At the start of Marriage Week, Bishop David Evans, Lead Bishop for Marriage and Family Life, has praised married life, saying that God gifted marriage to men and women so that they might find wholeness.
In the foreword for a resource produced for the week by the Bishops’ Conference, he said:
“Marriage is God’s gift to men and women. It is an expression of the depth of human loving, of its enduring reality and of its likeness to the love of God.
“Marriage is also the fruit of a human desire for wholeness. That wholeness is not discovered simply in an individual but in the mutual exchange of love between a husband and wife.”
Marriage Week 2024
Marriage Week is an annual celebration of marriage and family life and this year it falls between 7th-14th February.
We have produced a downloadable PDF resource offering tips on achieving a happy marriage from married people, reflections on the sacrament, prayers, and more.
Speaking about what’s important about Christian marriage, Bishop Evans said: “A Christian marriage is rooted in faith. Firstly, that means faith in God, as the giver of life and the one who promises eternal life to those who believe in him.
“Faith also means God’s faith in his sons and daughters. In Jesus, he has shown people what human love can achieve through love of God and love that encompasses all the people in our lives.
“For married people, love of neighbour begins with love of each other and of all the children that may be granted to them as parents.”
Forgiveness in marriage
Bishop Evans also explained how important it is for the long-term health of a marriage that the couple have the ability to forgive.
He said: “Marriage is a sacrament of reconciliation. It is the sacrament that endures even though it may bring its difficulties.
“It is a testimony to God’s forgiveness that unites what has been divided and brings unexpected discoveries of what men and women are capable of when they trust each other and stay steadfast to the vows they made to each other on their wedding day.”
The value of marriage
He finished by explaining why it is vital Marriage Week gives the opportunity to reflect on the value of marriage to men, women and society as a whole, and to thank God for this gift.
He said: “National Marriage Week is an opportunity to ponder on this display of God’s love for the world he created. It is a chance for married couples to reflect, perhaps with their families, on how they might develop the good things that exist between and within them.
“It is a time to demonstrate the value of marriage, based on sincerely lived vows, to men and women and to society as a whole.
“This is a week of prayer for the whole Church, in gratitude to God who has given us life and taught us to love so that we can be as he made us – a visible icon of himself.”
Download the resource here: