Cardinal Wuerl Honors More than 700 Couples Celebrating Milestone Wedding Anniversaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, honored more than 700 married couples at a special Mass on Sunday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Each year, the archdiocese hosts a special Mass for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries ranging from 25 to 75 years.

Representing parishes from across the Archdiocese of Washington, 737 couples registered through their respective parishes to have their milestone anniversaries recognized, totaling more than 33,800 years of marriage. While not all the couples were able to attend the Mass, the basilica was filled with over 500 couples, along with their families and friends. Of those in attendance, approximately 390 couples were celebrating 50 or more years of marriage.

“Marriage is the most visible sign and universally recognized expression of committed human love,” Cardinal Wuerl said in his homily. “In you whose jubilees we celebrate today, we recognize the power of God’s Spirit at work. It is manifested in your love for each other.”

These jubilees, the cardinal said, are celebrations of enduring human love – love which “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7) – transformed by grace.

“We for our part have come here today to rejoice with you and to ask God’s blessing on you, your love and your ongoing future together,” Cardinal Wuerl said as he concluded his homily, “and to thank you for your witness to the beauty of enduring human love and the power of God’s grace in the sacrament of marriage.”

After the homily, the couples renewed their wedding vows, and after the conclusion of Mass, the cardinal took time to greet the couples and took photographs with them.