2 May 2015

3rd May 2015 - The Sacrament of Matrimony - 5th Sunday of Easter

On this weeks programme we continue with our intermittent series on the Sacraments with a reflection and focus on the Sacrament of Matrimony. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

You can listen to the reflection on the Sacrament of Marriage HERE.

The Sacrament of Matrimony

As we covered the first sacrament at the service of communion and mission last week, i.e. Holy Orders, when we had an interview with our diocesan seminarian, Aidan O’Rourke, we said we would look at the sacrament of marriage this week, the second sacrament at the service of communion and mission.

The Seven Sacraments are divided into:  The Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist; The Sacraments of Healing: Penance (Reconciliation) and Anointing of the Sick; The Sacraments at the Service of Communion and Mission: Holy Orders and Matrimony.

“Two sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, confer a special grace for a particular mission in the Church to serve and build up the People of God. These sacraments contribute in a special way to ecclesial communion and to the salvation of others.” 

For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values. 

We have a reflection on the understanding of the sacrament through scripture, the celebration of the sacrament on the Latin tradition most familiar to people in Ireland and the issue of annulments.

Further reading:
The understanding of sacrament of marriage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Resources offered by Franciscan Media
The Living Sacrament: Marriage - EWTN
Accord - Catholic Marriage Care Service

A Prayer for Understanding
Taken from Before I Do, by Anthony Garascia, 
Ave Maria Press, Indiana, 1999

Lord, help us to always seek first 
to understand each other,
to lead with compassion, 
to walk a while in the other’s experience.
Help us to walk the road of marriage together,
trusting that when we doubt 
you will give us faith,
that when we criticise 
you will give us courage to seek forgiveness.
May our love for one another burn in our hearts 
in tough times as well as in easy times. 
May your Spirit renew our love again 
and again so that we may give witness 
to your saving presence in our lives.

Gospel - John 15:1-8

”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Liturgical odds and ends

May - Mary's month

The month of May is the "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May, no. 1).

Read more about May as Mary's month here, herehere and here

Resources - May altars in our homes

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 1; 5th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 4th - St Conleth
May 5th - Bl Edmund Rice
May 7th - St Rose Venerini

Popes Intentions for May 2015

The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for May is: “That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularised cultures be open to proclaiming Jesus”.