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​National Marriage Week a special time to celebrate and support marriage, provide enrichment opportu

February 08, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: In the Press, Breaking News

National Marriage Week a special time to celebrate and support marriage, provide enrichment opportunities

By Lizett Farias, director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Christian Community, Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth

Let’s celebrate the gift of marriage! Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race. His hand has inscribed the vocation to marriage in the very nature of man and woman (see Gn 1:27-28, 2:21-24). Jesus Christ has elevated this blessing by making marriage between baptized Christians a sacramental sign of his own love for the Church (USCCB Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan). Our Church is blessed by and rejoices with so many couples that embrace the sacramentality of their marriage and are living in fidelity and commitment.

The observances of National Marriage Week (February 7-14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, February 14) are an opportunity to celebrate marriages in our communities. These special occasions also allow us to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the family. This year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has proposed the theme "To Have, To Hold, To Honor" as a reminder of the promises married couples made on their wedding day. The call for marriages to reflect on these promises is an opportunity for marriage enrichment.In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis described marriage as a project to be worked on together and a process of growth (221). The local Church accompanies couples in this journey and provides many opportunities for spouses to deepen and refine their love for each other.

This year we propose an At-Home Marriage Retreat as one opportunity for marriage enrichment. This resource offers an exercise of praying with the Scriptures called Lectio Divina, consisting of four steps: lectio (the reading of Scriptures), meditatio (meditation), oratio (prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation). Visit this link for access to an English or Spanish version of this seven-day At-Home Marriage Retreat and other resources to celebrate National Marriage Week: