PORTLAND---Many Maine parishes have planned celebrations to commemorate World Marriage Day (February 9), a celebration of Christian marriage that honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family. World Marriage Day salutes the faithfulness, sacrifice, and joy that are part of daily living for husbands and wives and their generous love that gives rise to new life.
"Love One Another" is the theme of every World Marriage Day, which got its start in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1981, when St. Valentine's Day was proclaimed "We Believe in Marriage Day. The day was so successful that it was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, which helped it to spread across the United States and the world. In 1983, the name was changed to "World Marriage Day," and the date was established as the second Sunday in February. In 1993, Pope Saint John Paul II, imparted his apostolic blessing on the day.
Here is a list of World Marriage Day and Valentine’s Day (February 14) celebrations scheduled for parishes in the Diocese of Portland (listed alphabetically):
"Love is in the Air,” the 4th annual Cabaret with Louis Philippe, will be held in the hall of Sacred Heart Church on 8 Sacred Heart Place in Auburn on Saturday, February 15, beginning at 7 p.m. The cost is $15. Tickets may be purchased at the door or at the Immaculate Heart of Mary office at 24 Sacred Heart Place.
A Valentine’s dinner will take place on Sunday, February 9, at St. Benedict’s Hall on 1063 Benedicta Road in Benedicta. Appetizers and fellowship start at 4 p.m., followed by an opening activity at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 5 p.m. The menu is roast pork with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, salads and min-breads and assorted homemade pastries and fresh berries and cream for dessert. Admission is $15 per couple or $8 per individual in advance. At the door, admission is $20 per couple and $10 per individual. For reservations, call (207) 365-4294 or (207) 365-4254.
During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including St. Joseph Church on 178 Elm Street in Biddeford, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at St. Joseph are Saturday at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
On Sunday, February 9, Deacon Ed Robinson will offer a presentation on the sacrament of marriage and why it is the foundation of the family. The presentation will be at 2 p.m. in the St. John's Community Center on 43 Pleasant Street in Brunswick.
St. John Vianney Parish will celebrate World Marriage Day with its 5th annual Married Couples Night Out on Friday, February 7, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fort Kent.
The Christian Life Center in Frenchville will host a Valentine Special for Married Couples on Friday, February 14, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The evening will include a blessing, dinner, and a movie. The cost is $50 per couple. To register, call the Christian Life Center at 207-543-6193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A five-course Valentine’s Day Dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on February 14, at the Grand Isle Community Center on 364 Main Street. The dinner is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Ladies of St. Anne and benefits the St. Gerard-Mount Carmel Church roof fundraiser. The cost is $25 per person. Reservations are required. Please call Angela at (207) 895-6949.
St. Mary of the Visitation Parish will hold a Celebration of Marriage Dinner on Saturday, February 8, at 6 p.m. in the parish center.
During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including St. Philip Church on 404 Goodwins Mills Road in Lyman, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at St. Philip are Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Old Orchard Beach
During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including St. Margaret Church on 6 Saco Road in Old Orchard Beach, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at St. Margaret are Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Married and engaged couples of all ages are invited to a Valentine’s Date Night on Friday, February 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Most Holy Trinity Church hall on 271 Main Street in Saco. In addition, during Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including Most Holy Trinity Church on 271 Main Street, Saco, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at Most Holy Trinity are Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
To read more about the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/olff/marriage/church-documents.