On Sunday February 9th, 2014, we will celebrate the World Marriage Day. The idea of celebrating a special day for marriage began in Baton Rouge, La., in 1981, when couples encouraged the mayor, the governor and the Bishop to proclaim St. Valentines Day as "We Believe in Marriage Day". The event was so successful that the idea was presented to and adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s national leadership. By 1982, 43 governors officially proclaimed the day and celebrations spread to U.S. military bases in several foreign countries. In 1983 the name was changed to "World Marriage Day", designated to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in February. In 1993, his Holiness, Pope John Paul II imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day. WMD celebrations continue to grow and spread to more countries and faith expressions every year. The theme for WMD has been permanently adopted as "Love One Another." This phrase is the commandment given us by Jesus in John: 14. It speaks to us in a simple but challenging way of how God wishes us to live. Loving one another is a daily decision – simple, but challenging.
World Marriage Day offers a great opportunity to reach out to couples in your community and help them revitalize their marriage; it honors the Sacrament of Marriage; husband and wife united in Christ as the head of the family, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in married life.
The attached suggestions put emphasis into what you are already doing to strengthen and support the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. In our diocese, many parishes and deaneries have made this day an annual celebration in their local communities. While each parish or congregation may customize the fine points, a basic event includes a Eucharistic celebration with the renewal of wedding vows.
We look forward to this important celebration as together we strengthen and promote the Sacrament of Marriage.