It was celebration galore recently at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Ugworie, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government, Anambra State, where 22 couples in a mass wedding joyfully pronounced “I do” to end their living together as husband and wife without church consent. The ceremony attracted a legion of Catholic priests, including Rev. Fr. Anselm Olua, who preached the sermon.
Others included the dean of Ozubulu Deanary, Rev. Fr. Ben Okolo, who administered the couples to the marital oath, and the parish priest, Very Rev. Fr. Don Chidolue. The church auditorium was filled with friends and relatives of the couples, including their children.
In his sermon, Fr. Olua observed that it had been a long time since the couples individually had the desire to wed but could not because of circumstances beyond their control. He described it as divine intervention when a Good Samaritan came up and bankrolled the wedding for the couples to have their dreams come true: “The couples had promised themselves to join hands in marriage. What is taking place today is in fulfilment of God’s injunction. The couples should avoid self-centredness and realise that it is oneness for the rest of their lives.
“They have made a declaration that it is for better, for worse, and should religiously abide by that. But this will not be possible, if there is a wrong foundation. They should trust in God and always be prayerful. They should live peacefully and set good examples for their children who will always be watching them at all times.”
Sponsor of the ceremony, Jacinta Nwaeto, said: “This is sponsored by my family. Initially, I did not want to make the sponsorship open but it leaked. We did it to give God the glory for his mercies and blessings. I found out that when you come to church, some people don’t receive Holy Communion.
“Then, I went to my spiritual director, Very Rev. Fr. Don Chidolue, and told him that I could see some parishioners were not receiving Holy Communion. He said, yes, for the reasons of not being wedded. I said okay and went back and discussed it with my husband who immediately gave express approval to sponsor the mass wedding.”
The sponsorship covered wedding gowns, suits and virtually everything, including entertainment. The newlyweds were visibly excited in the church auditorium and thereafter they retired to their individual stands where their guests were entertained. They said they had been set free to participate in all church activities.