Learning To Say I Do
Our Wedding Liturgy
Sara: Following the arrival of the groomsmen, we took pictures. Then it was time for one of the most exciting parts of the day – our wedding liturgy. As our family and friends began to show up throughout the picture process, I think both Justin and I realized how real this was. We were really getting married that day!
Throughout the day and the rest of the evening, Justin and I both continued to get compliments about our wedding liturgy. While our wedding liturgy was beautiful (in our biased opinion), we were both especially surprised so many commented upon it. Other than prayerfully choosing the readings and the hymns, we really didn’t DO anything outside the ordinary. We chose not to have pew bows, extra decorations or flowers, a unity candle, or a flower girl or ring bearer. We simply just celebrated the Mass according to the rubrics. The only two things we felt distinguished this nuptial Mass from other nuptial Masses we have attended was the fact our main celebrant Fr. Rolling is younger than the groom, and we had a total of seven priests celebrating the Mass.
Justin: I think the compliments, despite the lack of embellishment, should remind us that the Mass is beautiful in its own nature. Too often we think we can improve the Mass by adding more bells and whistles. The Mass is beautiful because it is the place where heaven and earth meet, and this is sufficient if we have eyes to see it.
Sara: As I look back at the amateur pictures (unfortunately, our professional pictures aren’t done yet), I see myself as the typical glowing bride. I knew God was calling me to marry Justin, and I was so excited to FINALLY be meeting him at the altar.
After pictures concluded, I decided not to wait for a half hour in the bride’s room. Instead, I stayed in the gathering space of the church greeting family and friends as they showed up. Other married friends warned me the day would go too fast, and I wouldn’t have an opportunity to say hello to everyone. Since we had family and friends coming in from all over the country, I wanted the extra opportunity to greet each person as they arrived.
Before I knew it, Fr. Ron was shooing everyone in the church, and the bridal party lined up. Our altar servers, then the priests, the bridal party, and Justin and his parents walked in. Finally, it was my turn with my parents to walk down the aisle. It was so neat to see all the people Justin and I love best in the world beaming at us as my parents and I walked down the aisle. Finally, Justin and I were once again standing next to each other. Fr. Rolling beamed at us as we joined hands. Our wedding Mass had begun.
The readings were beautiful, as was the music. Fr. Ron read the Gospel, and then Fr. Rolling began the homily. I was probably more interested in hearing this homily than any other in my life as I wanted to hear both Fr. Rolling’s advice for us, and any potentially embarrassing stories Fr. Rolling knew about Justin! As the homily started, Fr. Rolling had me laughing as he spoke about Justin’s joy for life – and shared a few examples of practical jokes played over the years.
Later, the homily turned serious as Fr. Rolling spoke about our responsibilities as married people to share the Good News of Christ with others through our marriage.
Following the homily, Justin and I said our vows. We had opted to memorize them, so Justin was really nervous he would forget his. Instead, I was the one to mess up – I forgot to tell Justin that I would be true to him. Thankfully, Fr. Rolling whispered it didn’t matter – we were married!
Following our vows, the liturgy of the Eucharist was so beautiful. Seeing seven of the priests we love most in the world at the altar gave me goosebumps. We received communion together for the first time as married people. After communion we made a short visit to shrines of Mary and Joseph and prayed for their guidance. Fr. Rolling blessed our family crucifix that had been placed on the altar during the Mass.
Justin: I love to look at that crucifix as it reminds me of our unity in Christ and our promise of ultimate sacrifice for the other.
Sara: Then time for a quick kiss and we were whisked back down the aisle. BUT WE WERE NOW MARRIED! And, despite the mishaps of the day, that’s all that mattered.
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