Archive for the ‘Holy Moly Matrimony’ Category

Merry Christmas

We wish you a bright and merry Christmas.

I love that we wish each other “merry” Christmas. More than just happy, but full of joy, peace, and goodwill as well. Wherever this Christmas finds you – with family, working, alone, with friends, or at the movie theater enjoying the short lines, we pray that you are full of comfort and joy.

Dona nobis pacem.

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Okay, I know how impossible it is to find a full mass wedding program. Seriously hard. Especially if you want one with the responses and directions and yada yada yada. So I thought I would post mine for you. I can’t get the fun fonts to post, but you would probably change those as you see fit anyway! I did a mini booklet with each part of the mass getting its own page. Feel free to copy and use, I didn’t steal this from anywhere so it’s all yours!

We used cream colored paper for the inner pages and blue cardstock for the covers and tied them together with twine. We printed them off at kinkos which I think cost around $50, but that might’ve been cause we printed them off twice due to a mistake in the first one. Oops.

The celebration of the

Sacrament of Marriage


Jacqueline Elaine D.


John Mark S.


Saint Mary’s Catholic Church

August 14, 2010



Deacon Bernie T.
Father Louis B.

Bridal Party

Aron D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .cross bearer, cousin of the bride

Kevin S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . best man, brother of the groom
Katie S.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . groomswoman, sister of the groom
Jacob J.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . groomsman, friend of the groom
Paul C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . groomsman, friend of the groom
Nathan M.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . groomsman, friend of the groom
Annette D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . maid of honor, sister of the bride
Shelley D.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . maid of honor, sister of the bride
Meghan S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bridesmaid, sister of the groom
Clare M. . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . bridesmaid, friend of the bride
Liana K.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bridesmaid, friend of the bride

Rachel D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . flower girl, cousin of the bride
James D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ring bearer, cousin of the bride

John S.
Escorted by his parents, Mark and Rosemary S.

Jacqueline D.
Escorted by her parents, Bob and Kitty D.

PROCESSION  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joy of Man’s Desiring

BRIDAL PROCESSIONAL . . . . . . . . . . Trumpet Voluntary

Please stand.



Please sit.


FIRST READING………………Genesis 1:26-28, 31a

Kelly G, friend of bride and groom

Please respond, “Thanks be to God.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM……..………..Psalm 118

Refrain: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.”

SECOND READING……………..………1 John 4:7-12

Susan W., aunt of groom

Please respond, “Thanks be to God.”


Refrain: Alleluia

Please stand.

GOSPEL…………………………………Matthew 22:35-40

Please respond, “Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!”


Please sit.

Fr. Louis B. and Deacon Bernie T.






The prayers of the faithful have been composed by the members of our wedding party and our families. They will be read by John and Jackie in their first act as a married couple.

Please join us in prayer. Respond, “Lord, hear our prayer.”




Claire, Anna, and Hannah D.

Cousins of the bride

Please join in singing “One Bread, One Body.”



Please respond, “Amen.”


Please respond,  “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of His name, for our good and the good of all His Church.”


Please join in singing, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.”


Please respond, “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.”


Please respond, “Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; grant us peace.”




Please join hands and pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours, now and forever.  Amen.



Please kneel.


Please join in singing “Servant’s Prayer.”

If you are not receiving communion today, you are welcome to come forward with your arms folded across your chest to receive a blessing.



Please respond, “Amen.”


Please respond “Thanks be to God!”


Please stand and join us in singing “Lead Me, Lord.”


We are grateful to our parents, Bob and Kitty D. and Mark and Rosemary S..  Thank you for the unconditional love and support you have shown us today and every day.  The example you have set in your own relationships will inspire and guide us to create our own marriage based on love, compassion and mutual respect.

Thank you to our grandparents, Gene and Peggy W., Jack S., Bob and Ann D., and Ruth J.. We also want to thank and remember our grandparents no longer with us, Pauline S. and Billy J..

We keep in our hearts all those who could not be here with us today, especially John W. and Karen J..

Thank you to Amy H. for providing us with music.

