World Marriage Day is celebrated in Aotearoa on 13 February 2024.
Linked with the Catholic Marriage Movement, it aims to honor the foundational role of husbands and wives in families and society, emphasising values such as faithfulness, sacrifice, and joy in daily life.
Initially established by the American organization Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the day was officially blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1993, and celebrations have since expanded globally, transcending religious boundaries.
We’ve collated several resources to help guide couples in celebrating World Marriage Day together.
Marriage based on an exclusive and definitive love becomes an icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God’s way of loving becomes the measure of human love.
Building a Love that Lasts
In 2022, the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton hosted an online event to celebrate World Marriage Day. This national event was sponsored by the Catholic Network of Marriage Educators and featured Megan and Nahum Kozak of Lighthouse Relationships.
You can watch the whole event on the Hamilton Diocese’s YouTube channel.
Marriage is a vocation, in as much as it is a response to a specific call to experience conjugal love as an imperfect sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Consequently, the decision to marry and to have a family ought to be the fruit of a process of vocational discernment (Amoris Laetitia #72).
This short booklet reflects on marriage as a vocation, marriage as a scarament, a reflection on marriage through a Catholic lens, and some steps for developing and nurturing a positive relationship with your spouse.
Pope St John Paul II said of marriage: “The Church is deeply convinced that only by the acceptance of the Gospel are the hopes that man legitimately places in marriage and in the family capable of being fulfilled.” (Familiaris Consortio #3)
Love Beyond Words
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has created a one-week retreat for married couples to use during this year’s Marriage Week.
This do-it-yourself retreat invovles a brief reflection, discussion questions, and prayer for each day of the week.
Other resources for married couples
The Diocese of Trenton in the USA has a great resource page for newly married couples, including how to work through your finances, dealing with the in-laws, interfaith marriages, and natural family planning. Check it out here.
They also have an amazing range of resources dedicated to making your marriage even better, which includes books, websites and videos for Catholic couples. Find them all here.
If you’re after some physical resources to keep in your homes, Pleroma Christian Supplies has a number of books to help any married couple grow in their relationship with each other and the Lord. Some of them include:
Angel – Casting Crowns
Finally, have a listen to the song ‘Angel’ by the hit Christian band Casting Crowns – a perfect way to wrap up Marriage Week.
Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall has been married to Melanie since the early 1990s and in this song he sings of his love for his wife.
“I met her when I was in fifth grade, and the song references the first time I saw her. I still remember being at church, running around with a bunch of guys, and seeing this big, long car pull into the parking lot. Melanie’s family stepped out of the car, and when I saw her, I thought, ‘WHO is that?’ They were moving to Montgomery, Alabama for her dad to serve as minister of music at our church.
The song also flash forwards to our wedding day more than a decade after we met, and I mean it with all my heart when I sing, ‘With a sacred promise and a ring that says it all, oh, I’ve just begun to fall.’ I’m still falling after nearly two decades of marriage. There never really has been any one but Melanie. We grew up together in the youth group and I had girlfriends and she had boyfriends, but to me she was always the one.” (from Songfacts.com)