At the annual Mass in thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony at Westminster Cathedral on 3rd June 2017, Cardinal Vincent told couples present that they are ‘makers of history’ and ‘co-workers with God’, who honour him in their effort.
He invited the couples, ‘as you thank God for the years spent together, to open your hearts afresh to the Holy Spirit’, who is the “‘fountain of living water”, flowing from the side of Christ and giving refreshment to all who thirst’. He reflected that ‘this is precisely the help we need in the tiring efforts of family life’, which he said ‘can indeed be thirsty work!’
Meditating on the Eucharist, the Cardinal added: ‘when we receive this Food of Life, which is the true Body of Christ, rather than us absorbing it into our life, we are absorbed by what we have eaten and we become part of the Body of Christ’ and ‘he becomes the One in whom we live and who acts in and through us, if we permit him to do so’.
Christ is also present in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so closely connected to the Eucharist, and it is he who helps families overcome ‘distances’ and ‘differences’ and who is ‘there also to heal our wounds, to forgive our sins, to mend the fissures in our lives’.
During the Mass the couples renewed their marriage promises and were blessed by the Cardinal.
The Mass for Matrimony has been an annual event since 2008, and this year 675 couples celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2017 joined the Cardinal to renew their vows. Among the couples present, 42 couples were celebrating 60 years or more of marriage, with one couple celebrating 66 years. A further 114 couples were celebrating 50 years and 113 celebrating 40 years. Many more were celebrating milestone anniversaries, with the newest celebrating five years of marriage.
The full text of the homily is available here.
Additional photos from the Mass are available here.