start seeing sacraments: marriage & holy orders

Every week I’ll share a few favorite images around one of the seven Catholic sacraments, to celebrate my new book: Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting.
Follow me on Instagram at @thismessygrace or tag your photos with #everydaysacrament.
Let’s start seeing sacraments together…


Marriage + holy orders.

Aren’t they an odd couple? After all, in the Catholic tradition of the celibate priesthood, you can’t usually have both sacraments in your life (unless you’re a married deacon). Old-school illustrations of sacraments in Catholic catechisms separated these two as opposites: you either chose holy matrimony or religious life. One or the other.

But after this experiment of seeing everyday sacraments, I see these two more similarly.

Both are responses to God’s particular call in our lives. Both are commitments of love that we profess with public vows. Both are opportunities to share our gifts with the world.

So whenever I try to capture glimpses of these sacraments in images, I see them as invitations.


To remember the vows I have made and to affirm the vows that others have taken.

To imagine where my children will be called and to support those who have already answered their calls.

To see our shared work as holy, whether we are spouses sharing the responsibilities of home or church leaders supporting the vocations of the community.

. . .

I see sacraments of marriage and holy orders in everyday reminders.

Some glimpses of these sacraments are moments to remember. We’re trying to do good work in our callings, tending to the people and the places around us.


Some are openings to imagine. What will these children of ours become and how can we walk with them?


And some are just fresh breaths of joy. Running headlong into this world of possibility.


What a gift it is to be called to share our lives in loving service to others, whatever the path God beckons us to follow.


Where have you glimpsed reminders of marriage and holy orders? What do these sacraments mean to you?

3 thoughts on “start seeing sacraments: marriage & holy orders

  1. Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde says:

    Beautiful, Laura! Just beautiful! Having attended the ordination ceremony of a dear friend this weekend, this is so timely! That the ordination was of a woman who is both called as priest and as married partner, this blog resonates and combines the vocations of holy orders and marriage in a powerful way.
    I love your pictures. Especially the first and last. A bridge. Toes in the grass. They invite my whole being: To cross over. To step lightly and feel the luxury of the earth, the root of our calling.


  2. theologyisaverb says:

    Laura, this is wonderful! I have always taught marriage and holy orders together, for both vocations are to be deep and profound and ask for a lifelong commitment. They are not opposite poles, but work alongside the other each seeking to love and serve giving fully of the self. Funny, one year several of my 2nd grade boys thought they wouldn’t have to kiss a girl if they became priests. So, in an exercise as to what they wanted to be when they grew up…they chose priest. If asked now..they have changed their answers! 😉

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