Noah Ebije, Kaduna
In honour of the Biblical Feast of the Holy Family, many Catholic couples in Kaduna State, last Sunday, returned to the altar of God to renew their marriage vows and envision happier home in the year to come.
An interesting religious event that comes up after the Christmas celebration, the Feast of the Holy Family, is an annual celebration of the Church marked in honour of the Holy Family of Jesus Christ, Mary, His mother and Joseph, His father, all as members of one happy family.
In this celebration, the picture of the Holy Family is restored as a basis of a successful family life, a situation appreciated by some Catholics with the renewal of marital vows between the husbands and their wives.
At the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Narayi, Kaduna State, it was a spectacular event for some couples and for the large audience of friends and relatives, who cheered as they recited their wedding vows before the altar of God.
“I take you Stella (not real name) as my lovely wedded wife. I will love you with all my heart, for better or for worse, in sickness, and in good health” is rendered after the priest by the couple to the priest had read the passage.
Assistant Parish Priest of the church, Reverend Father Moses Bassah, remarked that the feast was a very special occasion for the members of the Catholic Church the world over and for the couples rededicating and renewing their marriage vow in a special way. He advised them to respect, love and care for each other in the same way as the Holy Family had demonstrated in times past.
While saying that the annual marriage renewal is not compulsory for couples to undertake, he offered that neither the husband nor the wife should ever regret marrying each other, no matter the hardship or the challenges before their union.
The clergy remarked that every couple or family in the world has one of challenge or the other, insisting that no one should be deceived or should be made to believe that there are some families that have no problems or threats to their family union:
“Even the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had the problem of relocating to Egypt, a foreign land, for the fear that King Herod would kill the infant Jesus at that time.
“But after the death of Herod, the Holy Family moved to Narazeth, where they eventually settled. Was that not a family problem? So, we should not deceive ourselves. There is problem in every family. We have to pray to God and be patience with each other.” The priest also admonished husbands against cheating on their wives just as he cautioned wives not to cheat on their husbands.
The first reading with a sub-title, “He who fears the Lord honours his parents”, was taken from Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14. The second reading, “Concerning the Christian life in the family”, was taken from Colossians 3: 12-21 while the gospel was taken from Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23 which reads:
“When the wise men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him”.
“And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.”