Among the many songs that Frank Sinatra sang, none expressed the truth about an institution more than the classic Love and Marriage. As the lyrics proclaim: “Love and marriage, love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. This I tell you, brother; you can’t have one without the other.”
Clearly, you can’t have marriage without love. So in a very special way, the Diocese of Providence will celebrate love and marriage this Sunday at the Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass. More than 300 couples from across the state of Rhode Island will gather at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence to celebrate decades of love and marriage between husbands and wives.
This new tradition was initiated by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin as a way to recognize the importance of the Sacrament of Marriage in our society and the couples who live their faith through marriage, each and every day. The Church teaches that marriage is the foundation of family life, and the family is the foundation of our society and the Church. So important is marriage that society is weakened when there are weak marriages and failed marriages. Likewise, society is strengthened when there are strong marriages. When men and women come together in marriage before God, they do so not merely for themselves, for marriage is not simply private and personal, but very public events that have significance for the entire community.
On Sunday, the Church rejoices as these happy couples come forth to God’s altar to renew their sacred marital vows. Some of these couples have been living the Sacrament of Marriage for 60 years or more. We offer them our thanks for such a great witness and congratulate them for their faithfulness to one another and to God as they have lived the sacrament in good times and bad, sickness and health, and for richer and poorer.
Let us all rejoice together on this great day as we recall the words sung so joyfully by Frank Sinatra: “Love and marriage, love and marriage, it’s an institute you can’t disparage.” Indeed we won’t disparage this sacrament and commitment between husband and wife, blessed by God. Congratulations to all our married couples celebrating special anniversaries. May God continue to bless you and your marriages.