Archbishop to praise royal wedding
The Archbishop of Westminster will speak of his delight at attending the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's "wonderful" wedding when he blesses more than 500 married couples.
The 543 couples, with a combined total of 18,048 years of marriage, will attend a Mass in Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Marriage at Westminster Cathedral in central London.
During the service the Archbishop of Westminster, Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, will praise the institution of marriage and speak of how he felt "privileged" to be a guest at the recent royal wedding.
In his homily the Catholic archbishop will say: "I had a marvellous seat, close to all that took place. It was a ceremony shared and appreciated by millions around the world."
He will describe the "sound of the joy and support of the people for what was taking place" as the crowds outside Westminster Abbey cheered as the couple exchanged their vows and the Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed them man and wife.
The archbishop will say the public support for the royal pair was due to an "instinctive and profound public understanding of the nature and consequences of marriage itself".
He will go on: "Here was a public recognition that with the exchange of these words, something radical had happened: these two lives would never be the same. Marriage, as a permanent, exclusive commitment between this man and this woman was welcomed, applauded."
Couples celebrating their 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th and beyond wedding anniversaries this year have been personally invited to the service at the cathedral to give thanks, renew their vows and pray for their families and all marriages.
The archbishop will end by reciting the "heartfelt and authentic" prayer written by the Duke and Duchess for their wedding day, which reads: "God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
"In the busyness of each day, keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy. Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen."