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The 2018 Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide

The 2018 Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide

As the weather warms and we approach Ordinary time, we also enter the hallowed secular wedding season. For those with friends and relatives of marriageable age, it’s a veritable blur of invitations, scheduling, lukewarm chicken, and gifts. So, so many gifts. We all want to give thoughtful gifts that stand out and hopefully offer some spiritual benefit to the happy couple. For some ideas, check out our Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide. We asked our friends, our families, and women from our Facebook groups what their best ideas and gifts were, and here’s what we came up with.


 

Nativity and Creche

A June wedding might not scream “Christmas,” but several of our readers fondly remember the beautiful Nativity sets they received for gifts. Whether it’s from your parents, a group of friends who got together to give this substantial gift, or a handmade heirloom that is passed down through the generations, you can be assured that the couple will use this gift every year and it will be a part of their family memories forever.

 

Papal Blessing

Papal blessings are actually not that difficult to procure! Simply contact your diocese for advice or use this Vatican website. The cost is minimal- around $40 usually, and the blessing comes on a beautiful parchment. A great idea for a gift between spouses as well- Catherine from Milwaukee wrote that her husband had the blessing matted, framed, and hanging in their new bedroom. “Such a beautiful surprise!”

The 2018 Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide

Something Blue

Honor Our Lady by gifting the bride with a Miraculous Medal coated in blue enamel. Available from most Catholic gift stores and website such as The Catholic Company, this is a tangible reminder that the Church is a part of even our secular traditions. Carry the “blue” theme through with some books of devotions to Mary or statues for around the house. Even statement pieces like wall hangings can make Mary and Jesus seem like “a part of the family gatherings!” (Amy from Milwaukee.)

The 2018 Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide

A Personalized Bible

The family Bible is such a huge tradition but one that many modern couples forget to consider. Give the new family a personalized Bible to record their events and all the new additions that hopefully will come in the following years! One bride’s parents went further- Chelsea wrote that they brought their family Bible to the wedding to serve as a guest book. Guests would highlight their favorite passages and sign the margins with notes. This is a great idea for weddings that mix Catholic and Protestant families- most can agree that the Word of God is sacred and the best advice for the new couple! These can be found at most Catholic gift stores and online. A lovely example is available here.

(Note: If you’re going to have guests mark your copy, make sure to have Bible highlighters available to protect the delicate pages and a note reminding guests how sacred the Word of God is to us.)

Marriage Books

Those of us who have been married for awhile know that you can never have it completely figured out. Help the bride and groom along with some good Catholic marriage books. We at Catholic Sistas like these:

 

Three to Get Married, by Fulton Sheen

 

Holy Sex!, by Gregory Popcak

 

Life Giving Love, Scott and Kimberly Hahn

 

Liturgy of the Hours (a set for husband and wife)

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church Hannah writes, “It seemed really random at the time, but has been pretty useful to have around the house!”

The 2018 Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide

Newlywed Retreat

Offer the new couple a chance to dig deeper together- a newlywed or young adult retreat can be a perfect way for them to remind themselves of their love for each other and also get closer to God. Options vary across the world, so get in touch with the Office for Family Life at your diocese for some good options. Remember- the wedding day is the beginning, not the end!

New Home Blessing

Starting out is hard, no matter how happy the couple is. Make sure that they are beginning their lives in a happy Catholic home by arranging for a home blessing. Any priest is capable of performing this simple and beautiful ritual- promise to bring food and wine and turn it into a dinner party to make it a celebration of their new home as well!

A pyx

This small box that is made to contain a consecrated Host for transport to those who are unable to attend Mass is an unlikely but thoughtful gift for a couple that is truly promising to be together in sickness and in health. Lora writes, “we as a couple is called to bring Christ to each other and the world. We have actually used it quite often through sickness or bedrest.”

Pyx can be purchased at gift stores and online here.

Practical Gifts

Throughout my research, so many women responded with, “A crockpot was the best gift I received.” At first, it seems like that is not terribly spiritually fulfilling. But, the couple has to eat. The parents have to nourish their children. A home and a life have to be built from nothing. All of that requires things to aid in our devotion to our homemaking, whether full time or not. So give a crockpot, or a toaster, or a blender, or mixing bowls. Give them with prayers and include a note reminding the bride and groom to use them in building and maintaining their own domestic Church.

