For those of you who haven’t heard, my daughter is getting married!!! We are crazy about the man she is engaged to (how can you not love a man who started out their relationship by pledging to my husband that he would protect our daughter and her chastity at all costs… yup, that happened). Their first decision, after deciding to get married, was to schedule their Pre-Cana classes (coincidently, my husband and I are on the Pre-Cana teaching team). They are eager to start their marriage out on the best spiritual ground they can. My daughter has already begun Natural Family Planning classes, so that she will be fully prepared for all aspects of their married life.
I can’t help but contrast their experience to so many of the couples my husband and I teach at Pre-Cana. One couple planned every aspect of their wedding day, but forgot to sign up for Pre-Cana (we accommodated them by having a special session the week before they got married).
The other thing we witness, are the couples who have the beautiful and blessed wedding Mass, only to skip Mass on the first Sunday they are married, which is a mortal sin according to the teachings of the Church.
If they contracept on their wedding night, they have already broken the wedding vow of being open to life (often part of the spoken vows the priest reiterates in the ceremony). In order for a marriage to be a true Sacrament, the Church teaches it must be Faithful, Fruitful (open to life), Permanent, and Freely undertaken! How sad to diminish that Sacrament on the first night of married life.
Do they even realize that they have begun their married life with two serious sins on their souls, blemishing their marriage?
If we are to truly support our young couples, we must instruct them well in the teachings of the Church. Their marriages will be strengthened by understanding what a Sacramental marriage should be and how to accomplish it, thereby attaining the grace needed for a happy and fulfilling life together. Married life is a gift and a vocation, and should be entered into with all the information and faith formation that we accept for other Sacraments.
I look forward to celebrating this Sacrament with my daughter, her future husband, and his family. I pray they will be blessed abundantly.