Being grateful for the love and perseverance in married life is one of the reasons why couples who are celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversary celebrate World Marriage Day. And this year, they can attend a special mass at the San Agustin Cathedral on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m.
The Diocese of Laredo is inviting couples celebrating these significant anniversaries to register before Jan. 27.
“At this special jubilee Mass, we recognize the couples that are celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversaries of their sacramental marriage,” said Martha Miller, Diocese of Laredo Family Life Director.
The sacrament of marriage is a lasting commitment of a man and a woman to a lifelong partnership, established for the good of each other and the procreation of their children.
The wedding anniversary mass began to be celebrated 15 years ago on the second Saturday of February to mark World Marriage Day.
According to the worldwide marriage encounter website, World Marriage Day honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family – the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in daily married life.
The idea of celebrating marriage began in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1981 when couples encouraged the mayor, the governor and the Bishop to proclaim St. Valentines Day as “We Believe in Marriage Day.” The event was so successful the idea was presented to and adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s National Leadership.
In 1983, the name was changed to “World Marriage Day,” designated to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in February. In 1993, his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day. The celebrations continue to grow and spread to more countries and faith expressions every year.
Miller added that the public response has grown over the years.
“More and more couples have attended this jubilee Mass making it a memorable occasion for many families,” Miller said. “We have over 50 couples each year.”
Miller said that couples celebrating gold or silver wedding anniversaries should join to this jubilee Mass.
“Couples that celebrate these milestones are examples of true commitments by men and women to create domestic churches where individuals learn how to love, respect and be merciful,” she said.
Miller invited couples of the community to renew their vows in this celebration.
“Couples will be able to renew their vows and receive a special commemorative medal, and a signed certificate by Bishop James A. Tamayo, D.D. to mark the occasion,” Miller said. “This event will be celebrated at our newly renovated San Agustin Cathedral. It is free for all couples celebrating their 25th and 50th year of a sacramental marriage.”
Couples who would like to participate should contact Martha Miller at 956-727- 2140 or their parish before Jan. 27.