BOSTON — Over 100 married couples and their families celebrated their golden and silver wedding anniversaries with a Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on April 10. Representatives from the Office of Family Life, which sponsors the annual Mass, handed out a single red rose to each couple.
In his homily, Bishop Richard G. Lennon talked about the Gospel reading of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, how alone they felt after Jesus died and how the apparent stranger they met was revealed to be the Lord. Archbishop O’Malley had been scheduled to celebrate the Mass but was in Rome to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
“Those disciples felt abandoned, and yet the Lord was with them on that journey. He listened to what was troubling them, and then He engaged them and thankfully their hearts were open to hear what he had to say,” he said. “The Lord is always present to us no matter what the circumstances of our life may be.”
“As those disciples experienced the Lord on the road to Emmaus, so on the road of marriage each husband for his wife and wife for her husband has been the presence of God on their journey as a couple,” he said. “They marry in the Lord, for the Lord is a partner in that relationship. They are not alone, but rather God is there in and through each other and also in Himself.”
“Your testimony here today as well as the testimony of all married couples in the Lord is a testimony of God’s presence in your lives and in each other,” he said to the couples. “We thank you for your testimony and for the quality of your lives. For the Church in the world you are a witness because you have experienced God’s presence and are responding so generously. May God bless all the couples who are here today and all of your loved ones. May God bless all of you with his enduring love.”
After the homily, couples had the opportunity to renew their wedding vows, joining their right hands and saying, “I have taken you, and take you again, to be my spouse. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
Kari Colella, coordinator of marriage ministries, said she was glad to see so many couples come to renew their vows and celebrate their marriages. She added that she would have been pleased to have even more couples participate in the special Mass.
Ron and Judy Cangill, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, said they were glad to attend the Mass with their family and enjoyed the bishop’s homily.
“[Jesus] is always there with us through the good times and the bad, just as we’re there for each other,” said Judy.
Ken Haduch, celebrating the 25th anniversary with his wife Diann, said Bishop Lennon pointed out that Jesus is always there even if nobody notices, and a spouse can also sometimes be unnoticed or unappreciated.
“They are the face of Christ many times when we least expect it,” he said.
Phyllis and Richard Gorman found out about the Mass a year ago and planned to attend. Phyllis said she prayed God would keep her healthy in order to be able to celebrate their 50 years of marriage with all of its “ups and downs.”
“We’ve come through a lot,” she said.
Richard added that the couple renewed their vows 25 years ago at a Mass at their local parish and look forward to their future together.
“We’re coming back for the 75th,” he said.