|Photo by Dupont World Media|
Each year in June my parish honors and blesses couples celebrating special wedding anniversaries.
The couples above represent 707 years of marriage! (Click on the image for a larger version.) The two youngest couples were celebrating 20 years and the eldest couple 58 years of faithful love.
From the Book of Blessings, we prayed these words:
We have come together to celebrate the anniversaries of the marriages of our brothers and sisters. As we join them in their joy, we join them also in their gratitude. God has set them among us as a sign of his love and through the years they have remained faithful and have fulfilled their responsibilities as parents. Let us give thanks for all the favors these couples have received during their married life. May God keep them in their love for each other, so that they may be more and more of one mind and one heart.
Let us pray...
Lord God and Creator, we bless and praise your name.We celebrated this blessing at the 11:30 Mass and invited the couples and their children to a reception in the parish hall. Over lunch I mused on the words above, God has set these couples among us as a sign of his love and through the years they have remained faithful and have fulfilled their responsibilities as parents...
In the beginning you made man and woman,
so that they might enter a communion of life and love.
You likewise blessed the union of these couples
so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church:
look with kindness on them today.
Amid the joys and struggles of their life
you have preserved the union between them;
renew their marriage covenant,
increase your love in them,
and strengthen their bond of peace,
so that, surrounded by their children,
they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
One of the ministries of the married couple is just that, to be a sign of God's love for the community of believers. In the married couple we should see a clear reflection of God's love for us, fully and freely given and generous in a spirit of forgiveness.
I wished out loud that these 17 couples could have come to all four Masses this weekend to stand as a sign of God's love in the assembly of the faithful. And some couples volunteered to do just that next year!
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