The Holy Spouses Image
The enthronement takes place in the couple’s home, with the entire family present if possible, in the room where they have determined to enthrone the picture. The ceremony may begin with a hymn and then the greeting.
Sing of Mary, pure and lowly,/ Virgin Mother undefiled.
Sing of God’s own Son most holy/ Who became her little child.
Fairest Child of fairest mother,/ God the Lord who came to earth,
Word made flesh, our very brother,/ Takes our nature by his birth.
Sing of Joseph, foster father,/ To the incarnate Son of God.
Loving husband for God’s mother/ As toward David’s town they plod.
Filled with justice, strength and wisdom,/ Joseph was their rock and guide.
Now he guards God’s pilgrim people,/ Steadfast patron at our side.
Glory be to God the Father,/ Glory be to God the Son.
Glory be to God the Spirit,/ Glory to the Three in One.
Hear the hearts of Joseph, Mary,/ And all saints the hymn intone,
While the Church, God’s earthly family,/ Echoes praise to heaven’s throne.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
The celebrant then explains the reason for this ceremony in these or similar words:
My dear brothers and sisters, we are here this day in the house of N._____ and N._____ to enthrone this picture of Mary and Joseph, the Holy Spouses. N._____ and N._____ have taken them as the models and patrons of their marriage commitment by entering the Holy Spouses Society. As members of that society, they strive to live their marriage according to the teachings of Jesus and his Church, especially by living it as a vocation of love and a sacrament of unity in the midst of the world. In this way they witness to the love and unity that God has for and wishes for his Church and the whole world. N._____ and N._____ know that living their marriage in this way can be difficult. They have asked Mary and Joseph to be their inspiration and to intercede for them so that they may always remain faithful to God and each other by remaining faithful to their commitment, after the example of Mary and Joseph, the Holy Spouses.
Before enthroning this picture of the Holy Spouses, let us listen to God’s word.
First Reading: (Any reading from the marriage rite, such as 1 Cor. 12:31 – 13:8 or Tobit 8:5-7)
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 128:1-2,3,4-5
R/. Happy are those who fear the Lord.
Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
happy shall you be and favored. R/.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants around your table. R/.
Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. R/.
Alleluia: 1 Jn. 4:16
He who lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
The celebrant may then present a brief homily.
Blessing and Enthroning of the Picture
Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you are the source of all life and love. You call us all to participate in that love by loving one another, according to our own particular vocations. You have called N._____ and N._____, to love one another in the vocation and sacrament of marriage. They have taken Mary and Joseph, the Holy Spouses, as models and guides in their marriage. We ask you to bless + this picture of these same Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph, that it might serve as a reminder and inspiration for N._____ and N._____ and their family, of the great love that you have for them, the powerful intercession and example of Mary and Joseph, and the need that our world has for examples of those who make true and lasting commitments of love. Through Christ our Lord.
The celebrant then places the picture on the wall or in the designated place and sprinkles it with holy water. If he so desires, he may also sprinkle the couple, their children, and even the rest of the house. After the sprinkling with water, either a part or the whole Holy Spouses Rosary is then prayed by all present. The celebrant may invite others to lead the decades of the Rosary.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
May almighty God, who has given you the perfect example of married love and commitment in the persons of Mary and Joseph, bless you in your married commitment and help you to remain always faithful to one another. Through Christ our Lord.
And may almighty God bless you, + the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.