Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lent: Weddings

Today is my fifteenth wedding anniversary. I can't believe it has already been that many years. Obviously, when you tally up all the things that have happened - it has definitely been fifteen years worth of adventure. I feel an immense amount of gratitude for being lucky enough to share my life with someone who totally understands me and still chooses to stick with me!

This post, though, is about getting married during Lent. I have to admit, when we chose the date, Lent didn't really occur to me. We had wanted to get married on St. Patrick's Day in St. Patrick Church (my home church) under a stained glass window of St. Patrick. Could you get a better start then that?! The Catholic Church, though, had other ideas. They were not at all thrilled to have a wedding during Lent. Lent is a quiet time. A time for reflection and sacrifice - not a time for a joyous occasion such as a wedding. Thankfully, we had a Priest willing to be a tiny bit flexible. First, no wedding on St. Patrick's Day. Evidently, you can not get married on a Sunday. So we chose the next Saturday (23rd) because it seemed kind of lame to get married on the 16th when the 17th was the next day. Second, we could not get crazy with the decorations. Additionally, we had to take everything down immediately following the ceremony - all the flowers had to leave and the somber looked needed to return ASAP. Which was a little bit of a bummer, because like the flowers pictured above, we had really beautiful colorful flowers that I would have loved to have left for the parishioners. Finally (and the most frustrating), we had to leave the well up. Yes, well. I must admit I am not actually sure what the well signified. I would guess something to do with baptism during Lent. The church had "made" a brick well on the chancel. It was quite large. We offered to take it down brick-by-brick and set it up exactly how it was when the service was over. Obviously that didn't fly with the Priest. Thus, that well shows up in almost all our photos at the Church. We also had the fastest Catholic ceremony on record. I think the Priest still wasn't a hundred percent sold on our plan.

Would I choose this day again? Definitely. Despite all of that - it was a wonderful day. What I remember most from that day is just being happy. To me, that is what it is all about.


Strange Attractor said...

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary to you both. Here's to many more happy and love-filled years together.

Bridgett said...

Mike's brother and his wife got married on a FRIDAY in Lent, two years ago, at my parish. At first my pastor said "absolutely not, never, no," but eventually caved because they were bringing Mike's uncle, a priest, to do the ceremony, and so John did'nt have to be involved.

There are lots of reasons about Lent and celebrations...obviously you can baptize during lent, but not during Sunday's mass. You wait for Easter season in that case. It just isn't done. Lent is seen as a long retreat, the 40 days in the desert kind of thing.

This is the problem with the Catholic church (well, not THE problem, but one of the problems). It has really deep meanings and reasons behind the things on the surface, but so many people aren't given the education and catechesis to really understand it. And then folks leave for more life-giving waters and we wonder why.

plaidshoes said...

Strange Attractor- Thanks! I am hoping for the same thing, too! :-)

Bridgett - I didn't even try for a Friday, I could tell our Priest was already pushed to his limit. Thanks for clarifying the well situation. I really could not understand what the big deal was with it. But, obviously, it was a huge deal to the church. I completely agree that I wish the church would go into deeper reasons - It would make it a lot more meaningful.

plaidshoes said...

Bridgett - I am still thinking about your comment and the lack of education in understanding one's religion. The exact same thing could be said about Unitarians, but to an even greater extent. I think this will have to be a future blog post.

Rebecca Hecking said...

Congratulations! I wish you many more happy, adventure filled years together.

DanaCK said...

Congratulations on your anniversary—I hope you have many, many more happy years together!