.- A new booklet from the London-based Catholic Truth Society encourages spouses to pray before marital relations. The spouses’ prayer asks God to purify their intentions and to open their hearts to God and to each other.
The prayer is part of a 64-page book titled “Prayer Book for Spouses,” the Daily Telegraph reports. It contains prayers for every stage of marriage and family life, including engagement, planning for parenthood, pregnancy and caring for children and elderly parents.
The Catholic Truth Society’s website said that the Prayer Book for Spouses offers a “ready, thorough and reliable support to the daily challenges and joys of married life.” It reportedly draws on Scripture, Catholic teaching and spirituality and the Marriage Rite to encourage “the loving and spiritual dimension essential to the life of Christian spouses.
According to the Telegraph, the book criticizes those who consider it “too difficult” or impossible to be “bound to one person for the whole of life.” It also criticizes those who are “caught up” in a culture that rejects the indissolubility of marriage and “openly mocks” the commitment of spouses to fidelity.
The booklet’s “Prayer Before Making Love” reads:
“Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts. Place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does not deceive, forgiveness that truly receives, loving physical union that welcomes.
“Open our hearts to you, to each other and to the goodness of your will. Cover our poverty in the richness of your mercy and forgiveness. Clothe us in our true dignity and take to yourself our shared aspirations, for your glory, for ever and ever.
“Mary, our Mother, intercede for us. Amen.”
Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark Paul Hendricks told the Daily Mail that is important for the Church to affirm “the value of marriage and family life.”
He said he supposes that the prayer is “a particular way of doing that.”
“Perhaps it is something that has not been tried, certainly for a while – I can't remember seeing something like that before.”