Archdiocese of Melbourne report: On Sunday 24 July, 263 couples joined Archbishop Denis Hart in marking a combined 11,770 years of marriage. The couples were celebrating anniversaries of 25, 40, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage. St Patrick’s Cathedral was filled to capacity with family and friends who shared the day.
God our Father, we look back today with gratitude
to the time when you first blessed our love.
We thank you for the happiness we have known together
and for sustaining us in the sorrows we have shared.
We ask for forgiveness for any failure on our part;
for any times when we became difficult to live with;
for any lack of sympathy and understanding;
for anything which spoiled even for a moment the relationship you desire for us.
After these many years of life together,
increase and deepen our love by the power of your Spirit
so that we, and our family, may always be one with you.
Bless our marriage Lord, with peace and happiness,
and make our love fruitful for your glory and our joy.
The Annual Marriage Anniversary Mass began 11 years ago. For the first few years the theme of the Mass changed each year. Six years ago, we decided to mark milestone anniversaries. The response was so positive that it was decided to do it again. However, we continue it not just because it is popular but because the celebration is an important witness to marriage and family life.
It is tremendously encouraging, especially for young people, to see so many couples whose marriages prove that the yearning of the human heart for a lifelong love is achievable and realistic. The combined experience of these couples proves it. While there is no doubt that every couple here could share stories of hardship and heartache, a long, faithful and happy marriage is possible.
This year, as well as receiving a certificate of congratulation from Archbishop Hart, each couple was given a prayer card bearing an image of the parents of Our Lady, Ss Joachim and Ann – a couple who remind us that the business of raising a saint is the work of married couples who can become saints in the process.
anniversary in 2012 can now register with the Life, Marriage and Family Officelmf@cam.org.au 9287 5579.