The sacrament of marriage involves making a free personal decision, with the intention to commit to its consequences for a lifetime. Once a personal decision is brought to the altar, it becomes a matter which also begins to affect others, and not only human beings.
Why would someone ask for the sacrament of marriage today?
These convictions inspire them to say 'Yes, I do' in front of each other, their witnesses, the gathered community and the Christ.
The rings they exchange express many things. For example, the inner space in which their precious shared destiny is enclosed; the cycle of an earthly lifetime; the will to be faithful; the privilege and responsibility of being entrusted to carry another person's destiny; the will to forge their own unique common destiny.
When two sticks are bound with a red ribbon in the form of a cross during the ceremony, a sign is given which indicates that the individual, in love and respect, can bind him or herself to another person out of inner freedom. Then the blessing and affirmation are received as the gift of the Risen One, which He Himself will give. Human commitment is met by a heavenly commitment.
Thus the marriage sacrament creates a new fact in the world, initiated by human beings, not nature. It brings about new facts in the destinies of many, many people. It is, though, one of those facts of life which never 'are', but are always 'becoming'.