Thank you to Father Louis B. for coming out of retirement to celebrate with us today. Deacon Bernie T., thank you for your support today and always.

Finally, to our siblings, Shelley and Annette D. and Katie, Kevin, and Meghan S., thank you for your friendship, your love, and your presence here today.

We are blessed.

(new page)

Please celebrate with us at the home of the D. family at

123 Anywhere Road

Anywhere, VA 11111

at 6pm.

Directions to Reception:

1. Head south on Old Mill Rd

2. Turn left at 5 Road

3. Turn left to merge onto 4 Road

4. Turn left at 3 Road

5. Drive 1.2 miles

6. Turn right at 123 Anywhere Road

The bride and groom will be residing at:

116 Somewhere over

The Rainbow, MT 00000

After August 22, 2010.



Just a note, I might have the nuptial blessing in the wrong place. Ours came at the very end, but my parents think the priest just messed up. So you might want to double check on that one.

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Nothing says summer like high 40s and rain. So I thought that maybe I would update you on my “summer” plans.

This summer I had pictured myself getting some fabulous internship that was well-paid and would offer me a job next spring. Then I heard these words:

“Your timeline for finishing your thesis is . . . optimistic. It’s a bit ambitious.”

So change of plans. Instead of looking for an internship (also realizing their aren’t just fabulous internships to be had in this economy. Oh people who graduated before 2008, you don’t know how lucky you are!) I decided to work full time on my thesis.


Me. Sitting at home at my computer. Reading. Writing. Fabulous, right?

I’m also still working part-time at the two transitional housing facilities, one for families and one for veterans, but I haven’t been getting many shifts lately. Well, I put in about 20 this week but have nothing on the schedule as of now. Which is fine, because this summer is for research, but let’s just say cash is always appreciated.

I’m not going to lie – I feel like kind of a bum. My husband is out there working hard (he got a fabulous internship this summer, by the way!) and I’m basically a stay at home wife.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with being a stay at home mom, but I don’t have kids. (And really, women who have had kids that are out of the house usually have enough going on in their life by that point that even if they don’t return to work full time they have figured out some way to make their days useful and beneficial and contribute to society.)

But being a 24 year old (part-time) stay at home wife is a little different. I feel a little bit useless. I’m not bringing home much money, though in the long run I realize I’m saving us money by getting thesis work done over the summer when I don’t have to pay to be enrolled as opposed to staying on an extra semester to finish it up.

On the other hand, I’m kind of curious to see what it’s going to be like. I’m all for splitting household responsibilities equally among the sexes, but obviously when one person is working full time and the other one is not, it’s not going to kill me to do the dishes/cook/clean more often. We view our marriage as a partnership and during the school year we were completely equal. But for the next few months I get to see what more traditional gender roles will be like.

It will be interesting to see what other ways I can contribute to the house since I’m not bringing home a full-time paycheck. Cooking more so we’ll eat out less. Baking bread instead of buying it. Cleaning during the day so we can enjoy our summer evenings together.

It will be an interesting experiment – I’ll let you know how it goes!

P. S. John – this in no way implies I will be wearing pearls and an apron with a roast in the oven every night when you get home. In fact, I’d be surprised if the dishes are even done by the time you get home tonight. Sorry. Busy day. :-)

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How can I NOT do a wedding post on the “Royal Wedding Eve?”

Ah, I remember the day before my wedding. Throngs of people lining the streets. Every TV network was covering the event. There was much discussion of my dress – lace? Modern? White? Ivory? It’s a friggin wedding dress people, they all look pretty similar.

I’ve been swamped with work this week, but the TLC wedding coverage has made good background noise for cooking dinner. I wouldn’t say that I’m obsessed (if I was planning my wedding still, I probably would be however), but it is such a unique historical event so I am intrigued. Plus I’m a girl and I like princesses. So shoot me.

It’s interesting to see how much rebroadcast of Diana and Charles’ wedding there is, knowing how it ended. Not to be morbid, but knowing that divorce is in the future, it makes it sad to watch. I hope, too, and pray, that William and Kate won’t experience the pain that Diana and Charles did. The wedding will be fun to watch, but even more importantly, I hope their marriage is a beautiful one.

