2016 ANNUAL MARRIAGE DAY: Married couples invited to taste the wine of the wedding feast
Whitford parish couple John and Marie Clift, who were celebrating their 55th marriage anniversary, were invited to receive their certificate from Bishop Sproxton in thanks and appreciation for the 40 years of service which Mr Clift has dedicated to Catholic Marriage and Fertility Services. Photo: Marco Ceccarelli
By Marco Ceccarelli
The value and significance of the sacrament of marriage was brought into the limelight at this year’s Annual Marriage Day Mass, celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton on Saturday, 13 August.
Attended by more than 300 people, many of whom were couples celebrating milestone anniversaries, the Mass took place at St Mary’s Cathedral – the mother Church of the Archdiocese of Perth which has seen countless couples married under its grand arches.
In his homily, Bishop Don Sproxton referenced the gospel of the Wedding at Cana, emphasising the transformative power of Christ to make what may seem ordinary into something extraordinary.
“We see this so often in the lives of married couples. The ordinary actions, done with love, bring great joy and harmony to husband and wife. They taste the wine of the kingdom,” Bishop Sproxton said.
The Bishop went on to underscore the crucial role played by parents and families as people from whom marriage and family life is learnt.
“We have learnt so much from parents as they were learning how to be loving partners. We learnt from their successes and their failures.” he said.
“We, perhaps, came to admire their courage as they persevered when they were disappointed, or had to face the reality of their frailty and accept that there was so much more growing required on one another’s part. We learnt from their sharing of times of joy, when they really felt that oneness of heart and mind.”
In his homily, Bishop Don Sproxton emphasised the importance of marriage both for married couples and for society at large. Photo: Marco Ceccarelli
Bishop Sproxton went on to speak of the benefits of marriage not only for a couple who decide to unite in wedlock and for the family which may be formed thereafter, but for the richness which the sacrament brings to society at large.
“Marriage of man and woman has always been a part of human history and reverenced in all cultures,” he said.
“The commonly acknowledged value of marriage is that it provides for the well-being of the couple and the family they may be blessed to generate. Our human and Christian societies really need our marriages and family life to be healthy.”
Bishop Sproxton also described marriage as stemming from the mind of God Himself and framed the love between a married man and a woman as reflecting God’s love for all humanity.
“Christians understand that marriage is not just a human institution. We have discerned, with the help of the Sacred Scripture, that part of its mystery is that it naturally flows from the very nature of man and woman, and, as man and woman are the creation of God, we can say that marriage has been always in the mind of the Creator and is, in fact, His creation,” he said.
“We have come to realise that God acts with love when he creates. The pinnacle of creation is the human person, to whom God gives the capacity to love others, even to the extent of forgetting oneself. In fact, the love of wife and husband, in a true marriage, has become an icon of the love of God Himself for humanity.”
Brian and Mary Fitzgerald were celebrating 25 years of marriage at the Annual Marriage Day Mass, 13 August 2016. Photo: Marco Ceccarelli
Following the Eucharist, Whitfords parish couple John and Marie Clift, who were celebrating their 55th marriage anniversary, were invited to receive their certificate from Bishop Sproxton in thanks and appreciation for the 40 years of service which Mr Clift has dedicated to Catholic Marriage and Fertility Services. All couples who attended were acknowledged and received a special blessing from Bishop Sproxton.
Couples who are celebrating significant milestone anniversaries (25, 30, 40, 50, 60 or even 70 years) received a commemorative certificate bestowing a special blessing from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and Bishop Don Sproxton.
Read Bishop Sproxton’s Homily by Clicking Here