The evening sessions to reflect on marriage during the Marriage Awareness Weeks started on Thursday night of 26 August 2021. Started right on time, 7pm as was anticipated. The session was facilitated by Sr. Dumisile Sibisi, the Coordinator of the Department for Formation, Life, and Apostolate of the Laity at the SACBC, assisted by Bishop Joao Rodriguez, the Liaison Bishop.
The bishop welcomed the participants that consisted of three couples and four more individuals, among them the quest speaker Fr. Tulani Gubula from the Diocese of Queenstown (Komani), who explained the technicalities from the Church’s side. The opening prayer by the bishop was taken from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia.
Speaking about the vocation to marriage Sr. Dumisile said, “In my culture, the Zulu Culture, marriage is promoted”, adding that from as young as five years old the family uses the language that makes you understand that you are going to be someone’s wife or husband. “It is for this reason that we are here tonight, to promote marriage”, added sister Dumisile.
Participants in quotes:
Mr. Rob Buthelezi, “For me marriage as a sacrament represents the love of God between the couple”.
Mrs. Mahadi Buthelezi, “The couple’s relationship expresses in a unique way an unbreakable bond of love between a couple and Christ. We always have to include Christ”.
Mr. Paul Mbatha, “40 years on our love and affection for each other is still very intense. We know that we are in this for the long haul. That is our commitment.”
Mrs. Lily Mbatha, “Trust and respect play a vital role in a marriage. Most important is the fact that we cannot buy trust, we must earn trust.” “Other values we have found to be the cornerstone of our relationship is openness and transparency.”
Mr. Sam Mathe, “It is never a smooth ride, but when people see us hand in hand walking in the streets they just see a bed of roses.”
Mrs. Mpho Mathe, “Marriage is a life-long commitment, and it needs nourishment everyday, every hour.”
Fr. Thulani Gubula, “Marriage is a sacrament of who God is. God is a community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” “We want to bring out the dignity of marriage by celebrating it on holy grounds.”
Mrs. Tony Rowland, “It is not just a wedding ceremony. The sacrament is what people live, it is the daily living of the couple. The couple is the sign of a sacrament.”
Mr. Ayanda Vezi, “What I am learning is, in order for you to be successful Christ must be the center and the pillar of your marriage. So, seek Christ first before seeking one another” “Marriage is portrayed as this challenging beast rather than enjoyable.”
This session of Marriage Awareness Weeks took place on SACBC Facebook Live and will continue for six more weeks with different themes, couples and speakers every week at 7pm.
Watch the full video of the session here