Chances are, if you were to ask a priest if they would prefer to do a wedding or a funeral, chances are the answer would be a funeral… hands down! It’s sad to admit that. It seems that too often with weddings, the sacredness of the Sacrament gets lost in the folly of all the incidentals such as, the flowers, the music, the dress, the music and a host of other things that have very little relevancy to the actual ceremony. And, unfortunately, the one’s who are getting married often do not have a clue as to what to do. For one thing, I will not work with the mother of the bride or groom or Aunt Hazel from Iowa. I work directly with the couple and ask them what they want. If they do not know, I will gently guide them to what is proper decorum. The beauty of the liturgy is often lost when we start introducing elements that are completely irrelevant to the ritual. I often blame the soap opera’s for portraying weddings that will undoubtedly end in some kind of love triangle or a weird divorce or some other dramatic scenario. In fairness, that’s why they are on TV; they are paid to offer that dramatic lift and to shock our sensations. AND, like idiots we eat that crap up!
My goodness! Life is tough enough with the real drama that goes on through marriage. The two most common reasons why marriages break-up is lack of communication and finances. That’s a fact. The real drama in the homes is how we pay the rent, buy clothes for the kids and keep the car in tune. That is the short list!
I bring this up because yesterday I performed a wedding for some good family friends. I felt really good about this union and my mood reflected that. I know this family very well. I know of their joys and I am certainly aware of their struggles too. But because they are a very good Christian family I have seen them move through all of their times with such dignity and grace. It is rare to be able to say this however I will not and cannot abandon hope for others.
I see part of my job as a priest to help people restore hope in their lives. I do this through the Word of God. The Bible is a life giving resource and a model for all on how we are to attain God’s kingdom. This is a lofty task. Let those who have ears….hear!