Words Of Instruction Before Traditional Catholic Wedding

Archuke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen | Spiering Photography“My dear friends: You are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious.  It is most sacred, because established by God Himself; most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate, that it will profoundly influence your whole future.  That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes.  You know that these elements are mingled in every life, and are to be expected in your own.  And so not knowing what is before you, you take each other for  better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.

Truly, then, these words are most serious.  It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless, so willing and ready to pronounce them.  And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice.  And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common.  Henceforth you belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one if affections.  And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously.  Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome.  Only love can make it easy; and perfect love can make it a joy.  We are willing to give in proportion as we love.  And when love is perfect the sacrifice is complete.  God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son: and the Son so loved us that He gave Himself for our salvation.  “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end.  May, then, this love with which you join your hands and hearts today, never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the year go on.  And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this life.  The rest is in the hands of God.  Nor will God be wanting to your needs; He will pledge you the life-long support of His graces in the Holy Sacrament which you are now going to receive.”