New Urgency to Celebrate World Marriage Sunday

SAN FRANCISCO,January 20, 2014 -- The 2nd Sunday in February, is designated World Marriage Day by World Wide Marriage Encounter. It coincides with National Marriage Week (February 7-14). See the Marriage Recognition Kitfor parishes provided by CCGI.

"After National Marriage Week, its not too late as opportunities should be sought to celebrate marriage throughout the year," said Operations Manager, Brian Piecuch.
(Feb 2014 Newsletter)

It is more critical than ever that we celebrate the reality of marriage in God’s plan for creation in our parishes and communities. Marriage creates the only institution that unites kids with their moms and dads, but that recognition is dependent upon individuals, civil institutions, and religions. While through our faith we understand that marriage was elevated to a sacrament by Christ’s death on the Cross, many no longer recognize it as the foundation of the family of common ancestry and of society itself.

Joachim and Ann

The marital embrace of Sts. Joachim and Anne. This icon is venerated by Eastern Catholics to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of God by her mother Anne. These are "the grandparents of God."

It is urgent to use World Marriage Day/ National Marriage Week to promote the true meaning and purpose of marriage. The number of states that have eliminated the sole institution that unites kids with their moms and dads from the law is growing. Now the threat to marriage by state and federal courts is greater than ever.

When marriage is redefined in the law, sure, men and women can still marry, but it has become illegal to promote the unique value of men and women marrying before having children because that would violate the new legal principle of equality of relationships, equality of parenting, and equality of families.

While all people who are parenting try to do the best job they can and should be supported, redefining marriage by law requires families in which children are deprived of their mother or father or both to be considered alternative role models. To say otherwise would discriminate those who do not have the biological complementarity to have children.

While not yet challenged openly, the very purpose of World Marriage Day and Nation Marriage Week, to strengthen marriage as the foundation of the family, will be attacked as discriminatory unless it places equal value on families of common ancestry and relationships between same-sex couples.

It is important for us to embrace opportunities to help people, especially children, develop an understanding of the reality of marriage -- a reality that has become obscured by modern culture. It is important that we learn how to witness this reality in ways that people in the secular culture can understand.

World Marraige DayUse the materials here to explain the reality of marriage in a profound way. Is your diocese or parish planning a marriage recognition event? Is your organization? Consider having a celebration at home around the dinner table on Valentine’s Day or on anniversaries of family members. It is important for the entire family to celebrate and develop a solid understanding of the reality of marriage that can be communicated widely in the culture.

Our Marriage Recognition Kit provides you, your pastor, or your organization with the following:

1. An essay on the reality of marriage that can be read at a marriage recognition event or can be adapted as a homily. The narrative is suitable to use for a home ceremony around the dinner table. (Celebration of Marriages in the Community)

2. Catholic Marriage Vows for couples wishing to renew their vows. (Renewal of Marriage Vows)

3. Suggested Prayers of the Faithful that can be used at Mass or for prayer at home. (Prayers of the Faithful)

As you read the essay, think of new ways of expressing the reality of marriage and share it with a friend or family member. For example, you might share how the choice of a man and a woman to make themselves irreplaceable to each other in marriage begins the circle of irreplaceability that we know as family -- a communion of persons of common ancestry.



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