SOTC2017-Couples kneeling at 12th station
Couples praying during the special outdoor Stations of the Cross on March 24.

A romantic candlelight dinner, an exchange of gifts, or even a short getaway without the children are just some of the conventional ways couples celebrate a wedding anniversary.

However, Mr Stephen Manlapig and his wife, Mabel, parishioners of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (OLPS), chose to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary in another way.

When the Filipino couple saw a notice in their parish bulletin that the parish’s Family Life Ministry was organising the Stations of the Cross for Married Couples on March 24, they decided to sign up for it.

They were among the more than 90 couples who attended the special devotion, a collaborative initiative by OLPS with Worldwide Marriage Encounter Singapore to bring a specially tailored reflection to the parish.

The Stations of the Cross for Married Couples helps couples to reflect on their own marriages. For example, when praying at the 14th station which highlights Jesus’ burial, couples reflected on the question: “If I were to be laid to rest tomorrow, would I have loved you enough for you to experience God’s love?”

Such a reflection aimed to remind couples of their vocation in their own marriages to bring their spouses closer to God.

Many of the couples did the Stations of the Cross outdoors, climbing steep slopes amid humid weather. Others did theirs indoors.

For Mr Gregory Anderson, 56, and his wife, Andrea, it was the first time they prayed the Stations of the Cross as a married couple. They found a few of the reflection questions helpful in strengthening their marriage of 17 years.

“We reflected deeply about how, at times, couples take each other for granted and assume the other party knows what’s going on in their minds,” said Mrs Anderson.

“I believe that we must not be afraid to confide in each other and share our worries and fears so that we can tackle them together.”

OLPS’ Family Life Ministry frequently partners other organisations and groups to bring meaningful programmes and activities to the parish community. The recent Stations of the Cross for Married Couples was one of several collaborations it has had with Marriage Encounter (ME) Singapore.

Previously, this special devotion was organised for the ME Singapore community. Starting in 2015, ME Singapore collaborated with parishes and other groups to invite married couples outside the ME community to participate.

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