Members of the church are incorporated into an order, giving them particular rights and responsibilities. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) describes this incorporation as an ordinatio. We’re familiar with the English use of this word to describe the ordination of deacons, priests, and bishops.
The church also has other orders, namely catechumens, virgins, spouses, and widows (see CCC 1537). “Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order” (CCC 1631) and is a Christian vocation in which its members “will painstakingly cultivate and pray for steadiness of love, large heartedness, and the spirit of sacrifice” (Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 49). How fitting that the story of Jesus’s first miracle reflects these notable virtues taking place at the “ordination” of a couple into the order of spouses.Our responsibility is to communicate the dignity of this order through our genuine care for the couple and our own large heartedness toward them and their families before, during, and after the wedding. Click To Tweet
Yet, we’ve seen too many marriages absent of these virtues. As music and liturgy leaders, it’s no wonder that we might treat wedding requests from starry-eyed couples with some doubt. Will our wedding preparation process make any difference if they’re not ready for this vocation?
Our responsibility is to communicate the dignity of this order through our genuine care for the couple and our own large heartedness toward them and their families before, during, and after the wedding. And we pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen their vocation with a big heart open to God.