By Maureen Quinlan, Pauline Books & Media Publicist
I am 25 years old, and I have attended 24 weddings. That is neither an exaggeration nor hyperbole. I have sat through 24 “I dos,” and first dances, and cake cuttings. I have seen every bride beaming and every groom looking like he’s the luckiest man on earth. This also means I’ve had to scour 24 registries for a gift that says, “I love you as much as a close friend, but really only know you as well as a distant cousin.”
I detest the wedding registry. As someone who expresses my love through the love language of gift-giving, registries seem impersonal. Of course, I see the practicalities of a registry; I just personally hate them. I’ll probably feel differently if I ever get married, but I love going off-registry for couples I adore and giving them a gift I know they’ll use, appreciate, and (perhaps selfishly) think of me every time they use it. A set of copper Moscow Mule mugs, a pink salad spinner, or three dishtowels really don’t do it for me.
Forever: A Catholic Devotional for Your Marriage is a six-week prayer guide for couples to pray together. Written by Jackie and Bobby Angel, the book is full of real-life examples of marital challenges—and advice for overcoming it. But even more so, the book presents a way to draw closer to God and to your partner. The discussion, the prayers, and the daily challenges give couples so many different ways to approach praying together.
Praying as a couple, especially as a newly married or engaged couple, can be a daunting undertaking. Prayer must be something each individual feels comfortable doing on his and her own at first before merging their spiritual lives.
As much as the Church prepares married couples, many pre-Cana programs don’t anticipate how to nurture a couple beyond the wedding. Jackie and Bobby are relatable, funny, heartfelt, and clear. They lay out the Church’s Theology of the Body and the realities of being a Catholic married couple with ease and authority.
Any couple married in the Church would benefit from this book. I plan to give it to all the couples whose weddings I attended recently. Knowing their struggles in the first year of marriage, I believe this prayer devotional will help them re-center their marriages on God, place all their worry in him, and turn toward one another to face the next several decades as man and wife.
I also know wrapped in a simple ribbon and accompanied by a long letter of love for my friends or cousins or dad’s best friend’s niece, the book will stand out on a wedding gift table. It won’t say, “I was purchased on Target.com last week.” It will say, “I care about you and your future marriage. Trust in God and your love will never fail.”
That’s all I could ever ask for in giving the perfect wedding gift!
Do you hate looking for that perfect wedding gift?
Do you despise wedding registries?
Foreverjgives you a creative way around it all!
You can help the Catholic couples in your life get their marriage off to a great start—or renew the marriage they’ve shared for years—with this six-week devotional for couples, which takes inspiration from Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Experts Jackie François Angel and Bobby Angel will teach readers how to pray together as a couple, opening them up to the wonders that God bestows on their marriage.
"We hope that you will find joy in the vocation of marriage and discover how we can make the love of God physically present in the world through the simple act of loving our spouse and our children." —Forever, pg. 4