A couple of weeks ago when Pope Francis made his most recent comments about valid marriages, I was busy making preparations for my sister’s wedding. I read the commentary surrounding it, and discussed it with my husband, but mostly I thought about the upcoming wedding of my sister and her now husband.
They were married in a beautiful Catholic wedding at the Cathedral
Basilica in St. Louis, which was a long awaited event on both sides of
the family as the bride and the groom had both been hoping and praying
to find someone to marry for several years. And that made the event all
the more joyful as they were surrounded by many nieces and nephews and
family and friends who were so happy for them.
During the liturgy leading up to their vows, it struck me how Christ and
the Church made the Sacrament of Marriage something that one could not enter into unknowingly if one paid attention to the words being spoken.
One who has been to Catholic weddings may recall how the priest or
deacon presiding over the vows asks the bride and the groom three
things: (1) if they have come to be married freely and without
reservation, (2) if they will love and honor each other as man and wife
for the rest of their lives, and (3) if they will accept children
lovingly from God. Here before the vows can even be made the conditions
are laid down for a valid marriage.