World Marriage Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday in February, sometimes coinciding with St. Valentine’s Day. This year, it takes place on February 11. World Marriage Day officially began in 1983 in the United States of America. Popularized by the Catholic Church, the purpose of World Marriage Day is to emphasize the beauty of marriage and to honor husbands and wives for their faithfulness and sacrifices.
World Marriage Day highlights the promise of a marital union and the beauty of being a lawfully wedded couple under the eyes of Christ. It was brought into order by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter, an initiative that aims to improve the married life of struggling couples. World Marriage Day propagates the ethos of marriage and honors the sacrifices and faithfulness of husbands and wives. Catholic couples celebrate the day by attending the Sunday mass and recommitting themselves to the values of the institution of marriage.
History of World Marriage Day
World Marriage Day is an offshoot of Worldwide Marriage Encounter, an apostolate with the mission to help couples enjoy blissful and happy marriages. At its core, the day celebrates the husband and wife as the foundation of the family and sees the family as the basic unit of society. Further, World Marriage Day honors the beauty of nuptial faithfulness, devotion, sacrifice, commitment, and joy.
Throughout history, the definition of marriage has been subjected to tremendous evolution. Monogamous marriages sure sound like an arcane institution to the upcoming generation, but it is a rather new concept as well. It wasn’t until 1882 that polygamy was deemed illegal in America. For the Catholic Church, married life is more than the union of two individuals. Rather, it is the foundation of humanity and the cradle of civilization. The day urges the community to carry out their married lives with joy and faith and make family life the biggest priority of their lives.
Through World Marriage Day, a special light is shed on the deterioration of family values in modern society. The day calls for parishes to accompany the married couples every step of the way and persuade them to join the sacrosanct life of the Church. It is also the celebration of emerging diversity in the institution of marriage and the incorporation of various heritages and ethnicities that add to the grandeur of God’s creations.
World Marriage Day traces its origin to 1981 when married couples in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, asked the mayor of the city, the governor of the State, and the Bishop of the church to proclaim February 14 (St. Valentine’s Day) as We Believe in Marriage Day. Following the success of the event, the idea of celebrating the day was subsequently presented to and adopted by the National Leadership of Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
The following year — in 1982 — 43 governors in the U.S. approved and officially announced the day as We Believe in Marriage Day. Eventually, some U.S. military bases in many foreign countries joined in the celebrations. In 1983, the day witnessed two major changes: its name was changed to World Marriage Day and it was designated to be celebrated on the second Sunday in February annually. A decade later — in 1993 — Saint Pope John Paul II approved and imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day. In the Catholic church, World Marriage Week still takes place each year from February 7 — February 14.
To date, World Marriage Day is celebrated every second Sunday of February in many countries around the world, especially in the Catholic church. Sometimes, like its maiden edition, the day still falls on February 14, coinciding with Valentine’s Day.
World Marriage Day timeline
The Council of Verona officially recognizes marriage as a sacrament of a union, and rituals of a wedding are prescribed for the first time.
The catholic church considers the act of wedding as the premise of a licit marriage for the first time.
The Council of Trent universally adopts the binding nature of marriage, and the union of man and wife is written in canon law.
Married couples in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, encourage the government and the church to proclaim February 14 as We Believe in Marriage Day.
43 state governors approve and officially proclaim February 14 as We Believe in Marriage Day.
The name of the day is changed to World Marriage Day and it is designated to be celebrated on the second Sunday in February annually.
Pope John Paul II imparts his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day.
World Marriage Day FAQs
Is there Husband and Wife Week?
Yes, couples celebrate their love life on Happily Married Husband and Wife Week from August 26 to 31.
Is today National Marriage Day?
National Marriage Day is celebrated on the second Friday of June each year. The day traces its origins to Elkton, a town in Maryland, once known as “the wedding capital of the East.” It’s just the perfect day to celebrate marriages, attend a wedding, or renew your wedding vows.
Is there a Husband's Day?
Husband Appreciation Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of April each year. Husband Appreciation Day is a day to appreciate your husband, shower him with love, and spend quality time with the special man in your life.
How to Observe World Marriage Day
Renew your vows
There's nothing more beautiful than renewing your commitment to your partner for life. Reiterate the beautiful vows you took at the time of your wedding in a cozy ceremony, and recommit yourself to the pursuit of your marital union. Being married doesn’t stop you from dating each other. With growing responsibilities like kids and work, having fun together may get increasingly challenging. However, this day is a good one to ignite your relationship by dressing up for a dinner date or picnic, hiking in the woods, getting a couple’s massage, or visiting a new city, museum, or art gallery. Walk slowly holding hands, soak in the scenery, take pictures, and appreciate each other’s simple company.
Take a trip
Take a short (or long) trip to a place that is of special significance to you and your spouse and make new memories. You can also bring your immediate family along the ride and strengthen the shared family values.
Join a World Marriage Day event
Focusing on honoring the commitment and significance of the marriage institution, Marriage Day events are organized by various organizations around the world. Search online for upcoming Marriage Day events in your locality, sponsored by churches, clubs, therapy groups, or non-profit organizations, and prepare to participate with your spouse.
5 Interesting Facts About Marriage In America
Trust is paramount
Couples name trust as the most crucial element for a happy marriage over sex, compatibility, friendship, and forgiveness.
Similar average costs
The cost of an average wedding is $20,000, and the cost of an average divorce is $20,000.
Partners from an affair
About 75% of people who marry partners that they had an affair with divorce eventually.
Brief couple time
Due to busy schedules with work, family, and life, the average married couple spends just four minutes alone together on a day.
Gold wedding rings
In the United States, about 17 tons of gold are made into wedding rings annually.
Why World Marriage Day is Important
It celebrates the beauty of wedlock
At inception, the day aimed to celebrate the “husband and wife as the foundation of the family and the basic unit of society.” The day aims at honoring the idea that marriage should embody faithfulness, loyalty, commitment, and joy in the daily-ness of life. Marriage is a beautiful union of two souls, and it transcends the physical nature of this coming together. World Marriage Day illuminates critical light on marriage and shows that although it's hard, it's worth it.
It honors true love
World Marriage Day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate and honor true love. While marriage relationships may get strained over time due to domestic and occupational commitments, this day is a sweet chance to reignite the spark. Marriage takes effort. which is why the Strengthening Initiative of the Diocese of Trenton was launched in 2015 to enable married couples to navigate life in the service of others. being a part of a community strengthens personal marriages and sustains the lives of everyone in the union.
It’s a time to relive memories
World Marriage Day isn’t complete if you can’t relive the fondest memories of your marital journey. It’s a day to spend time with your spouse, appreciate what you have, and plan for a more blissful future. All of us have benefited from the station of marriage, regardless of our marital status. Marriage guards life and makes us better at navigating life. Marriage must be intentionally nourished by the Christian community and must be accepted as a way of life.
World Marriage Day dates