Marriage Week (7 to 14 February) encourages people across our community of faith to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and family life. Marriage is God’s gift to men and women. It is an expression of the depth of human loving, of its enduring reality and of its likeness to the love of God. Marriage is also the fruit of a human desire for wholeness. That wholeness is not discovered simply in an individual but in the mutual exchange of love between a husband and wife. A marriage develops from initial attraction, falling in love, the exploration of personalities, a decision to embark upon and sustain a lifelong relationship. All God’s people are called to live a life of holiness through their vocation. Spouses, through the vocation to marriage, should follow their own path to holiness, which is sustained by the grace of the Sacrament.

Bishop David Evans, the Lead Bishop for Marriage and Family Life for the Bishops’ Conference and Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, has written a special message to mark Marriage Week:

“Marriage is God’s gift to men and women. It is an expression of the depth of human loving, of its enduring reality and of its likeness to the love of God. Marriage is also the fruit of a human desire for wholeness. That wholeness is not discovered simply in an individual but in the mutual exchange of love between a husband and wife. A marriage develops from initial attraction, falling in love, the exploration of personalities, a decision to embark upon and sustain a lifelong relationship. A Christian marriage is rooted in faith. Firstly, that means faith in God, as the giver of life and the one who promises eternal life to those who believe in him. Faith also means God’s faith in his sons and daughters. In Jesus, he has shown people what human love can achieve through love of God and love that encompasses all the people in our lives. For married people, love of neighbour begins with love of each other and of all the children that may be granted to them as parents. Marriage is a sacrament of reconciliation. It is the sacrament that endures even though it may bring its difficulties. It is a testimony to God’s forgiveness that unites what has been divided and brings unexpected discoveries of what men and women are capable of when they trust each other and stay steadfast to the vows they made to each other on their wedding day. National Marriage Week is an opportunity to ponder on this display of God’s love for the world he created. It is a chance for married couples to reflect, perhaps with their families, on how they might develop the good things that exist between and within them. It is a time to demonstrate the value of marriage, based on sincerely lived vows, to men and women and to society as a whole. This is a week of prayer for the whole Church, in gratitude to God who has given us life and taught us to love so that we can be as he made us – a visible icon of himself.”

We have an eight-page PDF resource that you can download to pray through this week and reflect on the vocation of marriage – a response from two people, by God’s sustaining divine grace, who promise to build a lifelong, intimate and sacramental partnership of love and life: Marriage-Week-2024c.pdf (cbcew.org.uk)

We are also attaching our own Clifton Diocesan resource with some ideas and suggestions for supporting marriage and family. This resource can be used at any time: Marriage Week booklet 2024

Please also find these useful links for Marriage Week below:

Marriage Week 2024

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024/

Bishop Evans’ Message

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024-bishop-evans

Prayer(s) for Marriage Week

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024-prayer/

Reflection on Marriage as a Vocation

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024-marriage-vocation/

Reflection on the Sacrament of Marriage

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024-sacrament-of-marriage/

Reflection on the Joy of Marriage

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024-joy-of-marriage/

Steps to Nurture your Relationship

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/marriage-week-2024-nurture-your-relationship/