On Giants' Shoulders

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wedding Bells are Ringing

Well here it is nearly 4:30 in the morning. I can't get back to sleep. The rehearsal went off with only a couple of hitches (mostly to do with the sound system -hopefully the organist will understand the mikes better than I did last night). The rehearsal dinner was relaxed and fun. The maid of honor's dress fits (WHEW!!!). Nearly everything on my to do list got done (I'm going to just live with the scratchy jacket, I guess because I don't think I can make my nervous fingers sew right now).

At this point as long as we don't leave something crucial at home and the rain holds off until at least after we get to the church, I think we're in good shape. The bride was cool as a cucumber. The MOB managed to not panic too badly when things weren't where they were supposed to be last night, although I must admit to having prayed an incredibly frantic prayer to St. Anthony.

Watching my husband escort my daughter down the aisle at the rehearsal brought everything into very sharp focus. This is the real deal. This is not simply a fantasy. We really are having an honest to goodness wedding. We really are watching two families unite. Dreams sometimes really do come true. As the deacon went over the vows last night I realized once again the seriousness with which the Church takes marriage. Perhaps not everyone pays attention, but it's not just for better for worse, although that's there too. It's the promise to be open to children and to raise them in the faith. I've never heard those words at any Protestant wedding I ever went attended. It's the question, "do you come here freely and of your own accord." I never heard those words at a Protestant wedding either. This is marriage taken incredibly seriously. Even though they'd already been through Engaged Encounter and a series of questions with the priest who will be conducting the wedding, there was yet another series of questions of them before the rehearsal last night. I'm so glad to see the very care the Church takes as a couple approaches the Sacrament of Matrimony because this is the way it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be a big deal. Becoming one flesh is a life altering event. Sometimes the party aspect overshadows the significance. Thankfully the Church brings things into sharp focus (at least for those who are willing to pay attention) and makes it clear that while there's plenty of time for celebration, and a party afterwards is very appropriate, that this event is sacred and hence celebrated in the midst of Mass. God is supposed to be at the center of Christian marriages, and that's what happens at a Catholic wedding. The musicians are at the side, not front and center, music is ancillary not central. The celebration of the Eucharist, the nuptial blessing, all make it very clear that this is Christian marriage we're looking at.

When my daughter became Catholic I knew I wanted her to marry a convert. God has a marvelous sense of humor because while Jim was brought up Protestant, he was baptized as a Catholic as a baby. So technically he's a cradle Catholic. In actual practice he's been Catholic for half the time of my daughter. All I care about is that he's an incredibly faithful Catholic now and he loves and cherishes my daughter.

So, soon it will be off to the hairdresser, then make a quick stop for flowers for the flower girl's basket, to the bride's maid's motel room to get dressed and then to the church.

It's really and truly my daughter's wedding day. I really and truly am getting a brand new son. This is a very BIG milestone in all of our lives. Thanks be to God!

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