Okay, I admit it: I woke up to watch the royal wedding. Keep in mind that I am usually up at 4 a.m. anyway for my job (so it wasn’t terribly difficult for me), but I still decided to wake up on my day off to see William and Kate exchange their vows.
A lot of Catholics have been grumbling at the fact that the media has been gushing over this event for weeks, and have practically ignored the other great event of the weekend: the beatification of the beloved Pope John Paul II.
I obviously don’t know the mind of the late Holy Father, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he is up in heaven, absolutely delighted at this juxtaposition.
I am watching the ceremony as I type these thoughts. William and Kate have just knelt, with millions across the world watching, as the Anglican bishop prayed a beautiful blessing over them:
O God, who has taught us that it should never be lawful to put asunder those whom thou by Matrimony hadst made one, and hast consecrated the state of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery, that in it is signified and represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his Church: look mercifully upon these thy servants, that both this man may love his wife, according to thy Word, (as Christ did love his spouse the Church, who gave himself for it, loving and cherishing it even as his own flesh), and also that this woman may be loving and amiable, and faithful to her husband, and in all quietness, sobriety, and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons. O Lord, bless them both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now, if I’m not mistaken – setting aside the very British diction – this sounds very much like it could have come straight from the pen of John Paul, a man who as a young priest fell in love with human love, a man who unapologetically upheld the dignity of the vocation of marriage.
It’s widely known that William and Kate lived together before they got married. I’m certainly not condoning that. But think of the countless couples who never get married – those who have decided that marriage is not necessary, that it is obsolete.
This wedding is such a statement to the world. Marriage is not obsolete. Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is necessary. And millions of people across the world have witnessed that.
I can’t help but think it is no coincidence that, contrary to all the weather predictions, it is a sunny day in London. William and Kate are in their open carriage, waving at the huge crowds who, no doubt, woke up very early on their day off (the wedding day is a bank holiday in England) to catch a glimpse of the couple.
Nope, I don’t think that John Paul is grumbling at all as he watches this from heaven.
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