No matter what your history, it's an occasion to say once again, "I choose you."
“Shema Yisrael,” or “Hear, O’Israel,” proclaims the youngest child of every Jewish family on the eve of Passover, echoing the passage from Deuteronomy, a book in the Bible that recounts the history of Israel, the point of reference for our tradition. If we are to believe Scripture, no means should be spared in what concerns the number of guests and the organization of any feast. Let there be true joy instead of a fleeting sensation of merriment that quickly gives place to “the dissatisfaction and bitterness in the heart.”This state of rejoicing must be the fruit of our conviction that we are loved by Christ. Feasts are there to commemorate the events that have given sense to our lives. But how does all of the above apply to wedding anniversaries? What place should we attribute to the events which have shaped our family’s history?
An occasion to repeat “I choose you”
My old friend Luis recently told me that his wife insists on celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, but he isn’t too enthusiastic about it. “I’d like to celebrate it,” she has told him, “because despite the hard times we had, we still love each other. And this will be a way of showing it to our children and our friends.”
She has understood the significance that Christianity attributes to wedding anniversaries: it’s an occasion to celebrate the history and the origin of one’s union. Having vowed to stay together “till death do us apart” 20 years ago, Luis and his wife have shaped their family’s history, contributing to it the good and the bad times, their joys and their tears. And they are still here, with an ardent desire to continue their journey together.
To celebrate a wedding anniversary is to commemorate the story of one’s marriage, to reaffirm the key vow: “I choose you” before the witnesses. It’s an occasion to see family and friends sharing in this joy around a good meal. In commemorating the resurrection of Christ, we transform each of our Sundays into Easter, so why not also celebrate our love?