Monday, 2 May 2011

The meaning of marriage

Bridges and Tangents has a useful post on the marriage of the Prince William and Kate Middleton. The reflection on the nature of marriage as an institution contained in this post is of particular interest.
Thank goodness William and Kate chose not to invent their own wedding service. There is so much suspicion today of ‘institutions’, but on Friday you saw what it meant for a couple to enter ‘the institution of marriage’. It means they are taking on something far bigger and more beautiful than they could ever have invented for themselves – no matter how many books of poetry they might have plundered, or how many hours they could have put into phrasing their own heartfelt sentiments for each other and hopes for their future.
I was interested to learn of the origin of the wording of the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer. Bridges and Tangents' post is matched by Archbishop Nichol's comments. Speaking the day before the beatification of Pope John Paul II, he said:

“Tomorrow, in a way, is a celebration of the same love that William and Catherine promised to each other – yesterday in marriage, today in service of priest, bishop and Pope – but it’s the same well-spring of love that comes from God that we see on both days.”

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