Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Sacrament of Marriage

Last weekend, I was privileged to be invited to witness the marriage ceremony of Katie and Jeremy. It was a wonderful ceremony and refreshingly different than most weddings I've been to. Many Catholic couples in our area choose St. Joseph Church for their wedding. It is stunningly beautiful and large enough for most weddings. It has a long center aisle which is perfect for the procession of flower girls, bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was apparent though from the beginning of the ceremony that Katie and Jeremy didn't choose St. Josephs because it is big or because there was plenty of room for a big wedding party. As the first (and only) bridesmaid came down the aisle followed by the maid of honor my first thought was "ah, this is going to be a simple wedding". And I smiled because I knew immediately that this couple was focused on why we were there. As Katie came down the aisle on the arm of her father, it was refreshing to see how beautiful she looked in her wedding gown. It wasn't sleeveless, it wasn't low-cut. It was perfect. Katie and Jeremy came there that day putting the love of God first in their minds and knowing that he deserves nothing less than reverence and modesty. This wedding wasn't about putting on a show but about keeping the focus on God. This wedding Mass, like every Holy Mass was a re-presentation of the sacrifice of our Lord at Calvary. And second to that it was celebration of a man and a woman forming a lifelong covenant bond. When the time came for the exchange of vows, the Priest stepped down into the center aisle closer to the congregation as Katie and Jeremy took their place near the altar. And again I smiled. A Catholic priest presides over a Marriage ceremony but he does not and cannot administer the Sacrament. Katie and Jeremy administered the sacrament of Matrimony to each other. The priest is the official witness representing Christ and so his presence there is essential for the sacrament to take place. But the couple confers the sacrament. How beautiful it was! I was honored to be there in Holy Worship of our Lord and to see two young Catholics who understand what being authentically Catholic is all about. God Bless them as they begin their new life together.


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