Monday 21 July 2014

Wedding Bells Are Ringing!

As the sacramental record books show, July is a very popular month for weddings. Everywhere are the nervous affianced who are looking for advice. How do we solve disputes? How do we divide household chores? What if my betrothed turns out to be a lunatic? As it turns out, the Archives is a great place to find matrimonial advice for the bride and groom:

Matrimony, 1928: "There is nothing which contributes more to the social well-being of man than the right ordering of the family. Human society will thrive only in so far as parents fulfil and realize their obligations as husbands and wives and as fathers and mothers."

The Catholic Doctrine of Matrimony, 1929: "In the union of the twain whom love has inspired to walk the pathway of life hand in hand the Church beholds a definite and living representation of the sacred bond that unites her inseparably to her Divine Spouse, Jesus Christ."

Marital Morality, 1931: "And so that they will not deplore for the rest of their lives the sorrows arising from an indiscreet marriage, those about to enter into wedlock should carefully deliberate in choosing the person with whom henceforth they must live continually. They should in so deliberating keep before their minds the thought first of God and of the true religion of Christ, then of themselves, of their partner, of the children who are to come, as also of civil society, for which wedlock is as a fountain-head."

The Tangle of Marriage, 1932: "Man and maid! You who clasp your hands together at the altar of the Lord and join your lives that, like two rivers, they may run together into one, for better, for worse, until death shall you part, look to the plans that God has shown you on His Holy Mount, the Church. Look to the Home of Nazareth. Look to Mary and to Joseph. Model your lives upon theirs. So will you sanctify your future habitation. So will the children playing around your knees show the likeness of Christ in them. So will Heaven's blessing rest like sunlight on your path, whatever be its course.

The Wedding Ring, 1933.

Marriage: A Dialogue on the Christian Ideal, 1935.

The Duties of Married Life, 1935: The world is wide enough to contain and support the swelling generations of the children of men, but it does not yield up its treasures overwillingly - they must be wrested from it by main force. The earth is not a heap of treasure, which men may share among themselves in such sort that each one's portion should increase according as the number who ought to have a share grows less. No but the treasure grows greater in proportion to the spirit, the ability, the courage of those who do battle to acquire it. Man's life is a relentless warfare... and civilization is the fruit, progress the reward of conquest." 

Beginning Your Marriage, 1956: "Husbands and wives who cooperate generously in building a happy, successful life together necessarily perfect themselves in the process."

Courtship and Marriage, [1925-1956?]: "When courtship is being protracted to unseemly length, the father of the girl should inquire of the young man what his intentions are - and incidentally what is the reason for the delay." 

After the Honeymoon What?: "Marriage, humanly speaking, is a job. Happiness or unhappiness has nothing to do with it."

Marriage Problems: "A business man makes many personal sacrifices for the success of his business, whatever it may be. The biggest business of life is the family. No matter what success one may have in trade, in society, or in public office, if family life is not right, one has not made a success of life. On the other hand, if one's family life is what it should be, one is able to face the vicissitudes of life in a spirit of buoyancy, which if it does not ensure material success at least affords strength and courage to cope with every obstacle."

Ok, so maybe marriage advice will have changed since the 1920s, but they're still fun to read!


  1. Hello ARCAT. I was wondering if possible, would you be able to post the contents inside these books as downloadable PDFs for reading? There's a blog out there called Lux occulta from a guy in Ireland who posts PDFs of these older printed books he finds and the are great finds and reads too. If you did this I'd read these books. As a guy strongly feeling marriage is his vocation, maybe there's an old gem or two of things to learn here! Keep up the good work on ARCAT.

    1. Hi Julian,
      I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Unfortunately, these books are not old enough to be in the public domain, so we would not be able to post the contents. However, our reading room is available if you would like to see them in person. Check our website for details about how to make an appointment!!contact/czpl

  2. Although, some advice still holds.