Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations – The Rainbow


While being driven recently from a weekend of Marriage Care training we saw a very bright, unusually full rainbow. I was reminded of this by the opening reading for the 1st Sunday in Lent where God’s covenant with Noah is confirmed by the rainbow symbol. This led me to further reflections about God’s unbreakable covenant with his people. We meet this important word ‘covenant’ in our preparation for marriage courses where couples discuss and reflect on the meaning of the sacrament. Christian marriage is also an unbreakable covenant, vowed in the presence of God, and with God, our family, friends and community.

Often marriage seems to be looked upon as a legal contract which, like other contracts, might be broken if it becomes too difficult to keep. The rainbow is not always as full and bright as on my recent journey. It may appear only in patches and be very faint. Marriage has its struggles to be a bright, visible relationship, with breaks sometimes where couples fail in keeping their commitment and might seek our help to restore their attachment to each other. It can take real hard work to maintain the relationship and keep the vows made when life seemed bright and full of love.

Of course, the rainbow symbol is now used in many other contexts, and I wondered how these connect to Noah’s rainbow. God promised the world would not again be completely flooded. While the Genesis story is not to be taken literally, it can seem somewhat ironic that the world is currently affected by so many floods in so many places. Is that a sign too from God that we are forgetting his covenant was made not just for people but for the whole of creation? God will always keep his promises, but what are we doing? God saved the world, and are we now busy destroying it by not keeping our part in the covenant? Committed together in marriage we might be able to look outwards into the world and share in a commitment to all God’s creation.

This post was written by Teresa Saunders, a Marriage Care volunteer  Counsellor, Marriage Preparation Course Facilitator and Centre Coordinator. Marriage Care are part of the Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations. For more information on the alliance please