My favourite quotes of the wedding day come from the speech given by Lord Bishop of London, Right Reverend Dr Richard Chartres, during the royal ceremony. Of many words that have been said at and about the wedding, these are surely words to keep and nourish on at this time and in times to come. It is my pleasure to rewrite some of them below, to remember.
“This is a a joyful day! It is good that people in every continents are able to share in these celebrations. This is, as every wedding day should be: a day of Hope. In a sense, every wedding is a royal wedding, with the bride and the groom as King and Queenof Creation, making a new life together, so that Life can flow through them, into the future.“
“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.”
“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 the power that has been given to us through the discoveries of our 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.
Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another a work of art. It is possible to transform, so long as we don’t harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coertion if the spirit is afloat; each must give the other the space and freedom.”
“As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relationships alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We’re all incomplete, we all need the love that is secure, rather than oppressive, we all need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive, but as we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us, and can increasingly fill our life with light. This leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can receive and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit whose fruits are love and joy and peace.”
God, our Father, we thank You for our families, for the love that we share, and for the joy of our marriage. In the busyness of each day, keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life, and help us be generous with our time and love and energy. Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer.
We ask this in the spirit of Jesus Christ,
and we all say ‘Amen!'”