Always use the term "holy matrimony" for authentic marriage. What a beautiful term. My husband Larry will celebrate 46 years of "holy matrimony" this October. What a reminder of the sacramental nature of our union. We didn't "hook up" on our wedding day or promise to stay married "as long as we both shall (mush) love." No! We vowed to become one flesh "til death do us part."
I like Marshall's number 7 a lot too:
Recapture Holy Matrimony as a church event and this means we need to distance ourselves from the pomp of the afterparty, flowers, cake, guests, etc. Holy Matrimony should feel more somber like a priestly ordination and less like a Quinceañera or debutant ball. Holy Matrimony is not a narcissistic parade for princesses and their mothers. It’s a sacrament. Rein it in.Wouldn't that be novel? Instead of the extravaganza that breaks the bank, have something more simple. One of the sweetest weddings I ever attended was followed by a lovely at-home reception. The bride wore a simple country-style white dress (probably cotton) and a wreath of flowers. Her husband-to-be wore a suit.
Note especially Marshall's #10. Catholics, stop attending invalid wedding ceremonies. They are nothing to celebrate! And you compromise yourself when you do it -- offering scandal and lying to the couple about their situation.
We have lost the sense of sin, but it remains even when unrecognized. If you've ever read Brideshead Revisited you may remember one of the most heart-wrenching monologues in the book, when Lady Julia describes her moral state (She willingly entered an invalid marriage.) Sin, she has come to realize, is no joke, and she chooses to deny herself earthly happiness with her adulterous lover rather than continue to "live in sin":
Living in sin, with sin, by sin, for sin, every hour, every day, year in, year out. Waking up with sin in the morning, seeing the curtains drawn on sin, bathing it, showing it round, giving it a good time, putting it to sleep at night with a tablet of Dial if it’s fretful.
Always the same, like an idiot child carefully nursed, guarded from the world. ‘Poor Julia,’ they say, ‘she can’t go out. She’s got to take care of her little sin. A pity it ever lived,’ they say, ‘but it’s so strong. Children like that always are. Julia’s so good to her little, mad sin...
Mummy carrying my sin with her to church, bowed under it and the black lace veil, in the chapel; slipping out with it in London before the fires were lit; taking it with her through the empty streets, where the milkman’s ponies stood with their forefeet on the pavement;
Mummy dying with my sin eating at her, more cruelly than her own deadly illness. Mummy dying with it; Christ dying with it, nailed hand and foot; hanging over the bed in the night-nursery; hanging year after year in the dark little study at Farm Street with the shining oilcloth; hanging in the dark church where only the old charwoman raises the dust and one candle burns; hanging at noon, high among the crowds and the soldiers; no comfort except a sponge of vinegar and the kind words of a thief; hanging for ever; never the cool sepulchre and the grave clothes spread on the stone slab, never the oil and spices in the dark cave; always the midday sun and the dice clicking for the seamless coat.Taylor Marshall's article is worth reading in toto and considering seriously. Holy matrimony is central to life because it is the cradle of creation of new souls for God first and society next. As Catholic's, let's take it seriously. We can begin a transformation of the culture in our own families and parishes. St. Joseph, patron of the family and the universal Church, pray for us.
Read Taylor Marshall's article here.
I scheduled this post a few days ago because I'm on retreat. Please pray for me. I'm praying for you.