WASHINGTON (CNS) — Married couples across the country renewed their wedding vows in special Masses celebrated for World Marriage Day, observed Feb. 9 this year.
The special day comes during National Marriage Week, observed this year Feb. 7-14. The day and the week provide the opportunity to focus on building “a culture of life and love that begins with supporting, promoting and upholding marriage and the family,” said a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
(Learn more about the marriage initiative at ForYourMarriage.org.)
This year’s theme, “Stories from the Domestic Church,” was chosen to reflect how “spouses are consecrated and by means of a special grace build up the body of Christ and form a domestic church,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco said when he announced the theme. He is chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, and Family Life.
The enduring power of married love “comes from the total gift of self a man and a woman give to each other,” said Bishop Robert P. Deeley of Portland, Maine, in his message for World Marriage Day.
“In celebrating this day, we remember that God, in Jesus, is always with us and with his help and grace assists us in all our efforts to live the love he calls us to give to each other,” he said. “The Eucharist is the greatest sign of God’s love for us. It is the source of the grace that married couples seek in order to deepen their love for each other and carry out their vocation of bringing God’s love into the world.”
He acknowledged that marriage takes “patience and perseverance,” but when married couples make the Eucharist “a central part of this vocation,” they “remind themselves and their families that life is not about ‘me’ alone. It is about ‘us.’ Marriage, and its inherent permanence, is made stronger when it is grounded in prayer, particularly the Eucharist.”
He prayed that all married couples “grow in love with each other with the help of God” and he thanked them for “the witness of their love and commitment.”
In the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, at a Mass he celebrated Feb. 8 in observance of World Marriage Sunday, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge told married couples that Jesus is “the model of how to perfectly love — selflessly, sacrificially and faithfully.”
“Marriage is a sign of the way Christ loved us, his church, his bride, his people,” the bishop said in his homily during the Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. “Therefore, married couples, this has great implications for you. It means that we should be able to look at you and to say, ‘Do you see how those two love one another? That’s a sign of the way that Christ loves us. Thank you for that faithful witness.”
In Los Angeles, about 50 couples renewed their wedding vows at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels during a Feb. 9 Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. The group included couples married for 25 or 50 years or longer.
One couple married 72 years shared their secret to long-lasting love. In a TV interview with the CBS affiliate before the Mass, the husband told the reporter: “What’s the secret? Maybe the first thing is love and the second one is trust.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: On Camino trek, couple bolsters faith on way to wedding
NEXT: ‘Shocking’ ignorance on Real Presence prompts eucharistic congress
Share this story