I’m just writing this while watching Diana’s wedding. For like the millionth time this week. (I don’t get all the fuss about what does her dress look? It looks exactly like the bridesmaid’s. Just bigger.)


Without any further ado, more pics from our reception. Please try to ignore all the paparazzi in the background.

One uninvited guest – the dog next door.

The Dinner Hour

We should’ve put some more effort in planning our menu. I didn’t realize until we got there that there were multiple starches and like one vegetable. Also there was supposed to be a vegetarian entree, and there wasn’t! My apologies to the vegetarians at our wedding.

First we were introduced. Which was a little silly because we had been hanging out for a couple hours already.

The boys were a bit outnumbered at our wedding. I think it worked out okay though.

I love my cousin’s reaction at us coming out.

I’m not really sure why they were so excited, to be honest!

More cousin shenanigans.

One great thing about having a photographer is that you get to see all these moments you would’ve never known happened otherwise.

I have 9 cousins on my Dad’s side. 3 are close in age with my 2 sisters and I, and then there is about a 10 year gap between us and the younger 6. We didn’t assign seating at the wedding, so they all decided to make a kids table and put 9 people at one table! One of them got banned apparently, though.

We didn’t have a head table, but we marked off 3 tables for the bridal party, parents and grandparents. My Nana decided to opt out though and sit with her friends.

Another funny story from the dinner – come 6:55, the DJ told us that it was time to eat. (The DJ was not great, but it was so lovely to have a Master of Ceremonies. I gave him a schedule and then didn’t have to think about anything after that, he just took care of it all.) So we went to get our plates (buffet), and one of the caterers came running up to us saying, “Um. It’s not 7 yet? You guys told us 7? The food isn’t ready. So we just stood there and snacked for a few minutes!)

See how full my glass of champagne is? When I went up to the bar to get a glass to toast with, the bartender decided to give me and my groom a double pour. It was good champagne, too!

This picture is from my sister’s toast, when she mentioned a particular fight my dad and I got into when I was 3. Our deacon yelled out, “who won?” We still haven’t settled that one. We’re both saying “me!” here.

Cake cutting. We just did it because its one of those things you do at weddings. But you know what I love about this picture? Look in the background – no one is paying attention anyway!

Dinner’s over – next up, dancing.

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Marriage Advice:

So the day before my wedding, the women in my life got together for a little tea.

Here. Look familiar? Why, yes, it is the resort that Dirty Dancing was filmed at. It’s also pretty nearby to where I grew up. My sisters and I all have not-so-fond memories of summers spent waitressing there.

During that tea, my aunt had everyone write a bit of marriage advice on a piece of paper. So I think I will share a few and tell you how that advice is going so far. And if you have any nuggets of wisdom to share, please do!

Eat dinner together every night, if possible.

I say we do eat together most every night. Maybe once a week or so we’ll miss each other and end up eating grilled cheese over our laptops while studying. But generally we do eat together. I’m glad we’ve started this habit, because I think in years to come it will be more precious when its the only chance we get to sit down together with each other for the day. But for now we are usually spending our whole evening together, so eating together isn’t any more valuable than cooking together, or doing the dishes together. (HA! Just kidding. We never do dishes).

Communication is key! Be prepared to watch lots of sportscenter and Bachelorette with John!

Apparently I’ve drastically cut down on John’s time spent watching sports. I, on the other hand, have never watched so much sports. It’s all relative. I have taken up a mild interest in the Utah Jazz, and can almost name all the players. So – success. I bought some yarn and am working on a new hat to get me through March Madness.

Stay tuned!

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Would you care to hear how great of a wife I am? Or really, why I am awesome in general?

Then listen up for a harrowing tale of how, despite all adversity, I delivered my husband a chicken sandwich.

It was a long night of slaving away at my job at a veteran’s housing facility, which requires sitting at the desk for 8 hours answering the phone and getting lots of school work done, and occasionally walking around the building to see if anyone needed anything (they didn’t).

