29 Apr 2011
Marriage as a Sacrament
From Paul Brandesi Raushenbush over at Huffington Post who reflects on the Royal Marriage as sacrament:
"Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony?
Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony?
With these words, two young people in fine attire at the altar of Westminster Abbey took part in a sacrament of the Anglican Church -- matrimony. And Billions of us took part with them. Sacraments are holy rituals that declare the gracious nature of the individual's relationships to community and to God. Rituals of any kind mark time, and make meaning by creating liminal time, or time beyond time, when things are transformed from what they were to what they are to become. In the case of marriage, these two individuals have through their oaths and actions, and the blessing of the church entered into that comforting and grand place that the church describes as the holy estate of matrimony..............the sacrament of marriage serves as a time when families can manage to rise above the difficult relationships, traumas, and losses of the past, and for a time occupy themselves with the sacred task of creating a covenant between individuals and families. No matter what has come before, the nature of marriage requires a focus on the future. Weddings are intrinsically hopeful acts. Yet they are also realistic. Within the very liturgy of marriage there is acknowledgment of sickness and poverty, and the certainty of death"
Over at Why I am Catholic, Frank Weber posts the text of the sermon given by the Bishop of London which has a lot of food for thought about marriage and hope. "Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom."