Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes royal wedding

Rowan Williams urges people to embrace the meaning of the wedding.

London: The Archbishop of Canterbury will welcome the forthcoming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton in his Christmas Day sermon.

In extracts released ahead of his sermon later on Saturday, Rowan Williams urges people to embrace the meaning of the wedding.

"Next year, we shall be joining in the celebration of what we hope will be a profoundly joyful event in the royal wedding," said an excerpt of his speech released earlier Saturday.

"It is certainly cause for celebration that any couple, let alone this particular couple, should want to embark on the adventure of Christian marriage, because any and every Christian marriage is a sign of hope, since it is a sign and sacrament of God`s own committed love."

Perhaps in the coming year, he added, "we, as a society, might want to think through, carefully and imaginatively, why lifelong faithfulness and the mutual surrender of selfishness are such great gifts."

William announced his wedding last month and the date has been set for April 29 next year at Westminster Abbey.

It will be the biggest royal event since Prince Charles and Diana married in 1981.

Williams, in his sermon, will acknowledge that marriages can experience difficulties.

But he will add: "As the prince and his fiancée get ready for their new step into solidarity together, they will have plenty of inspiration around, more than you might sometimes guess from the chatter of our culture."

Bureau Report