I finally left work at 12am, starving. Granted this was Tuesday night so it was technically Ash Wednesday, but I don’t think Lent starts until you’ve had one last hamburger. So I decided it would be in my husband’s best interest if I stopped and got some McDonald’s. Cause you know, happy wife = happy life. In an extra act of graciousness, I called him to see if he wanted anything.

A chicken sandwich. That was my mission. Well, technically a spicy chicken sandwich, but whatever.

So I drove to McDonald’s A. The automated voice came out of the little box to inform me they were closed, but thank you for my visit. I said you were welcome and left.

Then I drove all the way across town in the direction of my home to stop at McDonald’s B. This time, again, nothing. But my husband needed his chicken sandwich, so I drove on.

Again, I travelled all the way across the street to the Burger King. I placed my order, and to my husband’s dismay and my complete apathy, there was no spicy chicken sandwich. So I ordered two regular chicken sandwiches, but lucky for him, remembered at the last minute he didn’t like mayo. Every man should be so lucky to have a wife like me.

The young lad at the window informed me it would be 5 minutes because they had to cook up another chicken sandwich. Obviously it was my husband’s sandwich, not mine, creating the wait but I didn’t hold a grudge. I noticed we were low on gas, so in an act of extreme responsibility, I turned off the car.

Five minutes later, I turned it back on. Well, sort of. I turned the key.




“Umm…” I looked at the guy in the window. “My car won’t start.”

He stared back.

“Uh, okay. I need you to move though.”

“Yeah, it won’t start.”


So, for the sake of getting my husband his chicken sandwich, I let two of Burger King’s finest push my car into the gas station next door, which unfortunately involved going briefly onto a not-so-well-lit and usually-quite-busy highway. Except it wasn’t that busy cause at this point, it was 12:30am.


ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring. (Except it wasn’t ringing cause really, whose phone makes a ringing noise anymore? It was playing some jazzy number that I can’t figure out an onomatopoeia for.)

“Hey, honey? Where are you? Are you alright?”

“So, yeah, you love me right?”

Change in the tone.

“Why? I mean yes, but why?”

Oh, did I mention my husband has extra long extra busy days on Wednesdays? So he usually tries to get a good night’s sleep Tuesday night so that he can be extra well rested on Wednesday. Not to mention that Tuesday nights are super long nights of studying, so he’s pretty worn out by bedtime on Tuesdays. Hence me bringing him the chicken sandwich. And french fries, did I mention french fries?

I called a friend.

“Hey! What’s up? What are you doing?”

“Um, going to bed. What are you doing?”

“You know, just stranded in a gas station parking lot! Want to give me a jump?”


“Great! Can you pick up my husband too? He wants to help.”

So she did. What ensued was a long hour or so of attempting to figure out a) if the battery really was dead since the lights still worked, b) what that clicking noise was, c) what “red dead, good red, black good, ground black” meant, d) what really is a sufficient place to ground the cable.

It was peppered with several very helpful suggestions of mine that we just call a tow truck.

Meanwhile, my husband’s chicken sandwich was getting cold. I had already ate mine.

After the first failed attempt to jump start the car, my husband had the brilliant idea to try the exact same thing again. ‘Cause you know, now it’s 1:00 in the morning and what else do we have to do except just call the damn tow truck and go to bed because its obviously completely broken because the battery can’t run out in 5 minutes and usually when batteries die it doesn’t make a clicking noise, trust me I had to jump start my car about a million times when I was in high school, honey.

It gave me a good chance to catch up with my friend while my husband fiddled around with “important” things like gas pedals and owner’s manuals and the like.

Me to my friend:

Me: “So how’s life? We should hang out more”

Friend: “Yeah totally! [insert lots of interesting things going on in life here]“

Me: “Okay, so how many times is he going to try this?”

Friend: “Ugh, I don’t know.”

Husband: (yelling  from car) “Okay, I’m just going to try it one more time”

Me: “Okay honey! Love you!” (to friend, whilst rolling eyes) “Seriously? It’s not going to work on the millionth…”

Vah-vah-vah-vroooooooooooooooooooom! vroom vroom vroom!

