Homily at the wedding of Hayley and Jason
In a few moments time, Hayley and Jason will take each other by the hand. They will stand before their friends and their family who have seen them grow up and fall in love. They will declare publicly that they are husband and wife. They will declare that their love is solid and real and that they will love each other in all the circumstances life, in the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health. They will do this with freedom of heart and generosity of spirit because they know each other’s love. What happiness to have found someone to love and someone by whom to be loved! This is the greatest blessing of life, surely, the substance of all our dreams. We all want to love and be loved.
They will take each other by the hand in the symbolic gesture of choice. By this act they choose each other and reject all others. They take each other to themselves and take each other away from all others, husband and wife to each other in a unique way, like none other in the past and none in the future.
Their love is a sacrament, one of the seven sacraments of the Christian Church. In their love-making they will know the one God from whom all love comes. Their love for each other will open up to a love, which is from all eternity. Human love is a manifestation of divine love, flowing from it and leading to it.
They will be a sacrament to each other and a sacrament to us. As we see them in love we can begin to believe in the love of the God we cannot see. And in them we perceive all the human beings that have ever loved.
Marriage is celebrated on the very first page of the Bible, at the beginning of human history; and is found on the last page when all things are brought to fulfilment. The love of Hayley and Jason takes them to the beginning of time, which springs from love; and to the end of time, when all is consumed in the fire of love.
Tonight the Christian Church begins what is called Holy Week. We will re-enact Jesus entry into Jerusalem, acclaimed at first by the fickle crowd who will later turn on him and call for his death. He will be crucified on the day we call Good Friday and be raised from the dead on Easter Sunday. This great drama reveals the love of Jesus and through him the love of God who sent him.
It is this love that Hayley and Jason are called to show to each other, for their love is to be sacrificial, as they give themselves to each other in every circumstance, always ready to lay down their lives for each other. We thank them for the sacrament of their love; and we ask God’s blessing on them in their married life.
Let us gladly witness their declaration and their vow.