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By Godfrey Olukya 28-11-2012

The Catholic church in Uganda has introduced mass wedding to help low income earners to get married officially in church.
The idea which started with a few couples being wed at the same function has now become so popular that hundreds of couple are wed in a single ceremony.

At mass weddings, hundreds of Catholic couples are wed in a single ceremony.

Churches near the border with Democratic republic of Congo wed some Congolese couples alongside Ugandans. At Paidha parish, in Nebbi diocese, in northern Uganda, 527 couples from the two countries were wed on Sunday. Altogether, over 1500 couples have been wed in mass ceremonies in that parish since the year started. 50 of the couples wed on Sunday were from Democratic republic of Congo. One of those people who wed,’ Siomon Adiga said, ‘I had stayed with my wife for over 15 years without wedding her in church due to lack of funds. But during the mass wedding I have been able to do so at a minimum cost. I thank the church for supporting us.’

Some of the couples wed are aged 70 or 80 years. Some couples pool funds so that they hold mass reception parties
Area Bishop, Sanctus Lino Wanok has been instrumental in encouraging couples to wed in church. Most of them had stayed together for some years without wedding mostly due to lack of funds to do so. He said,’ We encourage couples to participate in mass wedding because it is affordable.Mass wedding is the foundation of real Christianity. We encourage the couples to formalize their marriages so that they live peacefully.’

Although most of the couples had lived together for some time,there were also a few who were fresh in marriage. In order to encourage young people to get interested in wedding, Bishop Wanok has appealed to parents to stop asking for bride price saying that apart from discouraging marriages, they also lead to domestic violence.
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