The Greatest Gift

Sometimes, the greatest gift is one of bending to God’s will and the desires of our (soon-to-be spouse.)

Annaliese tells this beautiful story of her favorite wedding gift from her husband:

“I’m Catholic and he grew up Baptist. We were living in West Virginia at the time and there aren’t too many Catholic Churches around. He agreed to have a Catholic Mass for our marriage which was so important to me and agreed to raise our children Catholic. I’m sure this couldn’t have been easy, especially not growing up with many Catholics and so much misinformation and misconception there regarding Catholicism given the large protestant foothold. But I am grateful and thankful, especially as he is now becoming Catholic this Easter!”

The sacrifice of the Mass is one of the greatest gifts Christ gave us, and it can be one of the greatest gifts you give your husband or wife.

So there you go, some fun and unique Catholic gift ideas. Above all, remember to keep the bride and groom in your prayers. They are truly the best gift we can give.

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Dear June Bride: A Love Letter to the Catholic Brides of Summer

…And Fall, Winter, and Spring brides,too. For various reasons, June is known as the month of weddings. Wedded bliss has been on my mind during this nuptial month because my son was asked to be the ring bearer for his cousin’s wedding. I am thrilled! And I am equally over the moon that my nephew and his bride-to-be have chosen to have a sacramental marriage. This means that they are entering into a sacred bond. They have done so mindfully and courageously.   And, so have you.

As you probably learned in marriage preparation classes, a Sacramental marriage is a union filled with God’s grace. It is a unique bond between a man and a woman. You bring to the covenant two distinct life experiences that when brought together have the power to create new life. You have allowed God to be an integral part of your unity. Keep your unity candle in a prominent place in your bedroom to remind you of His providential care of your love.

You entered into this bond willing to submit to the great unknown: you are open to life. This truth is one of the most daunting facets of Catholic married life. It is unique to the Catholic experience. For my husband and I, it is the most exhilarating. If ever I am taking a leap of faith, it is when I agree to be completely open to God’s plan for our family. I believe this openness strengthens our faith and our bond as husband and wife. Never before have we felt more lifted and carried through life. As a reminder to always trust in God, put little notes around your home that say, “Be not afraid!”

By entering into a sacramental marriage, you also agree that divorce is not an option. And, believe me, you will be tested. There will be weeks, months, and perhaps a year or two where you will question your choice. Your spouse may disappoint you. Your passionate feelings may wane. You may face death of a family member, miscarriage, infertility, financial failure, and you may feel like you have fallen into a hole with no way out. Just remember: this, too, shall pass. And, I find that when you weather these setbacks by staying close to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, you experience a constant renewal. The passion returns in ebbs and flows, in even greater waves. The confidence in your choice of a mate triumphs. And, you experience an overwhelming feeling of joy and gratefulness.

That’s not to say that all sacramental marriages will flourish. Some will falter, others will fail. But, if you have both entered into this union honestly, completely open to life and God’s plan for life, then you have a statistically good chance of surviving. The divorce rate for couples practicing Natural Family Planning is less than 5%. That is well below the national divorce rate which is 50%. I believe that the reason for this success rate is that NFP requires you to communicate on a most intimate level. If you can have these conversations, then you can pretty much talk about anything.

Pray together. Start early. Keep it simple. Up to this point, you have done everything together. You have gone to church together but have you ever sat quietly, alone and prayed together? It may seem awkward at first. But, just by praying the Lord’s Prayer right before you fall asleep together, you will experience spiritual intimacy unlike any other experience. And, you will be less likely to drift apart when you practice this simple act of faith, hope, and love.

Most of all, have fun! You have married your best friend. How awesome is that?! Enjoy him, encourage him, and be a joyful light in his life.

Congratulations and Best Wishes for an amazing adventure!

Sincerely,

A thankful Catholic bride of nearly 17 years

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

~ 1 John 4:18