Wedding bells rang out on March 2, 2019, as 36 married couples renewed their vows at St. Anthony of the Desert Maronite Catholic Church. Msgr. James Root (Pastor) concelebrated a special liturgy at 6:00 pm with Chorbishop Joseph Kaddo (retired pastor of Saint Anthony’s), and Msgr. David George to honor the couples ranging from 3 years to 53 years of marriage. This has been a year of renewal for St. Anthony’s Church. Msgr. Root, the parish council and church organizations are stressing the importance of renewing the Church mission and renewing ourselves in every aspect of our Christian commitment.
Msgr. George spoke about the language of love based upon a book by Gary Chapman entitled: The 5 Love Languages – Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Msgr. George added another important Love Language: Forgiving Love. He used the paradigm of the greatest example of love that Jesus gave us, His dying on the Cross. Msgr. George said that “Our forgiveness must be patterned after God’s forgiveness of us. God forgives out of a grace filled heart of forgiveness. We are simply to forgive as God forgives.” While thinking of the couples attending liturgy, Msgr. George stated that “Forgiving love sets your spouse free. Remember how the weight of sin makes you feel before you receive God’s forgiveness? Your spouse feels the same pain and discomfort from hurting you. Forgiveness is how we bring our relationship into the light.”
Following liturgy, the couples gathered in the Saint Sharbel Maronite Center for dinner, wedding cake, champagne toast, and dancing. Each couple received a Marriage Certificate with their original date of marriage and renewal date.