AHMEDNAGAR, FEBRUARY 13, 2012: On February 12, 2012 World Marriage Day is celebrated all over the world. Everything befitting for a wedding were included: Favours pinned up as for preparing for a wedding, Group photograph shot outside the church, Procession to church with Holy water sprinkled by the Main Celebrant, Fr Jerome Gonsalves and then wedding anniversaries which occurs this year, were celebrated.
The Liturgy commenced with an opening prayer, readings and homily. After the Creed, Prayers of the faithful followed with Symbolic gifts presented at the offertory. After Communion, people prayed for their marriage and for those of loved ones. Fr. Gonsalves also spoke about Asha Kiran Project for HIV/Aids children. The Final Blessing was followed by a Vote of Thanks.
World Marriage Day is convened by Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter Movements in the Catholic church to celebrate 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 ninety nine percent of the baptized. The central focus of the Sunday Liturgy is to enable couples to appreciate the gift and blessing of marriage as covenant of fidelity and symbol of God's love and life. The indigenous locals, whose vernacular is Marathi, renewed their marriage vows and prayed for fidelity during the Mass officiated by the Parish priest Fr. Michael Bansode.
Zenith declares that couples 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 'Courageous,' declares the beauty and affirmation of pro-active fatherhood.
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.