Javier Sánchez-Cervera, organizer of the "macroboda": "These people would not have married if we had not done something different".

A score of couples will give each other the If I want toin a sacramental way in an original macro wedding to be held on August 29 at the temple of San Sebastián de San Sebastián de los Reyes.

Maria José Atienza-June 23, 2024-Reading time: 3 minutes

Spring and summer are wedding seasons. Of preparations, dress shopping, payment of invitations, signs, personalized invitations and appointments at the hairdresser's..., but is all that really what a wedding has to have? Yes..., and no.

It's not a bad thing that all that is part of a wedding, but, in the parish of San Sebastian in the Madrid town of San Sebastian de los Reyes, they decided to go to the basics and ask many of the people who went to the parish the reasons why they were not married... and give them a solution.

This is how the macroboda was conceived. A celebration in which almost twenty couples, with more than 5 years of cohabitation or civil marriage, will contract sacramental marriage and will celebrate it in the festivities of the town.

"Crazy, yes," says the parish priest. Javier Sánchez-Cervera who attends Omnes, "but we must not be afraid to do new things, because if we don't change many of our dynamics, then nothing will come of it".

How did this idea of a macro wedding come about?

-The interesting point is that line that is reminding us so many times about the Pope Francis of "I prefer a Church that is bruised, wounded and stained by going out into the street, rather than a Church that is sickened by confinement and the comfort of clinging to its own securities".

 When I arrived at the parish, four years ago, people said to me, "Oops, nobody gets married here. And it was true, of the parents of the children who went to catechism classes, hardly any were married. But in this situation, we can't just do nothing. We have to stainWe will have to do something so that those who "don't get married" at least consider getting married! And that is what we have done.

You take a gamble, because you change habits, manners..., or you put up a canvas that may not be the most beautiful (laughs). You get out of yourself and out of your routine. And you see that people don't get married because, sometimes, we don't know how to respond to the situations that arise.

Aren't you a little giddy about doing this "experiment"?

-The strange thing is that it has not been done before, but sometimes, even within the Church, it is difficult for us to get out of the clichés.

We are seeing that weddings are becoming a bigger and bigger business and, because we are in this dynamic, many people are not getting married and we do not respond, what are we doing? Are we going to continue the same knowing that they cannot receive communion?

It angers me that, for fear of exposure, of it going wrong, we do not take the risk. I really don't know how this is going to turn out. macro weddingBut I do know that these people would not have married if they had not done something different.

How did the couples come to the parish?

-When we started to publicize it, we didn't know what was going to happen. We hung a giant banner on the parish steeple with the slogan. "The dream can come true." with a QR code that linked to the site where we explained everything and where couples could sign up. As a result, two couples signed up.

Another was told about it by an official at City Hall because he overheard her talking while waiting for some paperwork, another was told about it at work... and so on, up to the 18 who participated in the premarital workshop on the weekend of June 16.

Did they have anything in common?

-They were all dreaming of getting married. Yes, they were. Some were still looking for a way to make the wedding happen, others had ruled it out, mainly because of the economic issue.

All of the couples getting married have children (they had to have lived together for at least five years), some are older and many come from Latin American countries.

You have just completed the pre-marriage course... How was the experience?

-When we got together for the premarital cursillo, it was very nice. It was not an "ordinary" premarital cursillo. They were people who really wanted to get married in the Church, with a very active and beautiful disposition.

From the first moment a couple came to the parish to sign up for the big wedding, they were assigned a tutor, who was essential. This tutor was in charge of helping them with the formalities, getting to know them..., and when they arrived at the pre-wedding course they were all connected to each other.

All agreed that they had felt a call. It is the Lord who puts this "mustard seed" in their hearts and they felt He had responded to them when they heard about the initiative.

What will you do on August 29th in this macro wedding?

-The date was chosen because it was in the middle of the town's festivities. We talked to the mayoress who, I don't deny it, was a bit surprised about the day. We explained it to her and she liked the idea a lot.

Thus, the couples, after the celebration of the sacrament, can go down to the village fair and celebrate there: with orchestra, with games and dances?

The parish hall will be turned into a large beauty salon in the morning: make-up artists, hairdressers...

Many people are participating to make this day go great and couples will have the wedding before God that they have been dreaming of for so long.

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