Friday, January 8, 2010

5 years ago today...

...Mike and I were married :) Unsurprising, yes I know, that I chose to get married in the middle of winter. And I even managed to find someone with the same taste in seasons that I do :)

It was a beautiful winter day in Western New York. We received the sacrament of marriage in the chapel of the small Catholic college that I attended and that Mike now teaches at as an adjunct faculty member. We had a lovely reception at a local hotel, and it meant a lot to be to have our family and friends there, but to be honest I barely remember anything about it. The ceremony was the absolute highlight of the afternoon, and I remember every detail. I loved picking the readings and the prayers, and the priest had a wonderful, and personal, homily.

When you marry in the Catholic Church, there is a specified pre-marital discernment program, as well as planning of your wedding liturgy with the priest. For Type A people such as myself, the little booklet the priest gives you, Together for Life, is a real coup. There is an edition for both nuptial Masses and wedding liturgies outside of Mass. In each there is a worksheet with blanks for the bride and groom to fill in every detail of the ceremony. The booklet includes the text of all the readings and prayers so one can make an informed decision. This type of super-organization really tickles my fancy.

In particular, I loved the nuptial blessing that we chose; even Mike commented on how well it suited us as a couple. The nuptial blessing is recited by the priest toward the very end of the nuptial Mass, just prior to the recessional. Ours was:

"My dear friends, let us turn to the Lord and pray that he will bless with his grace this woman, now married in Christ to this man, and that he will unite in love the couple he has joined in this holy bond.

Father, by your power you have made everything out of nothing. In the beginning you created the universe and made mankind in your own likeness.You gave man the constant help of woman so that man and woman should no longer be two, but one flesh, and you teach us that what you have united may never be divided.

Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church.

Father, by your plan man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away in the flood. Look with love upon this woman, your daughter, now joined to her husband in marriage. She asks your blessing. Give her the grace of love and peace. May she always follow the example of the holy women whose praises are sung in the scriptures.

May her husband put his trust in her and recognize that she is his equal and the heir with him to the life of grace. May he always honor her and love her as Christ loves his bride, the Church.

Father, keep them always true to your commandments.
Keep them faithful in marriage and let them be living examples of Christian life.

Give them the strength which comes from the gospel so that they may be witnesses of Christ to others. Bless them with children and help them to be good parents.May they live to see their children’s children. And, after a happy old age, grant them fullness of life with the saints in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord."

Christmas season runs in the liturgical calendar through the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is Sunday, so our anniversay always falls right near the end of it. I love :) A true time of celebration.

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