Six Knoxville couples decided to throw a mass wedding Saturday at the All Saints Catholic Church. Heidi Wigdahl
(WBIR-Knoxville) Six Knoxville couples exchanged vows at the same ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
All 12 are members of the Hispanic community at All Saints Catholic Church in West Knoxville.
They have been a part of the Ritual for Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) since the summer of 2013. Recently, they completed the sacraments of initiation.
"They asked at the end of the class if anyone would... volunteer for a group marriage and six of us rose our hands," said Johnny Cisneros, one of the six grooms.
Johnny married Norma Cisneros in 1997 but they did not have a wedding.
"After 17 years, we're getting the blessing of the Lord," he said.
Marriage is brand new to the other four couples, but another couple had a similar story. Juan Andres and Marisol Gonzalez said they could not afford a big wedding or a party, which is why they decided to be a part of the mass wedding.
"I've been a priest now for 48 years and most weddings I've conducted are individual weddings. This is the first time in the history of Knoxville, certainly, that we've had multiple weddings in the Catholic church and it's really, really exciting," said Fr. Michael Woods, pastor of All Saints.
A reception followed after the wedding.
The Hispanic Community at All Saints formed five years ago. There is Mass in Spanish on Saturday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Last year, six weddings took place at Northstar Church in West Knox County. Three couples exchanged vows during the first Sunday service and the remaining three married during the second service.