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.