There were three thousand family members and guests at the Royal Wedding two years ago. In ancient Westminster Abbey, they heard the Bishop of London describe the meaning of marriage. Around the world, two billion people watched William and Kate take their vows.
The Anglican Bishop’s sermon is worth recalling.
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.
Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.
In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future. William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.
A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed.
Recently, the world stopped, looked and listened for the arrival of the Royal couple’s first child. They welcomed a son. There were overjoyed, as all of us can be, at the healthy boy’s strong lungs. And Prince William even joked: “He has more hair than I do.”
The Bishop’s good words—King and Queen of Creation—shows us what marriage is for all of us. The 101-gun salute that greeted the arrival of a future monarch punctuated the true meaning of marriage. It is for this that we are given the gift of marriage. And it is a gift given us from above, solemnized for most of us in our churches and synagogues, and, until recently, legally sanctioned by the state.
The Bishop referred to fears for the future. Those fears might be for jihadist terror, for fanatical regimes pursuing nuclear weapons, or even for environmental degradation.