National Marriage Week highlights 'special grace' of domestic Church

shutterstock 66722119 Married couple holding hands. Stock image: szefei/Shutterstock

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will once again observe National Marriage Week as part of the celebration of World Marriage Day.

World Marriage Day is the second Sunday of February each year. This year, it was held on February 9. 

National Marriage Week gives people "the opportunity to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting, promoting, and upholding marriage and the family," the bishops' conference said in a statement. 

Since National Marriage Week USA was created in 2010, there has been a theme selected that guides the year's programming. 

This year's theme, "Stories from the Domestic Church," was chosen to reflect how "spouses are consecrated and by means of a special grace build up the Body of Christ and form a domestic Church," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.

Cordileone leads the USCCB's Committee on Laity, Marriage, and Family life. 

During the week, the conference will release special resources for married couples, including a preaching aid for priests, an insert for a weekly church bulletin, and a weeklong virtual marriage retreat for married couples. The retreat, which can be found on the USCCB's "For Your Marriage" website, is available in both English and Spanish. 

The retreat will include stories from couples who "live out the call of love and form 'domestic churches' within their immediate and extended families," said the USCCB. 

On February 12, the USCCB will live-stream a rosary "for married couples and families in need of healing" on their official Facebook page at 3:00 p.m. 

World Marriage Day was first celebrated in 1983, and was created by the organization Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a Catholic lay ministry which supports married couples.

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