Today is “National Marriage Day,” part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Marriage Week which spans from last Friday through next Friday, St. Valentine’s Day.
While the bishops have asked Catholics to participate in support of their anti-marriage equality campaign, other Catholics are affirming the goodness of marriage — and that means all marriages, which deserve equal recognition and dignity.
“The National Marriage Week campaign’s limited scope creates an unwelcoming Church for the thousands of US Catholics in same-sex marriages who live their lives as shining examples of love in the face of discrimination. By encouraging local parishes to observe ‘National Marriage Day’ during Sunday mass, the bishops are once again using the liturgy as a weapon to further alienate LGBT Catholics and their supporters.
“This campaign only serves to show how out of touch the bishops are with the values of everyday Catholics. While the bishops continue to abuse their power by pouring money and effort into thinly veiled anti-equality campaigns like National Marriage Week, the majority of US Catholics continue to support equality for LGBT families. Catholics know that all marriages based on love and respect are sacred and we implore the bishops to follow the laity’s lead and cease this attack on LGBT families.”
Equally Blessed, has prepared a “Prayer for All Marriages” which LGBT-affirming Catholics are being asked to pray today and throughout the week with their family, parishes, and local communities. You’re encouraged to show your support through stories and photos of how you have prayed and emailing these to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more resources by clicking here and the prayer is provided below:Loving God, You who created each of us in Your own image and who called us together in community, We give You thanks for the gift of marriage and for the many couples whose love and commitment to each other reminds us of Your never-ending love for humanity. We thank You for all the different types of marriages in our world: young couples beginning a life together, as well as couples celebrating decades of love, re-married couples and those who found each other later in life, couples whose marriages are recognized by our state and our Church, and same-sex couples who are denied that recognition but who continue to bravely model love and commitment in the face of discrimination. We thank You for the many kinds of families that are strengthened by these marriages: families of biological children and adopted children, blended families and families of choice, as well as couples without children who work together to nurture communities of love and justice. This week, as many are observing National Marriage Week, we ask You to pour Your blessings onto every marriage regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Make each marriage one of love, respect and peace. Guide each couple as they strive to be an example of your love in the world and surround them with family and friends who honor and celebrate their commitment. Help us support marriage and family in all of its diversity and guide us as we speak out against oppression in our Church. Lead us toward the day when all loving unions will be seen as sacred and all couples will have the support and recognition of their faith communities. We pray this in the name of Jesus, who called us to love one another as we love You, Amen
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry