Thursday, June 9, 2011

The DC Wedding

So, Paul's wedding in DC was...

...Oh man, Paul's wedding.  I like Paul, but as a Catholic seminarian, I almost had a heart attack upon witnessing the Unitarian wedding.

Nathaniel was sitting next to me, and he will confirm the fact that I choked on air as soon as I saw the priestess.  Her chasuble was sparkly green.  You know those glitter pens?  That was the color of the chasuble.  It's hard to believe someone would ever wear something so ridiculously hideous in public.

But really, what bugged me the most is that the color of the chasuble was liturgically inappropriate.  It is still Easter season.  Therefore, all priests should wear white chasubles.  Green chasubles get worn during ordinary time.

The second big problem with her vestments was that she was wearing her stole on the outside of the chasuble.  The stole is supposed to be worn underneath the chasuble during masses.  Wearing an undergarment over an outergarment is like wearing a vest on top of your jacket: it's just wrong.

Third, the stole did not match the chasuble in color.  That's a Catholic rule, but it's also common sense.  The colors of your clothes should match, right?  Right.  I don't have to explain this any further.

Fourth, she was not wearing an alb.  Not that I was expecting it at this point.

So, that's why I choked after seeing the priestess.  I wanted to invoke the "three strikes, you're out" rule, because all three vestments (alb, stole, chasuble) were incorrect.

Sorry to rant about vestments, but--actually, hold on a second.  I'm not done ranting.  Things did not get better once the wedding started.

The priestess launched into a speech about how gardens are traditionally places where good things happen, which is not technically accurate (Garden of Eden, anyone?), but I'll let it slide, because the mass was taking place in a garden.  During the speech, I wondered, "Has it started yet?  Or is she just giving an introductory speech before the mass begins?  When is she going to do the sign of the cross?"  About two minutes later, she put her piece of paper down and the procession began, so I figured that things had started.

I took out my rosary at this point.  My plan was to pray the rosary during the mass, to dedicate the marriage to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  However, I wasn't able to carry out this plan because first of all, it wasn't a mass, and second--well, I'll get to that later.

The procession was slightly amusing, because Paul looked like he was going to collapse from nervousness.  His parents practically frog-marched him to where he was supposed to stand.

The first reading--the only reading, mind you--was from The Velveteen Rabbit.  For those of you who don't know, that is a children's picture book.  Really?  A picture book?  You're getting married, and you read from a children's book?!  If that was your plan, why didn't you just go for broke and read  The Cat in the Hat to everyone?

(I am so getting a nasty email from Paul about this.)

Okay, Paul, listen up.  If you only have one reading at your wedding--which is crazy talk; you should have three--you pick the one from the Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13.  That's the one where Paul gives his famous speech on love.  Everyone uses that one at their weddings.  There are other readings from the Bible that come highly recommended, such as from Songs of Songs (which is a wedding canticle), but everyone uses Corinthians Chapter 13.  Just to let you know.

After we learned about the magical bunny rabbit, the Best Man and Best Woman both read from their pieces of paper.  Then, the priestess led Paul in saying various things which somewhat resembled the traditional wedding vows.  I mean, I'm no expert on marriage vows, but I'm pretty sure it's "in sickness and in health", not "in sickness and in wellness".  Any mention of God or Jesus or anything remotely religious was taken out of the vows.

Then, it was suddenly over, without any warning.  No final word from the priestess, no sign of the cross, no "The mass has ended.  Go in peace to love and serve the Lord".  Everyone just turned around and left.

I had to double-check my watch to see how long it was.  Ten minutes.  That's not a wedding; that's half of a Simpsons episode.  Obviously, I wasn't able to finish the rosary, because it taks about fifteen minutes to pray the rosary.

Just think, if someone showed up ten minutes late to the wedding, he would have missed the entire thing.

