The Blessings of a Fair Trade Wedding

Photo courtesy of Helen Blakesley

“Christian spouses are participants in the Church's mission, insofar as they live for all people, not just for themselves.”

— Pope Francis

When beginning their lives together as a married couple, and as a family, a husband­- and wife-to-­be often plan on making their wedding ceremony and reception the first step of their shared mission: to serve others together as a married couple. The couple's wedding celebration begins their married life of service together. The choices they make at this time not only are a crucial first step for the couple, but a chance to say to and demonstrate for their families and community what they stand for: “We are responding to God as we touch this world, and — as God has brought us together — we intend to be a better part of it together than we were apart. This is how we show our thanks for His grace.”

The joyous time of a wedding is also a time of many expenses, and a couple naturally wants to take that first step in seeing to it that their money is spent honorably, in a way that projects their Catholic values, pursuing goods and services that are not the product of exploitation, but rather the product of industry that lifts up human life and dignity. What a gift to the world this can be, and what an honor by the bride and groom to each other. “I love you with a love so deep that I want it to reach to the other end of the world, and lighten the burden of people we will never meet.”

In that spirit, we have developed “Marriage: A Vocation of Service Together,” a simple, two-page guide full of tips on how to include service to others in your wedding celebration.

In this resource, you can find

  • a guide to choosing ethically sourced wedding jewelry;
  • sample petition prayers to be used in your wedding service;
  • ideas for building a registry of gifts that benefit the poor throughout the world, or to offer donations to agencies like CRS that reach out God’s saving hand to the poor and the vulnerable around the globe;
  • and much more!

Marriage is unique among the Church’s sacraments, in that it is not conferred by the Church upon the couple, but by the couple upon each other. You are lifting up your partner, making him or her a better person, and bringing each other closer to God. Congratulations!

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