Monday, July 21, 2014

I Do 11Xs

While most of you were celebrating the Fourth of July, we were celebrating the wedding of eleven couples who got married in the Church.  (We are a day ahead of you guys!)  We started out with a few couples from our neighborhood who has told us while visiting with them before the baptisms of their children how they were never actually married because they couldn't afford the license or the required classes (both civil and church ones) much less afford the cost of a wedding ceremony and reception.

We knew that missionaries before us had done "mass" weddings and the wheels began to turn back in April.  After talking with Father about why so many couples weren't able to receive the Sacrament of Marriage, the wedding train was full speed ahead.  Father was just as anxious as we were to give the couples in our neighborhood the opportunity to receive the nuptial graces that come with the sacrament.  After witnessing my own brother's wedding back in the USA in May, I knew that God was calling us to begin planning a wedding!

We had only two months to plan a wedding, but with God as the wedding planner it all fell into place.  We had our wonderful Filipino missionary friends, the Leanos, running all over the island getting birth certificates, baptism records, etc.  They stood in lines waiting for all the proper documents for each couple.  They had "people" for everything----a ring guy, a dress lady, a flower lady.  And we knew a caterer!

They only problem that we had was trying to figure out exactly how many couples we had.  Word got around our neighborhood and Father began announcing it at church.  We had couples sign up and drop out daily.  We just continued to pray for who ever was supposed to be included!

Finally, the BIG day arrived and we had eleven beautiful brides and eleven gwapo (handsome) grooms and a church full of very happy moms, dads, and children!  And the Filipino wedding traditions made the day just perfect!

The color was red.  The color of the Holy Spirit.
And boy, could we feel HIS presence!

Father blessing all the couples.

Blessing of the rings
Vows and Ring Exchange
Filipino tradition: Cord and Veil
A reminder that they are "bound" together as "one."

Another Filipino Tradition:  The couple administer
the Holy Eucharist to each other.

First "Official" Kiss

Making it officially official!

The head table

To Us!  Finally!

First Dance

Thank you to all the sponsors and donors that helped make this dream come true for so many!  Please continue to pray for each couple as they begin their new lives together.

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