Thursday, May 6, 2010

IT'S MY PARTY . . .

Someone dear to me got married outside of the Church because the Church would not provide the type of wedding that this person wished. Looking over the laws we have governing weddings I bent them as far as I possibly could but it still would not fit the ticket. It makes me sad.

This is not all that terribly uncommon however. It may not be quite as extreme as the above but the idea behind it plays out none-the-less. A bride wants a recording of the “Phantom of the Opera” to play during the ceremony or a groom wants his dog to act as ring bearer (not only has this happened, it has happened more than once) and we as gently as we are able put those ideas aside.

Once in a blue moon someone becomes upset (I understand why) and wants to know why the Church cares so much about their wedding. After all it is their special day.





This is both true and not true. It is true it is a very special day for the bride and groom who, after Christ who is celebrated in the ceremony, are the focus of our prayers. But it is not their day alone. Neither is the marriage theirs alone. In the true Catholic sense both the wedding Mass and the marriage itself is part of the greater community. It is not the wedding Mass of the couple, it is a public celebration of a marriage. If George and Mary Sloppy up the street hear wedding bells and decide to come to the Mass there is technically no way to stop them. This is a Catholic/public event. Therefore there are certain things that we abide by not because the Church wants to interfere with your wedding, but because you are asking to be married by the Church and the Church (you, me, George and Mary) also have some rights and expectations. It is in some sense our wedding ceremony too.

So is the marriage. We have the illusion that a civil marriage is not a public institution but it is. There are things that married couples are not allowed to do by law and there are other things that they are required to do by law. The definition of marriage itself (though in flux at the moment) is a matter of law.

A Catholic marriage also a part of the greater community who has a stake and role in it. At stake is the domestic Church. The greater Church is only as healthy as the domestic Church. By being married in the Church a couple is not only requesting God’s presence in a special way into the marriage but the greater community as well. The community’s role (who was invited formally or informally to your wedding Mass) is to support and pray for the marriage. The bride and groom may be of one flesh now but Christ called as all to be one. We do not live in isolation. We are part of a body – The Body. And our ceremonies are designed to signify as much.

8 comments:

Elena LaVictoire said...

As part of the "wedding" team at church, I don't mind pinning flowers, taping aisle runners, sewing hems, and fielding complaints, suggestions and answering questions...I might draw the line at picking up (with rubber gloves and a plastic bag) after the canine ring bearer though!

Fr. V said...

LOL!

Even for Sebastian?

Cracked Pot said...

Well, at least Sebastian would be wearing a black coat.

Elena LaVictoire said...

grin I might have to make an exception for Sebastian.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some brides think that they are renting a hall and that every little thing must be just as they demand. Some girls have very unusual ideas about the place for their wedding . . . . in the woods . . . on an ice flow . . . . in a swimming pool . . . in a chapel on the Las vegas strip . . . . . etc etc etc

bob kraus

Anonymous said...

"The definition of marriage itself (though in flux at the moment) is a matter of law."

Just so long as the dog is not the groom.....

Wenni Donna said...

I had just a wonderful time watching the video and these photos. We also are tying the knot at the local event venue. We both like custom themed wedding instead of the traditional one so have picked the venue according to our theme selection. We hope everything is going to be the way we both want!

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