National Marriage Week is being celebrated in the United States from February 7-14. World Marriage Day was observed on Sunday, February 9 as it is annually celebrated on the second Sunday of February.
Each year, National Marriage Week and World Marriage Day provide the opportunity to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting, promoting, and upholding marriage and the family.
The theme chosen by the US Episcopal Conference to celebrate National Marriage Week, “Stories from the Domestic Church,” was announced by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth in a letter to his brother bishops.
The theme was chosen to demonstrate how “spouses are consecrated and by means of a special grace build up the Body of Christ and form a domestic church” as Pope Francis reminded the faithful in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
Among the resources provided to dioceses for National Marriage Week to use in their parishes are a preaching aid for priests, a bulletin insert or flyer of prayer intentions, and a seven-day virtual marriage retreat for married couples, available in English and Spanish. These resources are available for download at https://www.foryourmarriage.org/celebrate-national-marriage-week/ in English and Spanish.
This year’s retreat features testimonies of couples who live out the call of love and form “domestic churches” within their immediate and extended families. The term “domestic church” can be used to describe how “the Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion”. The retreat, which runs from February 7 to14, offers married couples an opportunity to pray and reflect about marriage in God’s plan.
A rosary for married couples and families in need of healing was live-streamed from the chapel at the USCCB in Washington on the Conference’s Facebook page on Wednesday, February 12 at 3:00 pm ET.
The USCCB offers resources to uphold marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman through its dedicated websites ForYourMarriage.org, PorTuMatrimonio.org, and MarriageUniqueForAReason.org.
National Marriage Week USA is a national movement promoting education about the benefits of marriage for reducing poverty and benefiting children. It was launched in 2010 as part of International Marriage Week, with 20 major countries around the world now mobilizing leaders and events to strengthen marriage in their countries. For information and resources, visit NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org. World Marriage Day was started in 1983 by Worldwide Marriage Encounter as a marriage enrichment program.