National Marriage Week is being celebrated February 7-14, and this year’s theme is To Have, To Hold, To Honor.
The annual celebration is a great opportunity to reflect on the gift of marriage to our Church and our country, and is also an opportunity for couples to consider the ways in which they may nurture and strengthen their own marriages.
[Click here for a seven day at-home retreat focused on marriage - available in both English and Spanish]
“As Catholics we believe that marriage is both a sacrament and a vocation, a calling for spouses to be bearers of God’s love in their family and in the world,” said Linda Milco, Coordinator of Marriage and Family for the Diocese of Saginaw.
“The entire Church benefits from couples who are living the sacrament of marriage faithfully in their daily lives. It provides an invaluable witness to a life of sacrifice and service, to which we have all been called.”
Research shows the benefits of marriage on couples (married adults live longer, have better health and report greater personal happiness), marriage also greatly benefits children and is a stabilizing factor in society. However, the number of people choosing marriage continues to drop. For every 1,000 unmarried adults in 1970, 86 got married. In 2019, that number was only 33.
So, what can we do to encourage couples to receive God’s grace in the sacrament of marriage, which helps us live out our love to each other through Christ, and gives us the generosity, wisdom and courage we need for the challenges we face? We can share our Faith with others and help them grow in relationship with Christ and the Church. We also need to support and encourage married couples and make the necessary time to nourish our own marriages.
During this National Marriage Week, there are a number of resources available which offer nourishment, support and encouragement, including:
- A seven day at-home retreat focused on marriage (available in English and Spanish)
- A rosary led by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the head of the Committee on Laity, Marriage and Family Life, will be live streamed on Wednesday, February 10 at 2 p.m. EST on the For Your Marriage Facebook page.
- Conversation on Fatherhood and Spousal Love: Tune in again to the For Your Marriage Facebook page.
on Friday, February 12, at 2 p.m. EST for a live streamed discussion between the associate director for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, Fr. Daniel Hanley, and the director of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, Mr. Dominic Lombardi as they discuss their reflections on fatherhood and spousal love looking to Saint Joseph as their example.
- Listen to Marriage Unique for a Reason’s Made for Love podcast, which tells the stories of real people living out the call to love.
Here are some highlighted episodes on marriage:
Maybe you’ll find a new idea to strengthen your relationship
Among the many titles are:
How to Pray with Your Spouse: Four simple steps:
Changing Yourself and Your Spouse
25 Ways to Fight Fair
How to Take Young Children to Mass
National Marriage Week culminates with World Marriage Day on February 14 which honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice, and joy in daily married life. Check with your local parish for any special events they are sponsoring.