“Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.” Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, n. 121
BLUE RING = Husband
PURPLE RING = Wife
GREY RING = Fruitfulness, children
CROSS = Christ
DOVE (Descending in the cross) = Holy Spirit
GOLD RAY = Jesus’s love radiating outward
God, the Father, created the natural institution of marriage.
- God created marriage at the beginning of time between a man and a woman as an intimate community of love and for their own well-being and for having and raising children.
- Sin impacts marriage. “Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation (CCC 1606).” “..the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin (CCC 1607).”
God, the Son, redeemed the natural institution of marriage.
- God helps us, particularly in Jesus Christ, to create an intimate community of love and life. “To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them. Without this help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them ‘in the beginning’ (CCC 1608).”
- “By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, [Jesus] himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to ‘receive’ the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ (CCC 1615).”
- Jesus raised the natural institution of marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.
God, the Holy Spirit, animates Christian marriages.
- When we are baptized, the Holy Spirit enters into us and dwells in us and equips us to uniquely share the love of God with others. Christian married couples radiate God’s love to the world in unique ways.
- Christian marriage (between a baptized man and baptized woman) takes on new meaning and spiritual significance: Jesus dwells with them and helps them to create an intimate community of love and life that reveals His love to the world. By virtue of their mutual baptisms, “Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on a earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the lamb (CCC 1642).”
Married Christians, therefore, “evangelize through marriage.”
Why three rings?
- Marriage is most often depicted by two rings; however, we include a third because married couples (all married couples, not just Christian married couples) are called to fruitfulness (whether or not they are able to have children). Unity is procreative.
- “THE ROYAL DESTINY of marriage, which is a community of love as in the Trinity, is to beget something outside of itself. The nuptial chalice is too small for the love it contains, and therefore it must overflow.” Venerable Fulton Sheen, Three to Get Married, pg. 152
- “God will ask each person on judgment day: ‘Where are your children?’ Generation there must be, either physical or spiritual.” Venerable Fulton Sheen, Three to Get Married, pg. 111