First World Marriage Day held in New Zealand.
15 February 2017
This year for the first time World Marriage Day was celebrated in New Zealand at a Wellington Event organised by the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF).
“World Marriage Day honours a husband and wife as the foundation of a family, the basic unity of society. It celebrates the beauty of their love, faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in their marriage. Further, it celebrates the children that are born to them out of their love and their establishment of a family,” stated Centre Chairman Ewen Laurenson and co-founder of the Open Home Foundation.
World Marriage Day is held every second Sunday of February in many countries worldwide. Its origins began in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1981, when couples encouraged the Mayor, the Governor and the Bishop to proclaim St. Valentines Day as ‘We Believe in Marriage Day’. The event was so successful the idea was presented to and was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter's National Leadership. In 1993, his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day. Since then World Marriage Day celebrations continue to grow and spread to more countries and faith expressions every year.
“CMF wanted to use the occasion to affirm and celebrate the wonder of marriage and family in a secular age that so often seems to disparage or be indifferent to these concepts that for centuries have stood the test of time,” said Mr Laurenson.
The Family Fun Day Out at Aotea Lagoon included games and spot prizes, a walk around the lagoon, cakes, live music and a sausage sizzle. Many young couples and families attended despite the threat of wet weather.
“What impacted me the most, was that it was a lovely and joyous statement about the value to our society of marriage and family,” said Mr Laurenson, who together with wife Gillian won the prize for the longest married couple of 47 years!
Centre Director Patricia Sison said, “I felt God honoured the occasion in the way the weather held. God is good! He made the sun come out as He said he would and at just the right time-- 2 pm the start of the event. He is faithful and I have gained a better understanding of what marriage is through his faithfulness in my life.
“The event was a good public statement about support for marriage and family. It was so wonderful to have young people present and to observe their positive involvement one way and another. It is my prayer that these young people will value marriage and family in the years to come.
“For CMF the event was a success as it reflected one of the organisation’s key values of intergenerational participation, involvement and collaboration of people, young and old to stand and work to promote marriage and the family.
“One of the guiding principles of the CMF is to proclaim God's mercy from generation to generation from the song of Mary in the gospel of Luke and that I believe was what we did. Never was it more pronounced then through the walk around the Lagoon which was like a march signifying the generations coming together on a journey, and proclaiming the great heritage of the human race which is Marriage.”
For more on the work of the Centre for Marriage and Family, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.marriageandfamilyorg.nz .