Marriage Celebrations — for the Socially Conscious

MILAN, Italy, MARCH 25, 2003 ( The Church in Italy is promoting simple marriage celebrations that highlight the sacrament with austerity and keep in mind the needy.

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The Archdiocese of Milan suggests a number of ideas for so-called solidaristic weddings on its Web page.

Suggestions for austere weddings include renting reception premises from a social cooperative for the prevention of juvenile delinquency, or having a dinner catered by a relatively low-cost agricultural cooperative.

Marginalized persons also can help through a social cooperative with the distribution of wedding invitations and booklets.

The archdiocese suggests the names of wedding-gift stores that, in addition to conducting an ethical business, contribute to the funding of development projects in the Third World.

Instead of buying an expensive wedding dress, brides can rent a dress from the Community and Family Association, which has opened the store From Hand to Hand.

Even the honeymoon can be socially conscious: Recommended travel agencies in Milan conduct «responsible tourism» in Brazil or Venezuela.

The archdiocese explained that its suggestions respond to the need to remember that a wedding can be an ideal occasion to manifest concrete love for the needy.

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