Not many know that marriage was one of the last sacraments to be included, says Richard Leonard SJ in his book, Hatch Match & Dispatch: A Catholic Guide to Sacraments. He talks about why it is so important and that it’s wonderful to have a sacrament to celebrate and promote the healthy sexuality of marriage.
He says: “I love the fact that the giving of the body is the last act of this sacrament… and in a Church that has had sometimes, perceived and in reality, very negative things to say about sexuality we have a sacrament where actually it’s a constitutive element. I think we should celebrate that much more, that loving appropriate sexual desire in marriage is a gift given by God for us to flourish as human beings in the world.”
While he holds onto the indissolubility of marriage, he recognises at the same time that people often end up in very complex situations. He speaks of working with a parishioner who was divorced and who experienced deep pain as a result of being given a wrong message regarding the Eucharist. He also sings some sa wedding songs and emphasises the need for “very good, generous, compassionate pastors”.