Me: “Hey! Honey! You fixed it. I knew you would. I kept the faith.”

Then we preceded to drive around for another 15-20 minutes to ensure the car would keep its charge. Then finally, finally, around 2:00 am we came home. And my husband got to eat his chicken sandwich.

Really, I’m not sure why he isn’t more grateful about it.

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This is it ladies and gentlemen, this is the post in which we get Mar-ried!

So like I’ve mentioned before, marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church.

So what’s a sacrament?

Basically, it’s an outward sign that confers God’s grace on us through Christ. Most Christian churches only recognize two sacraments – baptism and communion. Catholics recognize 7: baptism, reconciliation, communion, confirmation, holy orders, marriage, and anointing of the sick.

According to the Catechism 1661:

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life

It’s not that marriage is necessary to enter heaven, but a way in which we love God through loving another. It is agreeing to love someone unconditionally, the way Christ loves us. And in doing so, we are blessed.

So how do we go about this?

First, the priest/deacon asks a series of questions to establish our intentions, along the lines of:

Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?


Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?

to which we responded, “we will.”

Then we joined hands.

With tears of joy in my eyes, I turned to John, and began to say those sacred words that would join us in marriage.

I Jackie, take you John, to be my husband.

Then I took a deep breath in, ready to continue. I wanted to speak clearly and not blubber my words out.

Instead, I got choked up.

A nice, long, awkward pause while I tried to gather myself, causing half the congregation to think I was having second thoughts. It was bad. People admitted that afterwards. Oh well, still counts, awkward or not.

I promise to be true to you, in good times, and in bad. In sickness, and in health. I will love you, and honor you, all the days of my life.

Then he repeated those same words to me. Much more gracefully, I might add.

I love these vows. I have them memorized. I think John does too (though we didn’t attempt that on our wedding day!) For one, I love that we didn’t say:

I don’t think its an either/or. Some days will be good, some will be bad. We will have good times and bad times, but doesn’t mean “hey – it’s a 50/50 shot for how it will go from here!” (Not knocking anyone who says these vows! Its just my interpretation – your interpretation might be very meaningful to you, and that’s what counts!) For another, we promised to be true to each other in sickness and in health. We didn’t realize how quickly that vow would be tested. And because of that, we have already seen what its like to go through good and bad times. And we know we’ve promised to be true.

They are simple vows, and the same that our parents said to each other, and our grandparents said to each other. Generations have spoke these words. I love partaking in that ritual and the generations of promises that have held my family together.

You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide.

Next, the rings.

The best man, John’s brother, handed the deacon the rings. He gave me my husband’s (husband’s? Not sure when you are actually “married.” I think we’re like half married at this point) ring, and his mine, and instructed me to place my hand on top of his. While holding the ring. I was really confused and very scared I would drop it so I just put my clenched fist in John’s open palm. They both looked at me funny and the deacon said, “okay I guess that works too.”

I was pretty awkward through this whole thing.

A side note about our rings? We ordered them back in early spring. Want to know what the problem is with that? It was still cold in Montana. And when it’s cold in Montana and you are on a budget and you live in the basement, it’s not all that uncommon for it to be about 57 degrees in your room. Which makes your fingers shrink. And in that basement, of course, is where I tried on my ring. And determined it was too big. And asked my husband to exchange it for a smaller size.

Which he did. Over the summer. When we were apart, he in Montana and I in Virginia. So when did I try on the ring for the second time? The Monday before the wedding. Surprise, surprise – it was too small. Like, couldn’t even get it over the knuckle to fake it for the wedding and return it later. So we had to order a new one.

Anyone else overnight their wedding ring? No? Just me?

Well alright then.

The deacon said a prayer over the rings, and we told each other to

take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

You know what comes next.

Remember how I choked back those tears? They were making their way out my nose. So what romantic thoughts were floating around in my head as I married my husband?

“My nose is running. Oh no, my nose is running. I can’t wipe it in front of everyone. I have a handkerchief on my bouquet. That won’t work. Crap. I have to kiss him.”

He kissed me anyway. He said he didn’t notice. He just told me that it was gross.

