A royal homily about getting married "in the spirit of a generous God"

Beautiful sentiments from the homily at the royal wedding this morning (and if you have to ask “whose wedding?,” roll over and go back to sleep…). 

From the ever-vigilant Frank Weathers, a snip:  

“In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.

A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. And people can dream of doing such a thing but the hope should be fulfilled it is necessary a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.

You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely a power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.”

Read it all.  God bless the happy couple.

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27 responses to “A royal homily about getting married "in the spirit of a generous God"”

  1. Like many others, I got up at 4:45 AM to watch the beautiful ceremony. Let’s hope that their’s is a loving and happy marriage—unlike that of William’s parents.

  2. My spouse and I have been up since 5 a.m. with our pot of tea, scones, crumpets (yes, real crumpets).

    Here are some of my personal reflections:

    The bride’s dress was modest and such a contrast to what brides are wearing today (backless, strapless, red-carpet-like, prom-like dresses). Hope that it starts a trend.

    The well-chosen Scripture reading from Romans 12, read by the bride’s bother, who appeared to have much of the passage memorized, was just beautiful and very effective. It brought home the broader perspective of the love between a married couple:

    “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good…. . Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. … If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

    But, of course as noted in this post, the homily by Dr. Richard Chartres, Anglican Bishop of London was a gem. His opening words with the words of St. Catherine of Siena, while looking directly at the couple, “blew me away.” (“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”) It reminds me of that homily that the priest used to say before the exchange of vows in the Catholic Nuptial Mass.

    So inspirational! So hopeful!

  3. didn’t watch, but as I thought about all the attention being paid to this wedding, it occurred to me tha Will and Kate are giving a wonderful example to millions — an example of marriage as the thing to do when a man and woman want to spend their lives together. And we can hope and pray that through the years they will both have joy and give continuing good example of fidelity to their commitment.

    The homily expressed the divine vocation of marriage quite well, and it is good that so many heard it and can ponder it.

  4. I agree 100% with naturgesetz a wonderful example to all our young people. Marriage is a sacrament that must be kept sacred, todays events hopefully, will cause pause among our younger generation. Reflect prayerfully on its importance and the power of this sacrament.

  5. Guess I’ll be the wet blanket.
    It would have been nice if their wonderful example had started with their courtship. At a time when the church is trying to remind everyone that shacking up before marriage is still a sin, it’s sad that maybe one of the best things we can say about the royal wedding is that, at least, it finally took place.

  6. You know Holly, You are 100% correct but…

    Your correctness is the reason we teach what is right and do what we can to help others make the right choices, but it doesn’t always turn out the way we would like it to. (thank GOD for free will)
    As an example…I taught RCIS this year and had (9) people that wanted to come into the Church, recieve confirmation or baptism; not alot but more than some churches. Out of those 9, 5 could not recieve any sacraments or be brought into the Church because they were living together….oh, by the way, one of them is my future daughter-in-law.
    I know very well what you’re saying and I agree, but use the truth as a teaching moment and then let them decide. I believe it’s what Jesus would do.

    Peace to all

  7. By the way, I don’t nag but I have little subtle ways to let my son know that his decision is the wrong one.

  8. Here’s to the happy couple. Let us pray they take the journey down the Thames and up the Tiber!

  9. The ideal would have been for them not to have lived together before marriage, but the reality is, it made them much more “relatable” to the younger population, who otherwise may not have tuned in.

    For the youth who did tune in, it was an extraordinary witness to the beauty of liturgy and the sacredness of marriage, in fact, far more beautiful than most Catholic weddings these days (not discounting of course the value of the Eucharist/mass).

    I doubt most their age had ever been eposed to such a “religious” wedding. As many will copy Kate and Pipi’s dresses, who knows how many will also want the religion part as well, or at least will have had a seed planted to think about it. It was a great witness to a massive audience.

    Lastly, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the Royality of England are also the head of the Church.

