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Siparia couples celebrate feast of Sts Anne and Joachim…the physical distancing edition

The Feast day of Sts Anne and Joachim was celebrated physical-distancing style at La Divina Pastora RC Church, Siparia on Sunday, July 26.

Parishioners registered in advance to attend this special Mass that began at 8.30 a.m. The usual COVID-19 measures were in effect: temperature scanners at the main entrance, hand sanitising and the wearing of masks being mandatory.

Families made a greater effort to attend Mass and were seated together. In some instances, one family shared three consecutive benches. Benches were skipped between different families to maintain physical distancing protocols. Bottles of santisers were placed strategically throughout the church to be used by persons removing masks to perform specific duties.

During Holy Mass, our parish priest Fr Alan Hall invited married couples to stand and face each other for a brief vow renewal styled prayer. Couples also received a seedling as a token, with a bookmark linking the nurturing of seedlings to the nurturing of a marriage.

We say thanks to the members of the Family Life Unit (FLU) for organising this celebration, and a special thanks to Keith and Adella Armour for their insightful sharing during Mass about the challenges and blessings experienced within their marriage. Fr Alan beautifully highlighted the links between the Armour’s sharing and the Sunday’s gospel (Mt 13:44–52).

A small ‘takeaway’ sharing sponsored by the generous donations of parishioners followed.

Leading up to the feast day celebration, married couples in the parish participated July 22 in a virtual session, ‘The Four Paths of Sacred Sex’  facilitated by Episcopal delegates for the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission, Tricia and Raymond Syms

—Crystal Gabrielle M Sylvester