“Love in marriage requires dialogue, which requires us to recognise that we all communicate in different ways. Learn to be an effective listener. Recognise the importance of the person with whom you are disagreeing….Try to understand the other’s point of view before responding, be aware of the emotions that are being evoked within you , and respond accordingly. Love the person with whom you are disagreeing.”

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia: Chapter 4

“A marriage without arguments is pretty boring. Yet there is a secret: plates can fly but the secret is to make up before the end of the day. And to make up there is no need to talk; a caress is enough and peace returns…if you do not make up before going to bed, the cold war of the following day is too dangerous, resentment builds up.”

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“Of all the kinds of human fruitfulness, marriage is unique. It is about a love that gives rise to new life. It involves mutual responsibility for the transmission of God’s gift of life, and it provides a stable environment in which that new life can grow and flourish.

Marriage in the Church, that is the sacrament of matrimony, shares in a special way in the mystery of God’s eternal love. When a Christian man and woman enter the bond of marriage, God’s grace enables them freely to promise one another an exclusive and enduring love.

Their union thus becomes a sacramental sign – the sacrament of marriage becomes a sacramental sign of the new and eternal covenant between the Lord and his bride, the Church. Jesus is ever present in their midst. He sustains them throughout life in their mutual gift of self, in fidelity and in indissoluble unity [Gaudium et Spes, 48].

Jesus’ love is, for couples, a rock and a refuge in times of trial but, more importantly, a source of constant growth in pure and enduring love. Gamble big, for your entire life! Take a risk! Because marriage is also a risk, but it is a risk worth taking. For your whole life, because that is how love is.”

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“We know that love is God’s dream for us and for the whole human family. Please, never forget this! God has a dream for us and he asks us to make it our own. So do not be afraid of that dream! Dream big! Cherish that dream and dream it together each day anew. In this way, you will be able to support one another with hope, strength and forgiveness at those moments when the path grows rocky and it becomes hard to see the road ahead.

In the Bible, God binds himself to remain faithful to his covenant, even when we grieve him or grow weak in our love.. What does God say in the Bible to his people? Listen carefully: “I will never fail you nor forsake you!” (Heb 13:5).

And you as husbands and wives, anoint one another with those words of promise, every day for the rest of your lives. And never stop dreaming! Keep repeating in your heart: “I will never fail you nor forsake you”.

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“It is in the home that we learn to believe, through the quiet daily example of parents who love our Lord and trust in his Word. There in the home, which we call the “domestic church”, children learn the meaning of fidelity, integrity and sacrifice.

They see how their mother and father interact with each other, how they care for each other and for others, how they love God and love the Church. In this way children can breathe in the fresh air of the Gospel, and learn to understand, judge and act in a manner worthy of the legacy of faith they have received.

The faith, brothers and sisters, is passed on “around the family table”, at home in ordinary conversation, in the language that persevering love alone knows how to speak.”

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“It’s important to ask yourselves if it’s possible to love one another “forever”…. Today everything changes rapidly; nothing lasts long…And this mentality leads so many who are preparing for marriage to say: “we are together while love lasts”, and then? Greetings and good bye..And so marriage ends.

But what do we understand by “love”? Is it only a feeling, a psycho-physical state? Of course if it’s this, one cannot build on something solid. But if, instead, love is a relationship, then it’s a reality that grows, and we can also say, by way of example, that it is built as a house. And the house is built together, not by one alone! Here to build means to foster and help growth.

Dear fiancé(e)s, you are preparing yourselves to grow together, to build this house, to live together forever. You don’t want to build it on the sand of sentiments that come and go, but on the rock of true love that comes from God.

The family is born from this project of love that wishes to grow, as a house is built that is a place of affection, of help, of hope, of support. As the love of God is stable and forever, so we also want the love that founds the family to be stable and forever. Please, we must not let ourselves be conquered by the “culture of the provisional”! This culture that invades everyone today, this culture of the provisional, is not the way!

So how is this fear of “forever cured? It’s cured day by day by entrusting oneself to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual journey, made up of steps – small steps, steps of joint growth – made up of commitment to become mature women and men of faith. Because, dear fiancé(e)s, “forever” is not solely a question of duration! A marriage hasn’t succeeded just because it has lasted – its quality is important. The challenge of Christian spouses is to be together and to be able to love each other forever.

There comes to mind the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves: for you also, the Lord can multiply love and give it to you fresh and food every day. He has an infinite supply! He gives you the love that is the foundation of your union and He renews it every day. He reinforces it. And He renders it even greater when the family grows with children.

On this journey, prayer is important and necessary always…. Ask Jesus to multiply your love. In the prayer of the Our Father we say: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Spouses can also learn to pray thus: “Lord, give us today our daily love,” because the daily love of spouses is the bread, the true bread of the soul, that which sustains them to go forward….

