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Marriage and family life is celebrated at Mass in Norwich

Around 300 people attended the annual Marriage and Family Life Mass on Saturday June 8 at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich to celebrate the joy of holy matrimony and parenthood and to celebrate the significant anniversaries of their loved ones. Bonnie Lander Johnson reports.

Among those present (and pictured above) were Filip and Ina Baillien who are celebrating their first anniversary this year and will soon welcome their first child. The Bailliens were married in their native Italy but returned after the wedding to begin their married lives in Swaffham.

Also pictured above (on the left) are Alec and June Motts who have lived their whole lives in the Diocese. The Motts were married 55 years ago at Hoveton before settling in Cambridge. Most of their children went on to be baptised and married in the Diocese. When asked for their advice to those starting out in married life, the Motts’ said that “honesty and trustworthiness are paramount and that the Church is a rock of faith and something which encompasses the family”. 

Peter and Alice Hughes (pictured on the right) were this year celebrating their 65th anniversary. The congregation applauded their long lives together as they walked the aisle to receive their certificate from the Bishop.

In his homily, Bishop Alan reminded those present that the family is a school of love, in which children learn the truth of the Gospels through the examples of mothers and fathers. Married people also, he said, reveal the truth of God to the world. The Bishop spoke about the beauty of the Church’s two doctrinal truths for married people: faithfulness and fruitfulness.

These two divine truths are central to East Anglian marriage preparation, a course that runs throughout the year in all areas of the Diocese, and through which some 300 couples were this year prepared for marriage. These couples are taught that just as God is faithful to us, and fruitful through us, so married couples reflect God’s love in their faithfulness to each other and their openness to life.

At this year’s Marriage Mass, Bishop Alan called all those present to “Continue to love one another!  For by doing so you will learn who God is and you will show him to our world – for God is the spouse who is faithful unto death and whose crucified love bears fruit in every generation.”

To view and download electronic and print quality pictures of all couples with Bishop Alan, click here, or for the group shot see the gallery below. All pictures are by Peter Jones.

To see a picture gallery of the Mass click here or see below

Marriage & Family Life Mass Norwich June 2019