Married! People clapped. It was surreal.

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There are basically 3 parts to the Catholic wedding – the Liturgy of the Word (aka the readings), the Rite of Marriage (aka the vows), and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (aka communion). Add a few prayers in there and some processions at either end, and bahda bing bahda boom, you have a wedding.

Picking the readings for our wedding was one of the things John and I most enjoyed about planning our wedding. We put a lot of thought into our selections.

The First Reading

The first reading is traditionally from the Old Testament. This passage was read by a close friend who did JVC with us in Spokane.

Genesis 1:26-28, 31a

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air . . . God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

We chose this reading because we loved the language of the creation, of being connected to the wide world, a world full of beautiful creatures and full of life. We know that what God has created is good.

The Responsorial Psalm

The responsorial psalm is a psalm that is usually sung, with the cantor singing a verse and the congregation responding.

Psalm 118

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We chose this psalm, which is usually sung around Easter time, because it is so full of joy. It is also a reminder that this day, our wedding day, was a gift from God.

A beautiful picture of John’s grandparents singing along. One of my favorites.

The Second Reading

The second reading, which is usually from the New Testament, was read by John’s aunt and Godmother. This reading was what really was the hallmark of our wedding, and what we tried to keep on our hearts throughout the day.

1 John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God….for God is love.

God is love. A simple, beautiful reminder, that what we have is holy. That our love for one another isn’t just butterfly kisses and splitting root beer floats. It’s real, and it is from God. We love, we love each other, we love others, because God first loved us.

The Gospel

The Gospel is read from the first four books of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is usually read by the Priest or Deacon. (In our case, it was the Deacon).

Matthew 25:30

One of the Pharisees, a scholar of the law, tested Jesus by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him,

“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

We chose this reading, not because it was short and sweet and happened to have the word “love” in it, but because it is a great mission statement for marriage. Catholics believe that marriage is a vocation, a calling. We are called to be married or to lead a single life just like some people are called to enter into the ministry. Not just because its just what you do when you meet someone and fall in love, but also because it is a way to serve God and to serve others. So in our marriage we will seek to love God, love each other, and love those around us.

The Homily

The homily (or sermon) was said by a priest, the same priest who gave me my first communion, and by the deacon, who was a family friend of ours.

I love this picture from the wedding:

We are either looking at each other like that because a) the priest had mentioned having babies for the gazillionth time, or b) because I turned to John and said “shoot, I forgot to asks someone to videotape the wedding!” (I didn’t).

My mine strayed a bit during the homily cause, well, I was getting married in about 5 minutes. ACK! I do remember the Priest saying there are three things you should do at least once a year:

1) go to a museum to remember where you came from

2) hold a newborn baby to celebrate new life

3) go to a wedding to celebrate love

We had received our mission – love God, love one another, for God is love. It was finally, finally! time to wed.

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The clock struck two. Everyone was seated and waiting. It was time to head down the aisle.

Cue the music.

A Catholic wedding mass is basically a church service plus a wedding, not just a wedding. So all of the music should be appropriate for worship. No Chris Brown or “Here Comes the Bride!”

My bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Its such a beautiful, celebratory song.

All along, it had been my plan to walk down the aisle to this song, but I decided against it at the last minute. Why? Well, originally I thought was silly to change the music just for me, but I had went to a wedding a few months prior where the music didn’t change for the bride, and it seemed a little anti-climatic. Not that I really viewed myself as the “climax” of the wedding, but I didn’t want to be too untraditional.

Instead, I walked down the aisle to Trumpet Voluntary:

On the piano. So, I’m not the best at making last minute decisions, but it worked! It was still full of joy and anticipation, which is what I wanted.

But I haven’t walked down yet. First a good 21 other people had to go down. Yup, 21. Like I said, the Catholic wedding is basically a church service. If you haven’t been to a Catholic Mass, at the beginning during the opening hymn, people who are administering the sacraments or otherwise participating  in the service process down the aisle. I’ll spare you all 21 pictures, though!

First to go would be my cousin carrying the cross. Next, a fellow FJV who was one of our readers. She was followed by the priest, the same priest who gave me my first communion, and the deacon, who was a good family friend of ours.