This is the prayer of fiancé(e)s and spouses. Teach us to love one another, to will the good for each other! The more you entrust yourselves to Him the more your love will be “forever”, capable of being renewed and it will overcome every difficulty.”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, Valentine’s Day 2014

“It is an art to live together, a patient, beautiful and fascinating journey. It doesn’t end when you have won each other. Instead, it’s really then that it begins! This daily journey has rules that can be summarized in three phrases …. Phrases which I have repeated so many times to families: permission – that is “may I” … “thank you”  and “excuse me”.

“May I – Permission?” It is the polite request to be able to enter in the life of another with respect and care. It is necessary to learn to ask: may I do this? Are you happy that we do it this way? That we take this initiative, that we educate the children like this? Would you like to go out this evening? In sum, to ask permission means to be able to enter with courtesy in the life of others….

And it’s not easy, it’s not easy. Sometimes, instead, rather heavy ways are used, like some mountain boots! True love doesn’t impose itself with harshness and aggressiveness….courtesy preserves love. And today in our families, in our world, often violent and arrogant, there is need of much more courtesy. And this can begin at home.

“Thank you”. It seems easy to say this word, but we know it’s not like this…However, it’s important! We teach it to children, but then we forget it! Gratitude is an important sentiment!…..

In your relationship, and tomorrow in your married life, it’s important to keep alive the awareness that the other person is a gift of God, and one says thank you for God’s gifts! …and to say thank you to each other for everything. It’s not a kind word to be used with foreigners, to be well mannered. It’s necessary to be able to say thank you to one another, to go forward well together in your married life.

“Apology”. We make so many errors, so many mistakes in life. We all do…..Perhaps there’s not a day in which we don’t make some mistake. The Bible says that the just man sins seven times a day. And so we make mistakes…See, then, the need to use this simple word: “sorry”.

In general each one of us is quick to accuse the other and to justify ourselves. This began with our father Adam, when God asks him: “Adam, have you eaten of that fruit?” “I? No! She is the one who gave it to me!” We accuse the other so as not to say “sorry’, “pardon”. It’s an old story! It’s an instinct that is at the origin of so many disasters.

Let us learn to acknowledge our errors and to ask for pardon. “I’m sorry if I raised my voice today”; “I’m sorry I passed by without greeting you”; “I’m sorry I was late, “if this week I’ve been so silent,” “if I’ve talked too much without ever listening”; “I’m sorry I forgot”; “I’m sorry I was angry and took it our on you”…There are so many “sorrys” we can say each day.

A Christian family also grows this way. We all know that the perfect family doesn’t exist, or the perfect husband, or the perfect wife…..Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: never end a day without asking forgiveness from one another, without having peace return to your home, to your family….because if you end the day without making peace, what you have inside the next day is cold and hard and it’s more difficult to make peace.”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, Valentine’s Day 2014

“Make it a real celebration – because marriage is a celebration – a Christian celebration, not a wordly celebration.

The most profound motive for joy on that day is indicated in John’s Gospel: do you remember the wedding of Cana? At a certain point they ran out of wine and the celebration seemed ruined. Imagine ending the feast by drinking tea! No, it’s not on! Without wine, there is no celebration!

On Mary’s suggestion, in that moment Jesus reveals himself for the first time and gives a sign: he transforms the water into wine and, by so doing, saves the wedding celebration. What happened at Cana two thousand years ago happens, in fact, in every nuptial celebration: what will make your marriage full and profoundly true will be the presence of the Lord, who reveals himself and gives his grace. It’s his presence that offers the “good wine”, he is the secret of full joy, what truly warms the heart. It’s Jesus’ presence in that celebration….

Make the external signs of your celebration [the banquet, photographs, clothes and flowers], as the wine at Cana, reveal the Lord’s presence and remind you and everyone of the origin and reason for your joy…”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, St Valentine’s Day 2014

“Matrimony is also a work of every day; I could say a craftwork, a goldsmith’s work, because the husband has the task to make his wife more woman and the wife has the task to make her husband more man. To grow also in humanity, as man and as woman. And this is done between you. It is called growing together.

This doesn’t come from the air! The Lord blesses it, but it comes from your hands, from your attitudes, from your way of living, from your way of loving one another. Make yourselves grow! Always act so that the other grows. …And the children will have this legacy of having had a father and a mother that grew together, each one making the other more a man and more a woman!”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, St Valentine’s Day 2014

Please talk to your priest about readings for your wedding, but here are some ideas:

Old Testament Readings

Genesis 1:26-28, 31a

God said, “Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.”

God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be master of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.” God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

Genesis 2:18-24

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts of the earth. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him.

So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man.

The man exclaimed: ‘This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man.’
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.

