The month of June has been, for many years, a popular time for weddings. The weather usually becomes warm and sunny before the oppressive heat of July and August. I had intended to write about the sacrament of matrimony, but every weekend there seemed to be a major feast such as Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus that called for special attention.
Now that we have reentered into the Sundays of Ordinary time, so named because they have an ordinal number (the 14th this weekend) I would like to offer a few thoughts. First of all, the fact that Jesus performed his first public miracle at Cana (John 2:1-12) shows that God has the highest regard for this communion between a man and a women. This relationship God established between Adam and Eve at the dawn of creation (Genesis 2) is now a sacrament, that is a sign of Jesus’ sacrificial, faithful, and fruitful love for his spouse, the church. It’s a noble adventure in which the couple collaborates for two purposes: 1) the bringing of children into the world and raising them in the faith; and 2) helping one another grow in holiness so as to enter heaven.
Because the Church believes in the sanctity of marriage, she insists any marriage with a Catholic take place in a church. The Church would prefer the marriage to take place in a Catholic church but allows Catholics to get married in other churches. In either case, it is necessary to contact a catholic priest 6 months in advance for the necessary counseling and preparations.
These days more couples are opting for destination weddings in exotic locations. The Church is fine with that as long as the wedding takes place in a church. Those weddings are more complicated to arrange with extra paperwork and special permission. You also have to find a priest or deacon willing to go away for a few days. But it can be done, just not on a beach, field, or mountain top. I even did one for my niece in Florida a few years ago.
The Church wants only the best for her sons and daughters. She wants Jesus there to bless the marriage for he lives in his Father’s house, the church.