Each year, National Marriage Week USA and World Marriage Day provide an opportunity for the Catholic Church to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the family. This year, National Marriage Week USA will be celebrated Feb. 7-14 and World Marriage Day, which is commemorated on the second Sunday of February, will be celebrated on Sunday, Feb. 14.
The theme for this year’s celebration of National Marriage Week, “To Have, To Hold, To Honor,” was announced by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. The theme was chosen to highlight how married couples live and renew their wedding promises daily in the building up of the domestic Church in their homes, particularly as many couples and families have spent more time at home together this year.
Among the resources provided to dioceses for National Marriage Week are a preaching aid for priests, bulletin insert or flyer for parish bulletins, prayer intentions, and a seven-day at-home marriage retreat for married couples, available in English and Spanish. These resources are available for download at ForYourMarriage.org/celebrate-national-marriage-week/.
This year’s retreat features reflections on aspects of married life rooted in Sacred Scripture and the promises couples made to each other before God on their wedding day. The retreat, which runs from Feb. 7-14, offers married couples an opportunity to pray and reflect about their marriage in God’s plan.
Two events will be live-streamed on the USCCB’s Facebook page: a rosary led by Archbishop Cordileone for married and engaged couples 1 p.m. (Central Time) Wednesday, Feb. 10; and a conversation about Saint Joseph as a model of fatherhood and spousal love at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12.
The USCCB offers resources to the faithful for the promotion and defense of 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, launched in 2010, is part of an international event seeking to mobilize individuals, organizations, and businesses in a common purpose to strengthen marriage in communities and influence the culture. For information and resources, visit: NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org. World Marriage Day was started in 1983 by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.