When All Saints Church held a corporate wedding
By Derrick Wandera
Two black cars silently made their way through the main gate of All Saints Cathedral Kampala. The driver moved to the back door, opened, and out came a middle-aged woman. She wore a sparkling white wedding gown, looked ahead of her and smiled widely.
From the second car came a man. Dark skinned and short. He wore a black suit and a red tie, and looked confident and comfortable. He put his left hand into his pocket, as if to fish something out. He moved towards the waiting woman, held her hand and led her into the church.
As they made their way to the entrance, the church broke into song. The music was moderately soft and serenading.
One by one, other couples arrived and glued their eyes onto the altar. They looked happy and anxious to enter into holy matrimony.
“Turn and look at your wife and tell her you are mine officially,” directed Rev. Can. Geoffrey Byarugaba one of the big team of the clergy that wedded the couples.
The chemistry that sparked between the couples, the smiles, the rolling of eyes and sigh of relief on the faces of the 16 couples occupying the front pews of the cathedral, was contagious.
“Please love, cherish and forgive each other as you enter into this marriage,” Rev. Can. Byarugaba advised them. This was the scene at All Saints on November 23rd, when the 16 couples were wed.
According to Rev. Elias Ssentongo, one of the elders on the organising committee of the church, it took them over Shs20m to avail transport, a reception, a decent cake and the wedding fees for each couple.
“This is a way of encouraging more young men and women to marry. We are giving back to the community. We have allowed those who can’t afford a reception to bring up to 40 people to a free reception,” Rev Ssentongo says.
One of the couples, Geoffrey and Grace seemed to be engrossed in their exchange of pleasantries in church. They whispered to each other endlessly and when we finally caught up with them, we understood why. They said they had been waiting for this day because it was a heaven-sent opportunity.
“We are happy that we have reached this day finally. We hope to grow to love each other as we inspire more young people into marriage. We thank the church that has thought about this kind of initiative,” Geoffrey said.
How the marriages can be sustained
The skyrocketing rate at which marriages are collapsing could be the reason that has scared away many young people from legalising their relationships, let alone the expenses that come with the venture.
Rev Ssentongo provided advice on how to make marriages last, saying marriage stands on three pillars: “Communication with each other, love and prayer.”
“The causes of marriage break-ups are not many. The biggest reason is that some people have gotten married for the wrong reasons and do not take family as a priority. The church has introduced such avenues as a way to encourage marriage, we need to embrace them,” he said.
As the newly wedded couples threw flowers in the air for the next generation to take up the mantle, Rev Ssentongo said this was the first corporate wedding of its kind for the church but they will continue in the spirit.
“We want to make this a yearly event as a way of thanking God for the community. We have held this and we hope to continue with the same,” he said.