There was jubilation at St Jude Catholic Church Malaba Parish in Tororo District as 120 couples tied the knot during a mass wedding on Saturday.
More than 5,000 Christians thronged the church to witness the wedding, which was presided over by the vicar general of Tororo Archdiocese, Monsignor Christopher Emuset.
The event was attended by the new cultural leader of Ateker, Papa Emorimor Paul Sande Emolot, Rev Alex Oketch, the director of Radio Maria, and Rev William Ikapolok as the co-celebrant, area MPs and other leaders.
The function started at 9am with the assembling of the couples, who then walked down the aisle and took their vows as the audience cheered them on.
Monsignor Emuset thanked the couples for dedicating their marriages to God and urged them to remain prayerful.
“We thank you for coming to the altar. I urge you to remain prayerful and loving to one another so as to have peaceful families and be able to bring up God-fearing children,” he said.
The parish priest, Rev Fr Joseph Kamisa, said the funds used to organise the mass wedding were got from contributions made by the Christians and well-wishers.
“Marriage ceremony costs around Shs10 million, which our people cannot raise considering their economic status,” he said.
Mr Cosmas Ikapolok, one of the grooms, said he had for long wanted to marry his wife but had failed due to limited resources.
“I earn my livelihood through subsistence farming and I could not manage to organise a wedding,” he said.
Another groom, Mr Robert Ongeyowun, said the mass wedding was a blessing in disguise.
“I am happy that I have wedded my wife. I couldn’t manage to do it on my own with current inflation, where prices of commodities have kept on rising,” he said.
The Tororo County MP, Mr Fredrick Angura, asked the church to continue organising mass weddings for the Christians.
“It is in the records that 90 percent of wedded marriages don’t break easily, therefore, the only way to keep marriages intact is by ensuring that couples wed in church,’’ he said.
The Tororo District Woman MP, Ms Sarah Achieng Opendi, said as MPs, they are working towards formalising of the Marriage and Divorce Bill to make sure that all marriages are formalised.
“We want to avoid temporal marriages that are resulting in increasing cases of child desertion in the communities,” she said.