Wedding Lectionary: Ephesians 4:1-6

I don’t have any experience of the use of this reading at a wedding liturgy. Possibly because it was authorized as an official choice in the second edition of the rite, a version which has yet to be promulgated in an official translation.

I don’t have the official Lectionary translation which usually differs slightly from the NABRE version. But let’s read what we do have:

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner
worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness,
with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

This passage refers to the Church and the condition of unity the apostle hoped for among its members at Ephesus. But remember that the married couple is indeed a “domestic Church.” Do you realize what that means? That each family, that each Christian married couple even before they are a family, are viewed by both God and the institutional Church as a particular manifestation of the Church. Just like a parish. Just like a religious community. Just like the grouping of parishioners under a flock of clergy who worship at one of the world’s grandest cathedrals.

Does that raise the stakes for you in your married life ahead? Hopefully so.

What does that mean? Look at the qualities expressed in the reading above:

  • humility
  • gentleness
  • patience

These are description of the Church, but they also describe people in love.

The Church is often described as a Body, the Body of Christ. Remember that marriage is often described in terms of the two becoming one flesh. Same notion.

If you want to really emphasize this theme at your wedding day, you might pair this reading with Genesis 2.

If you use this Scripture, though, make sure your reader is told to go slowly. Treat this passage as a love poem. Ask the reader to take her or his time with it. Emphasize the three qualities, especially if you and your fiancé are prepared to truly live them out.

Also, don’t emphasize the repetition of the word “one” so much as what “one” describes:

  • body
  • Spirit
  • hope
  • Lord
  • faith
  • baptism
  • God and father

And as a couple, reflect that God has called you to one wonderful marriage. And you’ll be good.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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