June is one of the most popular months to get married. It follows that there are lots of anniversaries in June. At Calling Couples to Christ, we remember several anniversaries this month. The first is today June 13 when we mark five years since we posted our first weekly blog. And this is our 282nd blog!
We also mark three wedding anniversaries this month. Today we celebrate our “half anniversary.” We were married on December 13, 2002. Sometimes, it is just too darn cold and snowy in Michigan to go out and celebrate! So, we celebrate again in June.
In addition, we each remember the anniversary of our first marriages. Rose and her late husband Mike were married on June 6. Dennis and his late wife Therese were married on June 8. While we continue to grieve, we take time to thank God for those relationships, and recount amusing or heartwarming stories about Mike and Therese.
With all those anniversaries, we thought it would be appropriate to share some ways to commemorate your wedding anniversary and at the same time strengthen your marriage.
It is important to do something special such as going out to dinner, getting away for a weekend or giving each other a traditional anniversary gift such as paper for the first, wood for the fifth, silver for the 25th, etc. (You can find a list of both traditional and modern gifts at The Knot.) But on your next anniversary, we encourage you spend some additional time to: Reminisce, Reflect and Recommit.
First, dust off your wedding album and watch your wedding video. Reminisce about your wedding day – the day that changed your lives forever. Recall how God brought the two of you together and how He has walked with you through both joys and sorrows. Take time to thank Him.
Consider starting an anniversary journal. Each year record significant events and the ways you can see God at work in your marriage and family.
Second, reflect on God’s plan for your marriage. Together, read Ephesian 5:21-33:
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.
Third, recite your vows. Recommit to loving each other “from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”
Discuss what you did well in your marriage this past year. Likewise, discuss what would you like to do differently this next year. Identify one thing you can do to strengthen your marriage and develop a plan to make it happen. Here are a few ideas:
- Learn and then “speak” each other’s Love or Apology Language.
- Learn conflict resolution skills.
- Go to Eucharistic Adoration together once each week.
- Start a marriage group. See ideas here.
- Read a book on marriage together. We recommend Be Devoted by Dr. Bob Schuchts.
- Pray together each day. Learn how with the Couple Prayer Series available on CD.
Finally, consider praying the following prayer together:
Almighty and eternal God, you have so exalted the unbreakable bond of marriage that it has become the sacramental sign of your Son’s union with the Church as his spouse. Look with favor on us, whom you have united in marriage, as we ask for your help and the protection of the Virgin Mary. We pray that in good times and in bad we will grow in love for each other; that we will resolve to be of one heart in the bond of peace.
Lord, in our struggles let us rejoice that you are near to help us; in our needs let us know that you are there to rescue us; in our joys let us see that you are the source and completion of every happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
May God bless you with many anniversaries!
 Adapted from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers