In no. 73 of the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document which the participants in the Synod of Bishops are discussing these days, the section below on the wedding liturgy is included in Part III. Its tone is warm and inviting, but it makes clear reference to the difficulties and pastoral challenges involved in many weddings.
Let’s share success stories and constructive ideas. What have you done, and what suggestions would you make, to reinforce the “spiritual and ecclesial character” of the celebration of marriage?
The Wedding Liturgy
73. An engaged couple spends a considerable length of time preparing for marriage. The actual celebration of marriage, preferably in the community to which one or both of them belongs, requires due attention and emphasis, above all, on the celebration’s proper spiritual and ecclesial character. The Christian community, in warmly and joyfully participating in the celebration and through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, receives the new family in its midst so that, as the domestic Church, the new family might feel itself a part of the larger Church family.
Frequently, the celebrant has occasion to address an assembly of people who minimally participate in the life of the Church or who belong to other Christian denominations or other religions. Consequently, this can serve as a valuable opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of the Family, which might prompt, even in the families that are present, a rediscovery of the divine gifts of faith and love. The celebration of a wedding is also a timely occasion to invite many to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.