In comparison, the shortest possible Catholic mass is about twenty minutes, and that's if the priest is really rushing things. Obviously, the length of the mass depends on various factors such as how many people are in attendance, but your typical Sunday mass will be from forty minutes to an hour long.  Priests generally respect the unofficial hour-long time limit.

For a wedding, you do some extra things that you don't usually do at a mass, such as a twenty-person procession and an exchange of vows; therefore, wedding usually take longer than a normal mass.  I was not expecting a wedding that was shorter than a normal mass.

To conclude my review of the DC Wedding...
  1. The wedding was way too short.
  2. The priestess' vestments were all wrong.
  3. They read children's books instead of the Bible.
  4. There was not enough transubstantiation to suit the tastes of the Catholics everywhere.
The wedding reception followed the wedding, and that was much, much better.  I'll talk about that the next time I discuss my trip to Washington DC.  Right now, I have to answer some angy emails from Paul and his wife.

35 comments:

Katie said...

My cousin recently got married in a mixed Jewish-Episcopalian wedding. Being a Catholic myself, I was quite shocked/entertained by the wedding itself. It was beautiful, but nothing like I expected. I can understand the experience, though, of almost feeling a sense of whiplash when at an out-of-the-norm wedding. On a happier note, best wishes and blessings to your friend Paul and his wife! :)

Violet said...

I'm Catholic, and that wedding sounds really weird... what color was the bride's dress? Orange?!

Ryan Ortega said...

(quoting Nicholas Falcone from "The Final Scene") Applause for the cause, Michael!

Anonymous said...

True Violet, true... now I wonder!

Janie said...

A wedding is supposed to be a joyous occasion. Just because it doesn't match up with the typical marriage ceremony doesn't mean it's any less valid. Even if you see something you don't like you should just be tolerant and happy for your friend instead of ranting about it.

Shawna said...

I agree with what you said, Janie,

Michael said...

Technically, according to canon law, the marriage is invalid. Not for the reasons stated in the blog post, though.

Anonymous said...

You know what Michael, you are being extremely judgemental. theyr not even catholics as you mentioned! what the H? and the thing about the clothes? like they can wear whatever they want you need to chillax.

3D###Boy said...

Ummm... If the wedding was short the you type very very too very much about it. This is good. And I would like that the wedding dress to be yellow or turquoise or white. Ahhh.... But wait! You had an HEART ATTACK!!! IS that REAL or just a way to say that you were confused or excited?

Lena said...

Why pray to Mary? God never told you to pray to her, or anyone else for that matter.

Exodus 20:3- You must not have any other gods against me

and verses 4-6:You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation, in the case of those who hate me; 6 but exercising loving-kindness toward the thousandth generation in the case of those who love me and keep my commandments.

So is praying to Mary with a Rosary respect those laws?

Airam said...

5. It's A PRIESTESS NOT A PRIEST!

Airam said...

Oh, and Lena, Mary was the Mother of Jesus, The holy Queen of Heaven. So, it's fine

Krista said...

Praying to Mary is fine, I mean... she is the mother of Jesus, she IS the Queen of Heaven, and she is a very holy figure in the Catholic faith. Praying to her is fine...

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to step back from this argument for a minute. It seems like some of you are angry at Michael for expressing his opinion about the wedding; however, it seems somewhat hypocritical. Michael's opinion is his own, he's not forcing you to agree with him or, for that matter, read his blog. Some readers are in turn, criticizing Michael for his strong opinion on the wedding--do you not see how that's slightly unfair? You, as a reader feel entitled to criticize Michael's post about the wedding if you disagree with his opinion, but Michael is just as entitled to express his feelings about the wedding, regardless of whether or not you like what he says. As a reader, you can disagree with what Michael wrote and do so in a respectful manner, but you should try to remember that he has to same right to free speech as you do.

Anonymous said...

