Tonight was the second of two weddings we’ve had in the last week (8 days). In both cases, the couples had been together for a number of years and are raising two children together. So let’s just be clear on what the weddings of these couples have been about: the wedding is about the marriage. I’m not so concerned about the wedding as I am about the marriage – I want these people to have great marriages, to have great relationships with each other, to have lasting-til-death-do-them-part marriages. The wedding is about ushering in the marriage.
In the run-up to these weddings, I’ve occasionally heard comments that suggest that people aren’t clear on what happens in the wedding ceremony of the Church. They do not leave the ceremony in the exact same relationship they were already in, before it started; they do not finish the day exactly as they began it; they are not the same people, at the end of the day, that they were at the beginning. A profound shift takes place, during the Church’s wedding ceremony, ushering in the married life. Sacramentally, the two are made one: two individuals become one flesh, and the power of Christ is released in their lives, if they’ll embrace His desire for them together, to make that union more and more of a reality over time. The two move, live, and act in concert with one another, because they are one.
Neither of these couples have had weddings because they wanted gifts from their family and friends. Neither of these couples have had weddings because they were otherwise lacking an excuse for a big party. These weddings have been about the power of God to make old things new, to transform the profane or common things of life into holy things, to reconcile all things to Himself. And that’s something worth celebrating!