A time for ‘Stories from the Domestic Church’

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The upcoming observances of National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, Feb. 9) have the theme “Stories from the Domestic Church.”

The theme seeks to demonstrate how “spouses are consecrated and by means of a special grace build up the Body of Christ and form a domestic church” (Amoris Laetitia, n. 67).

In a letter marking the occasion, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, stated that the celebration is “an opportunity to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with promoting and defending marriage and the family.”

“National Marriage Week USA is part of an international event seeking to mobilize individuals, organizations, and businesses in a common purpose to strengthen marriage in communities and influence the culture,” he said.

An extensive collection of resources for couples who are married or preparing for marriage can be found in English and Spanish at ForYourMarriage.org and PorTuMatrimonio.org. Both sites manage Facebook pages, which will provide daily content, including a virtual retreat for couples, during National Marriage Week.

Resources for marriage can also be found on the USCCB website http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/index.cfm

Made for Love, a Catholic audio storytelling podcast series featuring stories of people living out the call to love, can be accessed at madeforlove.podbean.com or on iTunes under “Made for Love.”

ForYourMarriage.org includes a Prayer for Married Couples:

Almighty and eternal God,

You blessed the union of married couples so that they might reflect the union of Christ and his Church: look with kindness on them. Renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of peace so that, with their children, they may rejoice in the gift of your blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.