Bishop at Royal Wedding: Marriage For ‘Man and Woman'

By Penny Starr | April 29, 2011 | 4:02 PM EDT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, married on Apr. 29, 2011. (AP Photo)

( – The Lord Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, spoke speaking at the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William Friday, told the couple and hundreds of invited guests that “marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.”

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” Chartres began his remarks.So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today.”

“Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves,” said the Lord Bishop.

In 1999, the Church of England issued a 9-page statement on the church’s position on marriage that includes a reference to the union as between a man and a woman. Under the heading “Why is Marriage Important,” the statement says marriage comes from God.

“Marriage is a pattern that God has given in creation, deeply rooted in our social instincts, through which a man and a woman may learn love together over the course of their lives,” the statement says.

The statement also referred to procreation as one of the three blessings of marriage.

“The three blessings that belong to marriage are traditionally described as the procreation and nurture of children, the hallowing and right direction of natural instincts and affections, and the mutual society, help and comfort which each affords the other in prosperity and adversity,” the statement said.

In a June 15, 2008 story, the Associated Press reported that Chartres launched an investigation into the “marriage” of two homosexual priests in one of London’s oldest churches.

“The bishop of London said Sunday he would order an investigation into whether two gay priests exchanged rings and vows in a church ceremony, violating Anglican guidelines,” the article stated.

(AP Photo)

“The priests walked down the aisle in a May 31 service at one of London's oldest churches marked by a fanfare of trumpets and capped by a shower of confetti, Britain's Sunday Telegraph reported.

“The bishop, the Right Rev. Richard Chartres, said such services are not authorized in the Church of England,” the article stated.

The article said Chartres was asking the archdeacon of London to investigate.

In his speech at today’s nuptials at Westminster Abby, Chartres also spoke about marriage’s transformative powers for a “husband and wife.”

“Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art,” Chartres said. “It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner.”

Chartres also read a prayer that the newly named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wrote for their wedding:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer.
We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.