The bridesmaids and groomsmen made their way down, and then the real cuties.

My youngest cousins were the darling ring bearer and flower girl. At first, I admit, we were going to skip these jobs. Too many extras. I just wanted to keep things simple and focused. Then my sisters reminded me how fun it had been to be in my aunts’ and uncles’ weddings. They were right. Making sure the wedding day wasn’t just about us sometimes meant things were a little less simple.

My flower girl is holding the same basket that my mom and my great-aunt carried in their weddings. It’s actually glass, though the flowers are wrapped in a not so pretty silver paper so the basket looks silver. I was selfish and wanted to carry a bouquet, but I wanted to make sure my mom’s basket was incorporated in the day. And God bless her for allowing her glass basket to be carried down that tile floor!

Our turn.

Like I said earlier, in a Catholic wedding, those who administer the sacraments process down the aisle. We believe that the bride and groom actually administer the sacrament of marriage to each other, hence the bride and groom walk down the aisle. We believe it is of upmost importance that we enter marriage freely and of our own will, but we are not given into it. See what I’m getting at? No groom waiting at the altar for a bride to be given to him, for us!

Catholic brides and grooms are actually encouraged to walk down the aisle together. But I grew up in a not-so-Catholic world and had always wanted that “moment” of seeing my groom waiting for me at the altar. I also didn’t want to tell my dad I didn’t want him to escort me down the aisle. He was important to us. All of our parents were. They made us who we are and we wanted to honor them on our wedding day.

Our compromise?

Isn’t that a cool picture, by the way?

We thought both of us being escorted by our parents was a good balance of being traditional and honoring our parents without reinforcing the (what we think are) sexist undertones of being given away and without putting too much emphasis on the bride. Hey, my groom is important too!

There we stood and prayed, surrounded by our parents

as well as the women

and men who are so dear to us.

(John’s sister was a groomwoman, and isn’t that the cutest ring bearer picture ever?)

There we stood, full of joy and ready to wed.

(all photos courtesy of Enigma Productions)

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Forever and ever, you’ll be in my heart…

Before we go any further, it’s probably best to say what marriage means to me and my husband.

When we decided to get married in the Catholic Church, we knew we were promising to marry for life. The vows we say to each other would not end, even in divorce, and so it is something that we couldn’t take lightly. Our decision to marry wasn’t just about love or romance, but about the support of our families, our desire for a family of our own one day, a willingness to work through the good and bad, honest discussions about finances, chores, etc. We knew it would be beautiful, and at times it will be hard, but definitely worthwhile. With all that in mind, we decided to go for it.

Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church. According to foryourmarriage.org:

The sacraments make Christ present in our midst. Like the other sacraments, marriage is not just for the good of individuals, or the couple, but for the community as a whole. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. The Old Testament prophets saw the marriage of a man and woman as a symbol of the covenant relationship between God and his people. The permanent and exclusive union between husband and wife mirrors the mutual commitment between God and his people. The Letter to the Ephesians says that this union is a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Quite an adventure and quite an undertaking. We aren’t just two people in love, we are two people in a covenant, a covenant like the one we are in with God. That is a big. deal.

But with all the trappings of dresses and bouquets and earrings, its easy to get distracted before the wedding. I was trying to focus on remaining prayerful, but I’ll admit, my mind was all over the place. But that’s okay. Yes, you should try to focus on Christ and the awesomeness of what you are undertaking on your wedding day, but its not your only chance. I live that sacrament every day. Every day I can take a moment to think about our holy adventure.

I asked everyone if we could say a prayer before. Two minutes later the Deacon came in and asked if he could lead us in prayer. So we did it twice. We were basically twice as holy.

Also, how about the not-so-awesome alterations on my dress? I have a wrinkle around my middle in most of the pictures. Boo. I hope it was one of those things you only see in pictures and not in real life.

It was a peaceful moment, surrounded by the women who mean the most to me.

One of my favorites, me and my future mother in law and sister in law. (And one of the few where my veil looks good.)

All in, and it was go time.

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