In June, Georgette and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. We were married on June 15, 1980. Prior to our wedding, I asked my Uncle Harry LaHood if he would sing at our wedding Mass. He graciously accepted by telling me that he would be honored to sing at our wedding.
One of the songs that we chose for our wedding was “Ave Maria,” which was performed when Georgette and I walked over to say a prayer in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the rehearsal the evening before our wedding, Uncle Harry told me that when Georgette and I walked over to the statue, he wanted us to stand in front of the statue until he was finished with the song. He told me that it was not appropriate for us to turn and walk back to the altar before the song was finished. I was grateful that he gave me specific instructions as to what his expectations were for Georgette and me.
Earlier this month, my daughter Laura got married. She selected several members of our extended family to sing at her wedding. Prior to the wedding, Laura asked Uncle Harry if he would sing the “Our Father.” When she asked him to sing, as he did for me, he told her that he would be honored. So 35 years after he sang at my wedding, at the age of 81, my uncle sang at my daughter’s wedding.
Prior to Laura’s wedding, I told her the same thing that my uncle told me 35 years ago — that she and her husband should stand in front of the statue of our Lady until the song was finished. I also gave her a prayer and asked her to recite the prayer with her husband while they were standing in front of the statue. The prayer was similar to the prayer my Mom asked me to recite with Georgette when we were married.
The title of the prayer I gave to Laura is, “Consecration of our marriage to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Laura and her husband recited the prayer while they were facing the statue of our Lady. No one was able to hear the prayer because my daughter Maria and small choir sang a song in honor of our Lady while the prayer was being said.
To give you a sense of what is asked for in the consecration prayer, here are a few parts of the prayer:
By consecrating ourselves to you today, we beseech you to receive us into your Heart, to cover us with your Pure Mantel, to keep us in your maternal arms, and to lead us on the sure path to the Sacred Heart of your Son, Jesus Christ.
You who are our Spiritual Mother, help us to grow in the life of grace and holiness. Do not permit us to fall into mortal sin nor to waste or misuse the graces won for us by your Son on the Cross.
You who are the Teacher of Souls, teach us to be docile like you. May we receive with obedience and gratefulness the Truth revealed by Christ in His Word and in the Church.
In virtue of the union of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray that our marriage may be strengthened in unity, in love, in responsibility to our duties, and in the generous self-offering of one to the other, and to the children we will receive from Our Lord.
May our home be a domestic sanctuary where we pray together and where we communicate with each other with joy and enthusiasm. May our marriage be for others, a visible sign of love and fidelity. We beseech you O Mother, in virtue of this consecration, that our marriage may be protected from all spiritual, physical, or material evil.
May your Immaculate Heart reign in our home so that Jesus Christ may be loved, heard, and obeyed in our family. Sustained by His love and His grace, may we dispose ourselves to construct daily, the civilization of love: the Reign of the Two Hearts.
There is no other human being who has ever lived who is more qualified to assist a couple during their marriage than the Mother of God. Not only was she immaculately conceived, but throughout her life, she resisted all temptation to sin. She was and still is the new Eve, a mirror of perfection, and a masterpiece of grace.
Some of her titles include: Mother of God, Mother of divine grace, Mother most pure, Mother of good counsel, Virgin most merciful, Seat of wisdom, Gate of heaven, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of families, and Queen of peace.
Each of these titles represents special qualities and attributes that she possesses and can use to assist a married couple during difficult times.
As I look back over my 35 years of married life, I can see numerous instances when our Lady intervened to assist my family. In addition to being with us through our trials and tribulations, she has also been with us during times of happiness and joy.
If you are married and have never consecrated your marriage to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it’s not too late. The prayer that Laura and her husband recited on their wedding day was composed by Mother Adela Galindo, the founder of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary. You can find the prayer at http://www.piercedhearts.org/two_hearts/consecrations/marriage_consecration.htm.
In modern times, the gates of hell have been unleashed against the sacred institution of marriage. The Blessed Trinity gave our Lady the power to crush Lucifer and his agents. If we’re sincere about keeping our marriages and families intact, we should be reaching out to her for assistance in everything we do.