National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Wedding and Family Blessings

Facts of Life

BY The Editors

June 30-July 13, 2013 Issue | Posted 6/21/13 at 4:06 PM

 

At FirstThings.com in May, Anna Williams wrote about "The Blessings of an Unoriginal Wedding."

Addressing the current craze for couples to make their weddings as original as possible, Williams stated: "One blessing of getting married in the Catholic Church is this unoriginality. … The Catholic rite of marriage reminds the couple of a truth easily forgotten: Your wedding (like your marriage) is not only about you. That the Rite of Marriage takes place in the middle of the nuptial Mass, embedded between Scripture readings and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is no mistake. It situates the marriage in what is, for Catholics, its broader context: its Divine origin and graces, its connection to the community, its symbolism of the covenant between God and man. … The nuptial Mass, then, is suffused with meaning, which deepens over time as the couple matures in their marriage, settles in a community and (God willing) has children. Personal weddings can be nice, but I’ll take this unoriginality any day."

And Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, wrote — in a column for the June 2013 issue of Columbia magazine — about the spousal relationship as it relates to family: "Mothers understand how important a father’s love and example is for their children. And wives know that if they are united with their husbands in faith, values and their understanding of how to raise their family, their children will more easily grow and develop as God intended. Good fathers sense this, too. They know that loving and respecting their wives is also important for children. The love of mothers and fathers is complementary. Fathers have their own brand of strong and tender love that goes along with and completes the love that mothers have for their children. … The Church knows from reason, experience and Revelation how important husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, are for the flourishing of children and society."

So is Christian witness, like that of former Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, who declined an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the White House during the Super Bowl winner’s visit in early June.

"I wasn’t there. I would say this: I would say that I have great respect for the office of the presidency, but, five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech, and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood,’" Birk told Minnesota’s KFAN Radio, as reported by Sports Illustrated online. "Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am in the pro-life movement, and I just felt I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way. … I’m very confused by [the president’s] statement. For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend."