By Chioma Ndife
An Awka Diocesan Priest and the Parish Priest of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Adazi-Ani, Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, Rev. Fr. Donatus Eziegbue has drawn over 42 persons to Christ after he joined them in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Fr. Esiegbue reconciled the 42 fellows to Christ through the mass wedding organized on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Adazi-Ani.
Fides gathered that some of the 21 couples who participated in the Mass Wedding had lived together for over 10 years. Speaking to Fides, Fr. Donatus Esiegbue said the Mass Wedding was organized to assist individuals who were cohabitating in the name of marriage without presenting themselves to God, for blessing. He opined that the wedding would draw the couples back to Christ and help to transform their lives in relationship with God.
He pointed out the benefits of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, saying that the wedding would enable the participants to return to sacramental life. He revealed that a person who was living in sin commits other chains of sin as one sin brings forth another. He noted that the reception of the sacrament would act like a restriction that helps one to curtail excessive life style.
He decried the increased rate of cohabitation among many young people and refuted the reasons presented by many perpetrators of the act on why they move together without the reception of the Sacrament of Matrimony. He charged people especially young intending couple to do away with social attachment imposed on wedding ceremony as wedding itself cost nothing.
Addressing the newly wedded couples, Fr. Esiegbue appreciated the people that allowed themselves to receive the sacrament, saying that there was nothing to be ashamed of for partaking in such wedding. He expressed happiness that many of them have returned to the sacrament saying that their coming together would bring a greater joy in heaven.
Earlier in his homily, Fr. Christian Ezelike explained the reason why the church organizes mass weddings, saying that it presents its faithful the opportunity of returning to God and renewing their request for the things of God. He revealed that the reception of the sacrament would transform them into better Christians that would shine forth the light of Christ.
Some of the couples who spoke to Fides on the basis of anonymity revealed the reasons which held them back from having their wedding and prevented them from receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony to include societal demands, family disproval of marriage, finance and illicit sex that led to unwanted pregnancies among others. They expressed joy following the sacrament received, saying that they would start enjoying new life in Christ.