The wedding ritual blesses the union of man and woman. It raises it to the sacred marriage covenant, in which earthly and heavenly conditions are joined through Christ who unites both. With this sacrament He is asked to come into this 'community of life' as a helper.
The resolve to found a marriage 'community' springs from mutual respect, affection and love, and the 'Yes' to the other human being. The faithfulness will prove itself in the fact that this 'yes' in joy and sorrow is always renewed and re-affirmed. From this grows a life force, which lightens up everyday life and rounds off the 'corners of life'.
Lifelong faithfulness is one of the great challenges of the pre- sent time, in which one's own, personal well-being is often more important than that of the relationship.
Christian marriage may form a counterbalance to this in the quest for what is wholesome for the other and for the 'commu- nity of life'.
The free decision to shoulder the burdens and one-sidedness of the spouse, as if they were one's own, is serious and compre- hensive. It is the basis for a harmonious living together of two people and within the family.
What is practised on a small scale, can be like a seed and germ for the coexistence on a larger scale, the understanding among peoples, in the world.
Two witnesses help, through their intercessory prayers and other assistance, to sustain the living bond.
After 25 years, to celebrate the Silver, and after 50 years, to celebrate the Golden Wedding, the sacrament of marriage can be performed again.