    I truly loved the liturgy; the reading, homily, and hymns were simply beautiful and uplifting. The Royal Wedding was a much needed event in a noisy, dangerous, and often sorrowful world, reminding us the whole meaning of life is that “marriage” with Christ.

    p.s. Too bad someone didn’t explain to Kate that the “obey” vow real meaning was to Christ, not William; great teaching moment lost.

  10. Klaire, I don’t think using sin as an attractant for younger people is a good idea. “See how this couple shacked up and still got their church wedding! You can do it too!” The “beauty of the liturgy and sacredness of marriage” are somewhat mocked by a total disregard for the sin that led up to it. I do wish them well. I just think their example is not a complete one and the gushing should be tempered by the reality of a previous life of sin that doesn’t seem to be repented of by anyone involved.

  11. All.that liturgical beauty came from the catholic church, let’s not forget. It was a beautiful ceremony. Hopefully one day the act of settlement of 1701 will be abolished as it should be.

  12. Holly I agree, but it is what it is, and, God can always bring good out of evil; that was my point. I only disagree with you in that we couldn’t possibly know if they repented or not, and may well have. In additon, it would be unwise to underestimate the graces of a blessed and sacramental marriage, especially if they did repent and were especially recpetive to the grace of marriage.

    Can we even imagine the impact a young couple like Wiliam and Kate could have on culture if they seriously embaraced religion; sure something to pray for!

    Jeff I was thinking of how sad it is that the CC has lost so much of that liturgical beauty, that certainly did come from us! I hope all of the “Catholic Inclusive” and musical directors will be sent a video of the wedding. How could guitars, me me me songs, or mega churches ever come even close to that kind of beauty? I’m hoping all of the Anglican converts will help bring the NO mass back to the way it is intended. That kind of beauty WITH the Real Presence: Heaven on earth!

  13. Greg

    I agree Dr. Chartes was spot on ( brief and to the point always helps!)

    I doubt it was a coincidence that they selected the feast day of St Catherine – how many of us select the day based upon availability of a particular hall or the appropriate season for a particular color scheme or decoration.

    I only saw snip-its of the wedding but I was equally touched that the opening hymn sung was same as the closing hymn at Diana’s funeral in this same church.

    Lastly an observation- I am increasingly convinced that if we are ever to reach the Christian unity Christ prayed for his followers, it will come not from declaring how wrong the other side is and how perfect we are in every way but instead from embracing our ” brothers and sisters in Christ” and especially what is good , holy and true in their beliefs and practices and liturgy.

    The source and inspiration of yesterday’s wedding ceremony was Jesus Christ- if they borrowed aspects from the CC church 450 years ago then we should be humbled they saw Christ’ inspiration in what we say and do and be open to seeing the same elsewhere.

  14. Charity at the expense of truth isn’t real charity. The so called Church of England is a breakaway sect, all serious christians know this. While i have the utmost regard for Elizabeth, she might do well to renounce her absurd claim to be the head of the Church in England, and maybe officially apologize for the murders of Thomas More and Bishop Fisher.

  15. Oh good grief!

    CCC 820: “The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.”

    See also CCC 1267, 1271.

  16. natureg that’s a great quote, and while all baptised Christians are part of the Body of Christ, no Catholic could ever “compromise” the fullness of truth for “unity.”

    The best we can do is live that truth (our Catholic Faith) to it’s fullness, and if we did, our brothers and sisters would be busting down the doors to become one with us.

  17. Holly: In a perfect world the Duke and Duchess would not have lived together before marriage. This is not a perfect world, and in the long run, it makes no difference if they did or not. The only important thing now is that they have a long and happy life together, and that the press LEAVE THEM ALONE.

  18. She could apologize. Everyone knows how wrong it was. john paul II apologized for the sins of.catholics many times. No one has followed his lead.

  19. As a die-hard fan of the American Revolution I didn’t give a wink about either royakty or wedding but reading these posts I learned that the couple were living together prior to the wedding. I can’t believe that was allowed by the royal family, British propriety for monarchy, etc.

