a great truth of the human journey: the best things in life are free. This may seem a strange statement to those who are paying for the reception! Nevertheless, when we stop to think about what is really important in life, we recognise that the greatest gift that we can give to one another is the gift of our friendship, and even more especially our unconditional love. People gather to celebrate a wedding liturgy because a couple have gifted each other with unconditional friendship and love. A wedding ceremony touches the secret heart of life and brings what is best in life and experience to expression.

Entering into marriage is a new dawn, a new springtime in our lives, an occasion of great possibility and promise. The existential philosopher, Sören Kierkegaard, said something very profound about living when he wrote: 'If I could wish for something, I would wish for neither wealth nor power but the passion for possibility. I would wish only for an eye, which eternally young, eternally burns with the longing to see possibility.'

A wedding celebration is a time of endless possibility, especially the possibility of a life lived in utter fullness, a relationship which is mutually life-giving to each partner and to the wider community, particularly the community of faith of which the couple are a part. We are on this earth to live life to the full and when we are generous in our love, care and compassion somehow life comes to bless us.

From - To love and to cherish: a wedding with a difference

book edited by Oliver Brennan