Contributed by Rev. Bayo Adrien
A Holy Wine Ceremony and Blessing Ceremony were held on Sunday, March 23, after regular weekly Sunday 10:30am Temple Mass at the African American Catholic Congregation (AACC) Imani Temple of the Capital Region, 2420 Brooks Drive Suitland MD 20746.
Presided over and officiated by AACC founder and ACLC Co-Chairman, Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., it was a liberating and empowering ceremony that saw 17 representative couples stand and receive the Marriage Blessing.
This Blessing Ceremony was very special to the Imani Temple family and church community as a whole, as it was held on a day designated as ‘Black Marriage Day’ and on the heels of, and the culmination of, the Imani Temple’s men’s retreat held that weekend from Friday evening to Sunday morning.
With the restoration of community centered on the Marriage Blessing and true family values in mind, the husbands and wives of the AACC Imani Temple came together to joyfully lead the rededication of their lives to God’s Heavenly standard as couples.
Archbishop Stallings led the representative couples forward to the altar, where he conducted a very moving ceremony as he reiterated with emphasis the change of lineage that takes place with the revolutionary power of True Parents’ love when we partake in the Holy Wine Ceremony and live out the vows of the Marriage Blessing.
Among the 17 representative couples who rededicated their marriages, was couple of 60 years of marriage, Mr. Ernest and Mrs. Delores Kelly, (pictured below with Rev. Bayo’s couple). Mrs. Kelly serves as a Minister of Hospitality at Imani Temple. The Kellys’ participation was a great blessing to all, for they truly stood as an example of what our Heavenly Parent would love for all couples to inherit: the faithfulness before God and the community to keep our true love marriage vows.
There were three other clergy couples who participated, including Rev. Clinton and Rev. Phyllis Anderson, Pastors of the Love, Light and Liberty Ministry; Father Bayo and Mrs. Ayano Ishii Adrien, Pastors of the International Family Church Richmond and ACLC Co-Convener District One.
Several participants stood with photographs of their spouses due to temporary separation for school, work and those who had transitioned to the spirit world.
Black Marriage Day was a joyful, hopeful and very significant day to continue to make inroads with the Marriage Blessing into the consciousness and heart of our nation’s Christian cultural heritage, to really stand as one nation under God’s Heavenly family standard.
The Imani Temple hosts Sunday Mass at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM at 2420 Brooks Dr. Suitland, Maryland, and a Family Blessing is being planned for later this year.