Hinatuan, SURIGAO DEL SUR – Before the Mass started, as I greeted one of the couples whom I interviewed, the groom blurted out audibly in the vernacular: “Sa wakas mapanalanginan na sa Ginoo ang among kaminyoon” (“At last our marriage will be blessed by the Lord”).
Thirty-one couples from the three districts of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Quasi Parish here in Brgy. Dugmanon Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur availed of this year’s mass wedding. Two weddings were celebrated simultaneously on the 21st of February; one in the main church, with 22 couples, and another in San Roque Chapel of Brgy. Campa, with 9 couples.
Fr. Jerome Virtudazo, OAR solemnized the wedding in the main church while Fr. Albert Pellazar, OAR was in the latter. Kasalang Parokya is an annual program conducted by the parish that offers free wedding ceremony for those couple-parishioners who have been living together or civilly married for five years or more.
In the pastoral visits of the three OAR religious among clusters of Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK, or Basic Ecclesial Communities or BEC) within the parish, unmarried couple members were noted, followed up, and encouraged to avail of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
The Family and Life Apostolate is the Parish’s right-hand in preparing these couples before they could receive the Sacrament.
During the homily, Fr. Jerome jokingly shared the slogan of a newly married that says: “No return, no exchange.” This connotes the indissoluble attribute of marriage, and with the sacrament of Holy Matrimony the road to forevermore begins.
He stressed that in order to preserve permanency of marriage it should be founded not on physical attraction but on selfless love.