RECONCILIATION FOR COUPLES
It is appropriate that during this time, if couples have spent time reflecting on their relationship and their vocation, that they have an opportunity to experience reconciliation with God and with each other. A service could be held in the parish with confession, or in the home or small groups with the possibility of confession later for those who are Catholic. Individuals can use parts of this ceremony for themselves.
Begin with a simple Greeting and Opening Prayer. The Sunday readings of the time, particularly of 26th Sunday can be used for the Liturgy of the Word.
An Examination of Conscience can be carried out reflecting on the words of Jesus
Love one another, as have loved you. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15.
? Have I nurtured my relationship with God, as an individual and our couple relationship with God through prayer, reflection and sharing?
? Do I have a genuine love and acceptance of myself, valuing my strengths and working on my weaknesses for the sake of our marriage relationship?
? Do I have a genuine love and acceptance of my partner, valuing his/her strengths and accepting the imperfections?
? In good times have I valued and been thankful for the joy we have experienced?
? In hard times have I been committed to restoring the joy that is Jesus’ wish for us?
? As a couple do we bear witness to the sacredness of our marriage vocation and the stability of our society through our faithfulness to one another, God and the Church? What part have I played in this?
Act of Contrition & Forgiveness – Spouses can make a personal act of sorrow asking God for forgiveness for failing to love as Jesus commanded. They can then turn to one another and ask for and grant each other forgiveness for the hurts and failure to love.
Together they can thank God and recommit themselves to improving their relationship.
In a parish setting the priest can pray over them, or they can pray as couples. Individual confession can follow.
May the peace of Christ live always in your/our hearts and in your/our homes.
May you/we find the joy that Jesus promised in your/our relationship.
May the grace of God sustain you/us through good and bad times. May almighty God bless you/us with many happy years together and eventual reunion with him in his eternal home.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.