How do you feel when people make these sorts of comments about your faith? This blog post is incredibly rude to your friend and his wife.
How to intend to turn people to the Catholic faith with insults? Jesus told his followers to be loving and kind and lead by example.
These two people pledged to love each other and live a life faithful to one another. Isn't that a lot more important that what cloths the priestess was wearing?

Kira said...

Michael, as a Catholic seminarian, is just pointing out some things that he found funny about his friend's marriage ceremony (I probably would too, I'm also Catholic). And we're not worshiping Mary when we pray the rosary to her. Rather, it's kind of like we're praying to God through Mary, or asking for Mary's help.

Cat said...

As long as it counts legally, I don't see why either of them would care whether the Catholic Church counts it. The wedding is their gift to their family and friends, as a way to share in the start of their new life together. I'm sure you've received a few gifts that completely missed the mark, but the giver meant well. It's the marriage that counts, not the wedding.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Protestant weddings that had longer ceremonies...

Lena said...

@Airam @Krista Praying to Mary is not fine, she is not the mother of Jesus, she is the carrier of him. She was sort of like a surrogate. And the verses i quoted earlier clearly state not to use images/idols in worship(that includes rosarys) I could go into further detail about why jesus died on a stake, not a cross and that jesus in most definately NOT god, but anyone reading should look this up themselves and compare evidence yourselves.

Anonymous said...

@Lena We're all going to have our different views (I, for one, disagree with everything you said). I'm not trying to convert anyone, but I'm just saying that the Catholic religion has been around the longest, longer than any other religion known. When even one single person decided to disagree with Catholicism, this created a whole new branch of religion. So, what do you think this says?

But honestly, guys, let's not get into a fight about religion. I respect all of your guys' views, even if they are drastically different than mine, and I hope that you'll respect mine also.

Lena said...

@anonymous one reason i am not a catholic is that they omit gods name, YHWH. (yahweh or jehovah) read this interesting answer which will tell you where you can find gods name in most bibles - http://wiki.answers.com/Q/If_Jehovah_is_God's_name_why_can't_you_find_it_in_the_Bible_and_why_should_you_use_the_name

Lena said...

Oh, and the bible I use is the new world translation, as this was solely translated to provide the most accurate reading of the original scriptures. It uses god's name Jehovah over 7,000 times, as this was how it was written in the original text.

Cat said...

@Lena: Praying to Mary means asking her to intercede with God, not actually worshiping her.

Airam said...

I for one liked the wedding post. Like a West coast person stepping into an East coast restaurant, everything with the wedding was just different. No need for comments to get heated (BTW I love my Catholic faith and no we don't worship Mary- it's like asking your friend to pray with/for you, she's a super prayer partner). Non Catholics might not understand but that's ok. Love the blog.

Lena said...

It makes me sad when people dont understand what I am saying. Do people actually READ what i posted, or do they just ignore non-catholics? Wouldn't It make more sense to use a bible that hasn't been changed in translation and after(like 'The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures) as opposed to one that has been modified from the original text(like the 'King James Bible).

Delaney said...

@Lena No one ever said that we don't read your comments. It's just that we are not Jehovah's Witness, so maybe what we just won't ever understand completely.

Lena said...

@Delaney I'm not a JW.

Bailey said...

@Lena then what are you?

Grace said...

I'm a Lutheran, and I think that praying to Mary is fine. Different people have different beliefs. So what is the big deal?

JenMarie said...

Ladies or should I say children, let's all play nice! This is Michael's blog not 'What is your belief?' post. You can use your own blogs for that. I found it very refreshing and truthful. Good job Michael! :)

Cassie said...

@JenMarie
Yeah I guess you're right.
These comments were supposed to be about the wedding and instead turned into a fight about religions.

HannahR said...

@Violet I know right!

Violet said...

@HannahR Thanks!

Katie said...

To Lena, Catholics don't worship Mary, we honer her because she is the mother of God.

MacnCheezz said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think women were allowed to be Catholic priests (or priestesses)? If this is true, wouldn't that be another thing wrong with this ceremony??