“Fantastic” was the adjective used by Jacob & Meena Jadhav, Clement & Lucy to describe their couple experience of the celebration of World Marriage day after the Eucharistic celebration on 12th February Sunday day in St John the Baptist Church, Bhingar Ahmednagar. Regan & Sapna, recently married, said it was the reenactment of their marriage day.On 12, February all around the world is celebrated as World Marriage Day. Favors were pinned up as if preparing for a wedding.. the Nuptial of the Lamb according to Theology of the Body Spirituality. A Group photograph was shot outside the church. Procession to church of 27 couples with Holy water sprinkled by a Main Celebrant, Fr Jerome Gonsalves, SJ and then all wedding anniversaries which occurs this year were celebrated. Twenty seven couples plus parishioners participated to make it a full church.
Liturgy commenced with opening prayer, readings and homily. Creed, Prayer of the faithful prayed and Symbolic gifts presented. After Communion, people prayed for their marriage as for those of loved ones in a special invocation “ Prayer for Married couples.” The average collection being Rs 12 hundred and odd rose to Rs 26 hundred and odd, a difference of a thousand and odd. Fr. Jerome spoke about Asha Kiran Project for HIV/Aids children set up by the Jesuits on the Aurangabad-Ahmednagar Road at the Shendi Village . The Final Blessing and a Special blessing was delivered.The Parish Priest remarked, “Fr. Bento has worked a miracle” seeing few couples who rarely show their face, turn up... the ECG type.i.e. the Easter, Christmas and Good Friday Catholics?
The day convened by Marriage Encounter and Engaged encounter movements in the Catholic church celebrated the sacredness of marriage and couple love, as the foundation for the twin adult sacraments of Anointing and family life. The guidelines for the celebration are found in <www.worldmarriageday.org> for animation of the couples in our parishes to make this day relevant to 99% of the baptized, is the central focus of the Sunday Liturgy and the point for couples to appreciate the gift and blessing of marriage as covenant of fidelity and symbol of God’s love & life. The indigenous locals whose vernacular is Marathi pronounced their prayer for marriage and prayed for fidelity during the 8.00 am Mass officiated by the Parish priest Fr. Michael Bansode.
Zenith declares that couple are most helped in their lives by the Movements in the church especially Engaged and Marriage encounter. Certain parishes celebrate this moment in their churches and some even screen the film ‘Fireproof’ for couples. This year a new film declares the beauty and affirmation of pro-active fatherhood, in the new film ‘Courageous.’ The latter is worth screening for couples.
In St. John the Baptist, Bhingar, Ahmednagar as well as Don Bosco Parish, Borivli a special mass is celebrated, and was animated by the Family Cell with and special planning & handouts.