Catholic nun marries church in rare traditional wedding
22 August 2016, 12:47
Nyeri - A Catholic nun on Sunday exchanged wedding vows with the church in a rare traditional Kikuyu ceremony held at Gititu Catholic Church in Tetu Nyeri County.
Sister Rose Catherine Wambui took her last vows to live in the Church and dedicate her life to Jesus Christ and the Christian mission.
Wambui, 51, while wearing Kikuyu traditional attires said she was also celebrating 25 years of service in the Catholic Church.
During the ceremony conducted by Kikuyu elders, Father Bonface Murage Warui took the position of the bridegroom on behalf of the church.
It started with traditional prayers with all attendants facing Mt. Kenya with their hands towards where the Agikuyu community believes is the ceremonial residence of their God.
“In normal tradition weddings, it is between a man and a woman. The priest is therefore acting as the man but on behalf of the Church because Wambui is getting married to the Church. There is nothing wrong with that. She is taking her last vows to remain dedicated and committed to Church the same way a married woman would have taken vows to live with her husband,” explained the elders.
They slaughtered a male sheep whose meat was used in the ceremony dubbed ‘Gutia Kiande’.
Some of the pieces used in the ceremony included an ear, liver, kidneys, intestines, ribs and the right front leg which were used by the Sister to take the vows.
The ear indicated that the Sister will always be listening to the Church, intestines indicating she will never let it to starve, ribs to protect and liver to show real love for the church.
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Another piece of meat was shared between the family and the Church.
The priest was asked by the elders to cut the sheep’s right leg at the joint (gutinia kiande) vowing to leave together forever.
He was also asked hard and tough questions by the community elders to confirm that the Church is ready to accommodate the Sister forever.
The nun, who is a member of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi and an alumni of Catholic University later shared the pieces of meat with her family members, age mates and young girls in the village.
She also gave out her beauty ornaments to the young girls.
Later, the Sister was asked to demonstrate her true love and care for the Church by combing the priest’s hair, brush his shoes and feed him with some porridge.
The entire event was characterized by ululations some of which were dedicated to the man (Church) according to Kikuyu culture and customs.
The elders later took muratina brew to bless the event and the ‘couple’.
The event was attended by area MP Ndung’u Gethenji, Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe businessman Thuo Mathenge among other guests and residents.
Sister Wambui said she is scheduled to travel to Jamaica to attend to HIV/AIDs patients.
“The world is suffering from lack of love and care and that is what I have vowed to show. I decided to stick to my tradition and also to the Church. I could have chosen to get a husband and family but I chose to work for the Church and serve people without limitations,” she said.
Area MP Ndung’u Gethenji, while lauding the ceremony said all communities should uphold their traditions as he urged elders to pass the knowledge to the younger generation.
“Let every community uphold its own culture and traditional practices,” he said.
Senator Kagwe also called for revival of African practices saying it is part of behaviour system.
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