March for Marriage

Good and Gracious God,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name,
we come before you today with hearts full of gratitude.
For you have created us in your image, male and female you have created us,
endowed us with reason and free will, and openness to friendship with you.
We give you thanks, Lord our God,
for you have endowed each person with a dignity
that goes beyond the things and the events of this world,
for you have loved each one of us with an everlasting love.
And in that love you have given yourself to humanity,
you have poured out your life and love upon us
in ways that the Scriptures call a marriage –
your covenant with the people of Israel,
your spousal love for your Church,
your goodness in espousing yourself to any soul open to your promptings.

We give you thanks, O Lord, for enabling us to share in your spousal love,
for at the dawn of creation, in creating the human person male and female,
you instructed them to fill the earth and subdue it.
And so through the ages there arose the institution of marriage
as part of your plan for the human family.
Through marriage, Lord, husbands and wives, one man and one woman,
are called to express a unique love that mirrors and shares in
your spousal love for the human family
and in that love, Lord, you ordain that children should be conceived and brought to maturity
in families and homes that are secure, peaceful, loving, and virtuous.
We praise you, Lord, for you have taught us that such homes are
the foundation of a civilization of truth and love

Look with love upon us all gathered for this March for Marriage,
from various faiths, from all walks of life, and from many parts of our nation.
Make us witnesses to your divine and loving plan for the human family;
make us witnesses to the truth about the marriage and the family known to us by reason.
Implant in our hearts a loving concern for our government and our society
so that it may turn away from arbitrarily redefining marriage
as between one man and one woman and ordered toward bringing children into the world.
May we be spared court decisions and laws so detrimental
to our society and our citizens, now and for generations to come.
Protect as well, Lord, your gift of religious freedom
so that conscientious individuals and churches may bear witness to your love
without legal constraint and without opprobrium.
Guide our nation and our leaders in the ways of your truth and love, Lord,
and keep in their hearts the good of young people and children
who deserve to be raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.
Teach us to love and respect one another, to dialogue in truth and love,
to respect and honor the legitimate rights of all people, even when there is disagreement.
Bless us as march today, Lord,
and guide us along the way to be your witnesses
before the nation and the world.

We make this prayer in Thy Holy Name. Amen.

Archbishop William E. Lori

Archbishop William E. Lori was installed as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore May 16, 2012.

Prior to his appointment to Baltimore, Archbishop Lori served as Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., from 2001 to 2012 and as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington from 1995 to 2001.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Lori holds a bachelor's degree from the Seminary of St. Pius X in Erlanger, Ky., a master's degree from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg and a doctorate in sacred theology from The Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1977.

In addition to his responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop Lori serves as Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.