Genesis 24:48-51, 58-67

Abraham’s servant said to Laban: “I bless the Lord, God of my master Abraham, who had so graciously led me to choose the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. Now tell me whether you are prepared to show kindness and goodness to my master; if no, say so, and I shall know what to do.”

Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is from the Lord; it is not on our own power to say yes or no to you. Rebekah is there before you. Take her and go; and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has decreed.” They called Rebekah and asked her “Do you want to leave with this man?” “I do,” she replied. Accordingly they let their sister Rebekah go, with her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. They blessed Rebekah in these words:
‘Sister of ours, increase to thousands and tens of thousands! May your descendants gain possession of the gates of their enemies!”

Rebekah and her servants stood up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. The servants took Rebekah and departed.

Isaac, who lived in Negeb, had meanwhile come into the wilderness of the well of Lahai roi. Now Isaac went walking in the fields as evening fell, and looking up saw camels approaching. And Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. She jumped down from her camel, and asked the servant, “Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?” The servant replied, “That is my master.” Then she took her veil and covered her face.

The servant told Isaac the whole story, and Isaac led Rebekah into his tent and made her his wife; and he loved her. And so Isaac was consoled for the loss of his mother.

Ruth 1:16-17

Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die – there will I be buried.

May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

Tobit 8:4-8

On the evening of their marriage, Tobias said to Sarah, ‘Let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety.’ Tobias began by saying,
‘Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors, and blessed is your name in all generations forever. Let the heavens and the whole creation bless you forever.

You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the human race has sprung. You said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.”

I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity.

Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.’

And they both said, ‘Amen, Amen.’

Song of Songs 2:8-10,14,16; 8:6-7

I hear my Beloved.
See how he comes
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My Beloved is like a gazelle,
like a young stag.
See where he stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the windows,
He peers through the lattice.
My beloved lifts up his voice,
he says to me,
‘Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock.
In the covert of the cliff,
Show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is beautiful.’
My beloved is mine and I am his.
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as Death, Jealousy relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of the Lord himself.
Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown.

Song of Songs 2:10-14, 16

My beloved lifts up his voice, he says to me,
‘Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on earth.
The season of glad songs has come,
the cooing of the turtledove is heard
in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs
and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.
Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock.
In the covert of the cliff,
Show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is beautiful.’
My beloved is mine and I am his.

Sirach 6: 7-11a, 12, 14-16

If you want a friend take them on trial and do not be in a hurry to trust them, for one kind of friend is only so when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.

Another kind of friend will fall out with you, and to your amazement make your quarrel public. And a third type of friend will share your table but will not stand by you in your day of trouble. When you are doing well, they will be right beside you, but if disaster befalls you, he will turn his back and keep out of your way.

A faithful friend is a true shelter. Whoever finds one has found a real treasure.

A faithful friend is invaluable; there is no measuring their worth. A faithful friend is like the deep drink of life and those who follow the Lord will find one.

Isaiah 61: 10-11

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, but not like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest – it is the Lord who speaks.

Responsorial Psalms

Psalm 32:12,18,20-22, R: v.5

Response: The Lord fills the earth with His love.

They are happy, whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his own. The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord. The Lord is our help and our shield. In him do our hearts find joy. We trust in his holy name.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Psalm 33:12,18,20-22, v.5

Response: I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.

Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me; from all my terrors he set me free.

Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress.

The angel of the Lord is encamped around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is happy who seeks refuge in him.

Psalm 102:1-2, 8, 13, 17-18 R: v. 8 Alt R: v.17

The Lord is compassion and love.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children when they keep his covenant in truth.

Psalm 111:1-9. R: cf v.1

Happy the one who takes delight in the Lords commands.

Happy the man who fears the Lord, who takes delight in his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; the children of the upright are blessed.

Riches and wealth are in his house; his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends. he conducts his affairs with honour.
The just man will never waver: he will be remembered for ever.

He has no fear of evil news; with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear; he will see the downfall of his foes.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm for ever.
His head will be raised in glory.

Psalm 127:1-5 R: cf. v.1 Alt. R: v.4

O blessed are those who fear the Lord!
Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.

O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive, around your table.

Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life!

Psalm 144:8-10, 15, 17-18 R v.9

Response: How good is the Lord to all.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion. slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord, and your friends shall repeat their blessing. The eyes of all creatures look to you and you give them their food in due time.

The Lord is just in all his ways and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him, who call on him from their hearts.

Psalm 148:1-4, 9-14. R: v.12

Praise the name of the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host.

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, shining starts.
Praise him, highest heavens, and the waters about the heavens.

All the mountains and hills, all fruit trees and cedars,
beasts wild and tame, reptiles and birds on the wing.

