It’s just as important to plan a beautiful marriage as it is to plan a beautiful wedding. Prayer is the primary way to do that!
When we got engaged, friends encouraged to choose a prayer that we would say during our engagement to help us prepare for becoming one in marriage. One friend suggested choosing the litany of trust, several prayed a daily rosary for their future spouse, and others simply asking for a specific saint’s intercession.
In our search we stumbled upon a general audience that Pope Francis gave addressed specifically for engaged couples. Three things in particular stood out to us from Pope Francis’ address either based on their intrinsic humor related to marriage or because it resonated with us in its deep spiritual implications. Pope Francis said to engaged couples preparing for marriage:
- A perfect spouse does not exist – don’t get me started on a perfect mother-in-law!
“We all know that the perfect family does not exist, nor a perfect husband or wife… we won’t even speak about a perfect mother-in-law. We sinners exist. Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: don’t let a day end without asking forgiveness, without peace returning to our home, to our family.”
- If there is no wine, there is no party.
“Make it a real celebration — because marriage is a celebration — a Christian celebration, not a worldly feast! The Gospel of John points to the most profound reason for joy on that day: do you remember the miracle at the wedding in Cana? At a certain point there was no more wine and the celebration seemed to be ruined. Imagine drinking tea at the end of a celebration! No, it’s not good! There is no party without wine!”
- Your daily bread is your daily love for one another
“Ask Jesus to multiply your love. In the prayer of the Our Father we say: “Give us this day our daily bread”. Spouses can also learn to pray like this: “Lord, give us this day our daily love”, for the daily love of spouses is bread, the true bread of the soul, what sustains them in going forward. And the prayer: can we practice to see if we know how to say it? “Lord give us this day our daily love”. This is the prayer for engaged couples and spouses. Teach us to love one another, to will good to the other! The more you trust in him, the more your love will be “forever”, able to be renewed, and it will conquer every difficulty.”
The prayer we chose for our engagement
We took these pieces of advice to heart from Pope Francis – especially the third point to pray for our daily love.
Every time we sat down for a meal together during our engagement we would say grace and then added an Our Father prayer with the words switched to be “give us this day our daily love” instead of “our daily bread.” It was small, simple, but deeply profound for us in our preparation.
The greatest gift it offered was opening our hearts to trusting God even more and allowing Him to truly be the center of our relationship. We recognized how easy it is for us to make mistakes or be impatient when what we really want is to love the other with a pure heart. This helped us remember that God will sustain us and give us the graces we need to live out the vocation He has called us to.
If you haven’t chosen a prayer for engagement yet, this is a great time to start! We pray that God gives you the daily love you need to live out your vocation too.