It was one glorious Saturday afternoon on November 4, 2017, in the Parish of Bishop Hills' Memorial Church of St. Mary the Virgin, South Hill (aka St. Mary's, South Hill), Vancouver when the Reverend Expedito Farinas blessed the relationship of two lovely people, Edith and Romelyn, after their civil marriage.
Edith Ayon-ayon and Romelyn Basilio were both born in the Philippines. They are now living in Vancouver and faithful members of St. Mary’s. This service of Blessing served as an ‘ice-breaker’ for our Filipino culture. Relationships of same gender are open in our community but have never been accepted in the church.
“We regard no one from a human point of view”, 2 Cor. 5:16, and “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you”, John 15:13, these were the lines that Rev. Farinas shared in his message to the family and friends who came to witness the vows of these two lovely human beings made on that day. "I consider that I am truly honored that Edith and Romelyn asked me if I would officiate at the blessing of their relationship after their civil marriage, and I will never forget this day." He continued saying to Edith and Romelyn, "Your union is a gift, it is a gift of your life, far more precious than the rings you’ve exchanged! And it is not just for today. It is for everyday from this day forward. Congratulations!" Rev. Farinas concluded his message by reminding everyone of St. Mary's mission statement: Open and Welcoming, Celebrating the Diversity of All People.
The congregation of the Parish of Bishop Hills’ Memorial Church of St. Mary the Virgin, South Hill, Vancouver wished the couple a happy life with open arms and prayed for them that they enjoy a long and lasting relationship.
PHOTOS: Courtesy of Felly Farinas