"Authenticity inspired by love": supporting marriage at SFX
On Saturday, 24th February at the 12 noon Mass, St Francis Xavier Church Liverpool welcomed and blessed all those living their everyday lives in Christ's love, especially prayerfully supporting couples preparing for the sacrament of marriage this coming year.
All were reminded of the words of Pope Francis from The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia): "The Lord's presence dwells in real and concrete families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes". Family life... "if that authenticity is inspired by love, then the Lord reigns there, with his joy and peace...".
Pastoral assistant Debbie Reynolds explained, “Here at SFX we try to be active in support of marriage and family life and host an annual Mass for the Deanery in which we celebrate the highs and lows, joys and sorrows of marriage and family life and all its’ complexities.”
All couples marrying within the Deanery are expected to attend the Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Day, which is facilitated by Marriage Care volunteers. “This is a great opportunity for all couples to share their journey of preparation together as well as the church celebrating each of them!” Debbie observed
Parish priest Fr Denis Blackledge SJ said: "Yes, couples still do get married, even at SFX Liverpool! Sometimes they may have young children in tow, or are even young grandparents, when they make the serious option to celebrate a truly Christian marriage. Before they utter their "Yes!" to each other, we aim to make sure that they know what they're doing, and all couples, whatever their situation, have to go on day's Marriage Care course. Each couple has something special to give, and to receive. I trim my homily - which is a personal letter and gift to the couple - according to the scripture passages they've chosen. It's such a privilege to see the tears in the eyes, even of the groom, as they pledge their troth to each other. And their words still send a tingle down my spine as they utter them."
Afterwards, over a cuppa, some stayed on and enjoyed a wonderful performance of traditional Mongolian music from Martha and Peter and their son, who received the sacrament of marriage at SFX Church some seven years ago.