Thanksgiving for Marriage (Valentine's Service) Homily

  • A Husband says: You have to admit (my dear) that men have much better judgement than women. His Wife replies: You’re right. You married me and I married you.
  • Well, the fact that you have come here this evening, on the closest Saturday night to S.Valentines and just (I hope) before he takes you out, (yeah, right!) shows that you BOTH showed exceptional taste and judgement!
  • Valentine has become a Saint’s day which now overwhelmingly is given over to commercialism (for the benefit of card manufacturers) and the repackaging of sex as a commodity rather than a gift from God
  • This is a pity, because S. Valentine was a Saint who facilitated the love of a young Christian couple, defended and protected them and ultimately was martyred because he believed that love, shown one for another was a manifestation of God’s love.
  • We gather here to celebrate the God given gift of Partnership – the joining of two people and the joy, commitment, fidelity that that sacrament calls us to.
  • It is, indeed a sacrament
    • It has an outward visible sign
    • It has an inward spiritual grace
      • The outward signs are not, as commonly supposed those rings, or the certificate, or any of those elements that you fretted over when you prepared your special day
      • But the outward and visible sign of your sacrament is yourselves
      • The inward spiritual grace is what drew you together, continues to sustain you on your life’s adventure and which is the ultimate proof, I believe of the existence of God: love.
  • When God draws two people together, he does so for a reason, and he does so in joy
  • We gather today to celebrate all we have been through – and that does mean not shying away from the tough times as well as the good ones
  • And we look forward, for our lives spent in partnership are more significant than just for the here and now.
  • I actually believe that “until death us do part” is only a part of it and that when we are gathered into glory with the Lord, there our partnership is continued, sustained as a reflection of the love that God has for us.
  • There may be some gathered here whose life partners are no longer with us, but their commitment to each other remains true.
  • This is an opportunity for us to take stock, and to pause and reflect on our lives spent in partnership and marriage.
  • It is a moment to give thanks to God for each other, and for the place of God in that life-long partnership.
  • We realise that our committed relationships demand from us the same gifts that God shows to us:
    • Communication
    • Empathy – sensing the needs of our loved ones
    • Fidelity
    • Honesty
  • If we take our soul-mates seriously, then we are called to both give and receive those gifts
  • When we do, we realise that they are worth all the chocolates and flowers in the world.
  • Amen