All earths kings and peoples, earth’s princes and rulers:
young men and maidens, old men together with children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord for he alone is exalted.
The splendor of his name reaches beyond heaven and earth

New Testament Readings

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus?

No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or attacked. These are the trails through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 12:1-2,9-18

Think of God’s mercy, my brothers, and worship him, I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world around you, but let your behaviour change, modelled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.

Do not let your love be a pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as much as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other.

Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of spirit. If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying. If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.

Bless those who persecute you: never curse them, bless them. Rejoice with those who rejoice and be sad with those in sorrow. Treat everyone with equal kindness; never be condescending but make real friends with the poor. Do not allow yourselves to become self-satisfied. Never repay evil with evil but let everyone see that you are interested only in the highest ideals. Do all you can to live at peace with everyone.

Corinthians 12:31-13:8

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them.

If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.

Ephesians 5:2,21-33

Follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up for us as an offering and a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God. Husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy by washing her in cleansing water with a form of words, so that when he took the Church to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself.

A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church because we are part of his Body. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh.

This mystery has great significance, but I am applying it to Christ and the Church. To sum up: you also, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.

Colossians 3: 12-17

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as the quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them. Put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body.

Always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 John 3: 18-24

My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active;

Only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence, whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.

My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence, and whatever we ask him, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments and live the kind of life he wants.

His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another as he told us to.

Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him. We know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us.

1 John 4: 7-12

My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.

God’s love for us was revealed when he sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him;

This is the love I mean: Not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.

No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us.

Gospel Readings

Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up to the hill. There he sat down, and was joined by the disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
How happy are the poor in spirit; Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle: They shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn: They shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: They shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: They shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: They shall seek God.
Happy the peacemakers: They shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lampstand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 7:21,24-29

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall!’

Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew 22:35-40

A lawyer, to disconcert Jesus, put a question, “Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”

Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your hear, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole law, and the prophets also.”

Mark 10:6-9

Jesus said: “From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. That is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.”

John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus said, “Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

There were six stone jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”, and they filled them to the brim. “Draw some out now,” he told them, “and take it to the steward.” They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the stewards who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said: “People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.”

This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.

John 15:9-12

Jesus said to his disciples; ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.
Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete

This is my commandment: Love one another, as I have loved you’.

John 15:12-16

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘This my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.

No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.

I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business;

I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.

You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.’

John 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: “Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one.

Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.

I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one, with me in them and you in me

May they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.

I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.”

A reflection can be read, usually after communion and before the end of the ceremony. Here are some ideas:


A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage, the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once each day.

It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other the atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person.
It is being the right partner.


As hand and hand you enter
a life that’s brand new,
May God look down from heaven
And bless the two of you.

May he give you understanding,
enough to make you kind,
So you may judge each other,
with your heart and not your mind.

May he teach you to be patient,
as you learn to live together
Forgiving little “human rifts”
that arise in “stormy weather”.

And may your love be big enough,
to withstand the strongest sea,
So you may dwell forever
In love’s rich tranquillity.


Yes yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The heart, the steadfast land, the wandering sea,
Not beautiful or rare in every part,
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.


Friendship is a golden chain,
the links are friends so dear,
and like a rare and precious jewel
it’s treasured more each year.

It’s clasped together firmly
with a love that’s deep and true,
and it’s rich with happy memories
and for recollections too.

Time can’t destroy its beauty
for, as long as memory loves,
years can’t erase the pleasures
that the joy of friendship gives.

For friendship is a precious gift
that can’t be bought or sold,
but to have an understanding friend
is worth far more than gold.

And the golden chain of friendship
is a strong and blessed tie
binding kindred hearts together
as the years go passing by.


Take nothing for granted
For whenever you do
The joy of enjoying
is lessened for you

For we rob our own lives
Much more than you know
When we fail to reflect
Or in any way show

Our thanks for the blessings
That daily are ours……
The warmth of the sun
The fragrance of flowers

The kind little deeds
So thoughtfully done,
The favours of friends
And the love that someone

Unselfishly gives us
In a myriad of ways
Expecting no payment
And no words of praise—

Oh, great is our loss
When we no longer find
A thankful response
To things of this kind.

For the joy of enjoying
And the fullness of living
Are reflections of the heart
That is filled with thanksgiving


So let us give ourselves away
Not just today but everyday
And remember a kind and thoughtful deed
Or a hand outstretched in time of need
Is the rarest of gifts, for it is a part
Not of the purse but a loving heart
And those who give of themselves will find
True joy of heart and peace of mind.

From THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke again and said ‘and what of marriage, master?’
And he answered saying:
‘You were born together and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone although they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts but not into each other’s keeping, for only the hand of Life can contain your hearts, and stand together yet not too near together: for the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Kahil Gibran, The Prophet

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