Austria: Celebration under the Banner of Love
The greatest blessing is the blessing of love
By Bogdan & Yoshiko Pammer, FFWPU Austria
About 50 participants gathered on March 18th, 2018 at the Vedahof in Gramastetten for an interreligious blessing celebration characterized by the blessing of true love and the gratitude man and woman feel for each other. The evening before a shining blanket of snow had covered the surrounding hills. The Prema-Church, church of the five world religions, set amidst this fantastic scenery was a suitable frame for this celebration.
Musical contributions from the Family Federation Choir of Upper Austria and pieces of instrumental music opened the solemn celebration. Testimonials and speeches from representatives of denominations and couples, who told about their paths, inspired the participants to reflect on the role love and relationship play in their own lives.
At the ceremonial part of the celebration the couples renewed their promises of marriage and thus took the next step of their common journey. The interreligious celebration was also a good opportunity for singles to leave the past behind and to look ahead lovingly.
Sharing lunch together allowed a personal exchange in a warm atmosphere. Over coffee and cake whilst listening to cheerful musical entertainment the celebration came to an end.
Responses like “the celebration yesterday was very much borne by God’s spirit, thank you for your effort” encourage us to continue to work in this way.