One of the things I often tell couples and families when discussing the subject of marriage is that the wedding is just for a day, whereas the marriage is forever. It is a common saying, and although it is a little bit trite, it is of course true and relevant always.
However, I think I am going to repent of saying that . . . at least for a while.
Why should the importance of the wedding day itself be minimized in any way? When a baptized man and woman freely exchange their consent with each other, Christ comes into their union and forever uplifts it to the level of a sacrament. Why should a moment so powerful, so moving, so special and so without parallel be thought of as competing with its own endurance?
When we reach out to God, we are attempting to embrace the perfect . . . the perfect justice, the perfect mercy, the perfect relationship and the perfect love, along with so many other things. The Church’s Rite of Matrimony is our attempt at reflecting this perfect love in a liturgical and ceremonial fashion . . . we elevate something so important as high as we can possibly reach, just as a child reaches upwards to join hands with a parent. Both are done in love and admiration as well as a means of asking for blessings.
We celebrate the sacrament of matrimony in God’s house because the highest form of human relationship – matrimony – wishes to be blessed by its author who gave it to us at the very beginning. Pope Francis spoke so very beautifully of this quality of marriage in Amoris Laetitia when he said “The sacrament [of matrimony] is a gift given for the sanctification and salvation of the spouses.”
God’s blessings come during the wedding itself . . . and while they are intended to last a lifetime of course, the ceremony itself is indeed a unique and beautiful blessing all on its own, worthy of celebration. May the wedding days of all these many couples listed in this Bridal Edition experience God’s fervent and fruitful blessings . . . both forever, and on their wedding day itself as well.