“I promise to be true to you in good and bad times, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life…” These were part of the vows six couples made before their relatives and friends on Saturday in a mass wedding at Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo.
Six couples on Saturday had their marriages blessed at a grand ceremony at the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo with a call on them to protect their marriages which is the most precious gift God has given them.
"I promise to be true to you in good and bad times, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life…" These were part of the vows six couples made before their relatives and friends on Saturday in a mass wedding at Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo.
The event, which was well-attended, was full of solemnity and colorful. Some couples were beginning their marriage life while others were renewing their vows.
All brides were dressed in beautiful dressing courtesy of the Archdiocese of Kampala.
The wedding held by Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga assisted by several priests including assistant chancellor, Fr Dr Joseph Sserugga, Pastoral coordinator, Fr Dr Richard Mark Ssajjabbi, Curates of Namugongo Fr Augustine Bukenya, Fr Paul Ssekayala.
Others were Fr John Mary Mwanje Parish Priest of St Jude Catholic Parish Wakiso who accompanied a couple from his Parish; Fr Simon Peter Lule Parish Priest of Nakulabye also came for same cause
The day was also Archdiocese married couples day. The brides stood out in their gowns while the groom's suites and other couples were not left behind as most wore African outfits.
The couples from different parishes in Kampala Archdiocese were Andrew Matovu and Caroline Nakabonge of Kkonge who was youngest couple, Bonaface Weeraga and Ruth Nabatanzi of Wakiso, Billy Tenywa and Betty Nanyonga of Ndeeba, Charles Yiga and Rosemary Nakayiwa of Mpala, Julius Byaruhanga and Maria Assumpta Komugabe of Kisubi, Joseph Nnyombi and Elizabeth Nakazzi of Jinja-Kalooli and another couple from Nakulabye.
Tenywa and Nanyonga, who have been married for 25 years was oldest couple at the event. Tenywa who was wearing a black suite and white shirt said it is not hard to plan a wedding when you have support like this one.
He praised mass weddings, saying they cut down budgets and save a lot of time because many parties are involved in the planning process.
While Matovu and Nakabonge the youngest couple said "a wedding involves a huge budget, but if you compare a mass and a single wedding, the former is more affordable."
Archbishop Lwanga said the youth should not shy away from committing to each other in holy matrimony and being strong in the church.
"We need to believe inb the marriage institution and wedding in church is the first step in the right direction" said.
Lwanga called on the faithful to uphold family values, which he noted are facing a crisis, with the ripple effect being experienced in the church.
He pointed out that the crisis has overwhelmed some married couples, leading to this year's theme "Remember, Rejoice and Renew."
"The situation is as a result of secularisation, religious pluralism, economic crisis, science and technological research, civic and political life.
"You must respect each other's feelings; care for each other, share views and reason together in peace and unity. Ensure that you are coordinated in all your dealings and make the word of God your standard, pillar, faith and hope," he added.
"Many people have turned weddings into show-off functions which have eroded the true meaning of holy matrimony. And some couples go to the extent of removing wedding rings in public places which is against the faith," he said.
He advised the newly-wed couples to promote love and endurance to avoid shortcomings that may result in the dissolution of their marriages.
Archbishop Lwanga also advised the couples to take their vows seriously and avoid ignoring responsibility. He also challenged the couples to remain strong in their marriage.
"It is your responsibility to keep the vows you made and also remain faithful, respectful and love each other in all conditions, illness, happiness and pain until death separates you," he said.
He also cautioned parents to have time for their children and to always remember the norms of marriage.