    NOw that I know that I am doubly glad I didn’t watch the ceremonies. How in the world is having a royal wedding for cohabitators such a good example as some seem to view it? I agree with the person who posted that it simply reinforces a sense of utilitarian cultural usefulness for marriage ceremonies and makes the sacrament all but meaningless.

    Now if they had publicly separated prior to marriage THAT would at least be some good example that they had a clue as to what marriage is all about.

  20. I’m sorry, but how could any of you know what they did before the wedding? Especially in terms of repentance, separation, etc. We just assume that they – this couple following in a centuries old tradition – would do what any young American couple does. How silly of us.

    Where on earth can anyone learn about Jesus’ love, forgiveness, meekness and joy? It certainly won’t be in the sniping comments of Catholics on their Catholic blogs talking about people who are not Catholic.


  21. I think that one aspect that may explain the high trend of cohabitation among young people today is the high rate of divorce in their families of origin.

    A few years ago when I was teaching at a Catholic High School (by far, the hardest job I have ever had in the church), I did a survey to determine how many students in my classes had divorced parents. The result: over one-third. (Most were living with remarried parents.)

    One boy told me how proud he was of his mother who had raised him on her own. One of the friends who was nearby said to him: “You don’t like the woman that your father married, do you.” He responded: “Let’s put it this way, we have come to an agreement now that she realizes that I (with some emphasis) am the one who is there for the long haul.”

  22. Cindy, we know what they did before there wedding because they shared a house together and the arrangement was approved of. That is common knowledge and not a guess on our part. As for knowing if they have repented or not, a public arrangement of that kind speaks for itself.

    Secondly, Jesus’ love, forgiveness, meekness, and joy sit right next to all he said about sin. It’s real and we can’t ignore it. I don’t exclude myself from his warnings. He actually took time out while he was carrying the cross, to warn the weeping women not to weep for him, but for themselves and their children. He knew the judgment that was to come upon them, which happened within their lifetime. Was Jesus forgiving, meek, and full of joy when he allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed and thousands of men, women, and yes, children, to be tortured and murdered? I love that my Lord is forgiving, but I tremble at my own sins and for the sins of others as well. Peter Kreeft said it well, “God is more than just, but not less.”

    As for commenting on non-Catholics, this is a religious blog and the wedding was a major public/religious event. They are fellow christians, so I don’t think our comments are out of order. I don’t know about “sniping”, but they were certainly critical.

    I will repeat what I said. I wish them well.

    To pagansister, if only the press could leave them alone, but their “job” is to be public figures. I think all public figures have a difficult time leading normal lives. His parents were not successful. Nor his great aunt, nor his aunt, nor his uncle, nor his mother’s parents. I will pray they are successful.

  23. Holly, I agree since they are public figures, the press will be there, but IMO, when they are not at public events etc. they should be left alone. Diana was hounded to death, literally, and I hope the press learned something. As to their time together before marriage—-the Queen had a sister who wasn’t allowed to marry the man she wanted, (because he wasn’t of the right blood) 3 of her 4 children are divorced (Charles having had basically an arranged marriage so he could make babies—as I feel he never really loved Diana), so approving or not approving Prince William and Catherine living together may not have made a difference. At one time, divorce was not allowed in the royal family either—they just cheated on each other. The world has changed—-divorce is prevelant. They are now married and as most folks here seem to agree—let us hope it is a much happier marriage than Diana’s and Charles—and they stay happily together. As to an example for others? They are not out of the ordinary now in many cases—and 46 years ago when I married, I knew many who lived together before marriage and they are still married. Just because they are “royality” doesn’t make them exempt from being human. Also—their church ties may not be as strong as some folks hope. That’s life.

  24. To all who wanted some outward repentance from Kate and Will — It seems to me that the decision of a cohabiting couple to marry is in itself an implicit repentance. It is not mere words, but the repentance of changing their status.

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