May 29, 2015

Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass, second liturgy will ‘better honor marriage’

A couple holds hands during the Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Sept. 21, 2014. The growing number of marriages in the archdiocese lasting 50 or more years—plus the desire to recognize all marriages—led the archdiocesan Office of Pro Life and Family Life to focus the annual Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass on those celebrating their 50th anniversary, and a separate Mass to honor all married couples, with special recognition given to those married for 60 or more years. (File photo by Natalie Hoefer)

A couple holds hands during the Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Sept. 21, 2014. The growing number of marriages in the archdiocese lasting 50 or more years—plus the desire to recognize all marriages—led the archdiocesan Office of Pro Life and Family Life to focus the annual Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass on those celebrating their 50th anniversary, and a separate Mass to honor all married couples, with special recognition given to those married for 60 or more years. (File photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

For the last few years, the annual Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass has left SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis bursting at its mortared seams.

In attendance at last year’s Mass were 76 couples celebrating 50 years of marriage, 61 couples married for 51-59 years and 43 couples married for 60 years or more, plus family members.

“Over the past couple of years, and especially last year, we had to turn families away because we ran out of space at the cathedral and Assembly Hall,” admits Scott Seibert, archdiocesan coordinator of marriage and family enrichment.

The situation made the staff of the archdiocese’s Office of Pro Life and Family Life ask two questions, he says: “First, how do we better honor marriage across the archdiocese? Second, how do we better acknowledge the beautiful witnesses of those who have been married 50, 60 and 70-plus years?”

The answer was to offer two special Masses—a Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass in the fall specifically for those celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, along with their families, plus an Archdiocesan Marriage Celebration for all married couples in the spring, with special acknowledgement of those celebrating 60 years or more of marriage as has been done in the past.

“This will create an opportunity to gather the entire Church of central and southern Indiana together to observe God’s plan for a long and joyful marriage vocation,” says Seibert.

The Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass will be celebrated on Aug. 23 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, with Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin serving as the principal celebrant.

Archbishop Tobin will celebrate the first annual Archdiocesan Marriage Celebration Mass on April 24, 2016, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral. More information about the Mass will be publicized closer to the date.

A reception at the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center will follow each Mass.

Rebecca Niemerg, director of the Office of Pro Life and Family Life, is excited about the change.

“We hope that these celebrations will create a greater witness to the beauty of marriage,” she said. “We want them to stand as a strong example of the persevering love of God that shines through married couples.”
 

(For more information on the Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass, log on to www.archindy.org/plfl/jubilee-info.html or call 317-236-1521 or 800-382-9836 ext. 1521.)

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