11 March 2007
In a few moments, in this sacred place, in the presence of their families and friends who have shared so much of their lives, before the representative of the Church and the State, Philip and Amanda will declare each other to be husband and wife.
They are taking the great risk of love, for love is always a risk. What will the years bring? What challenges will face them, making them discover deeper levels of love, a more intense commitment? In the courage of their youth and the confidence of their affection Philip is declaring that he has found someone to receive the great store of love in him; Amanda is proclaiming she has found someone to cherish in every circumstance. They are telling heaven and earth they will share life’s joys and struggles, and so fulfil their destiny, becoming fully human and truly Christian. They are telling us they will become one body, uniting their hearts, their emotions, their lives, and their spirits.
In a few moments they will take each other by the hand; just as they will hold tight in the roller-coaster ride of life. As the years pass they will find new ways of being the friend, the lover, the partner in life they are today. This is their hope and prayer. When they have grown old and walk together in some garden, may they look back and say ‘Yes, we really did get married on our wedding day; our lives are now truly married’.
Today they are entering into sacrament with each other. They will initiate each other into the happiness of the One who is beyond all names and whom we humbly worship at this altar. They will come to know the happiness reserved for them before the world began. May they know the delight which no words can express and which this world cannot contain. May the blessedness of God come to them. May they give thanks to God with all their hearts.
Today is a moment of intense happiness for them and for us. Their love is good news for us; they are the Gospel preached anew. By showing us their love on earth we will be more easily convinced of that Love that exists eternally. God will be Love in their love.
They will find their salvation in each other. Their love will be our salvation too, as they share their joy with us, today and in the days that lie ahead. May they be a blessing for us as they are for themselves; for their love is like the sun that gives life to the planet.
It is for this we have gathered here today. Let us hear them declare their love.