Much has been made of the future of the Catholic Church in recent weeks. It got me thinking about my own experience of getting married within the Church last year. Such a choice might be considered unusual for someone my age (30 at the time). Most wedding ceremonies I attended were not religious. For me, that day was everything I could have asked for—and getting married in a church was an essential part of it.
I live near Mount Merrion Parish in Dublin and had always envisioned my wedding there. I got ready in my house surrounded by my family and closest friends, then walked right around the corner to tie the knot with my 13-year-old partner (in fact, at one point my family considered just walking down the street to the church , decked out in flowers and ruffles instead of driving, but then Dad wouldn’t have had a chance to show off his vintage Ford T-Bird).
From attending Mass with my family on Sunday to getting married, it was a moment that came full circle for everyone and was an emotional experience.
Since my husband is of non-religious origin, I have campaigned to be stopped at church. But he also respects the traditions, so it suited both of us. The Mass added solemnity and spirituality to the ceremony.
There was never a sense of oppressive dogma or just because.
But the rituals offered comfort and truth.
Reading our vows to the letter took the pressure off of making up our own. The religious music (provided by the Stella Quartet) was beautiful. My husband and I also enjoyed being “doubly married” that day—both in the legal sense and in the eyes of God.
Our priest, Father Joe Mullan, who we met several times before the wedding, played a key role in making the day special.
There was the usual paperwork to file, but also wisdom on what marriage means, and we appreciated all the advice Fr. Joe gave us and the laughs we had as we met.
On the big day, Fr. Joe delivered a sermon that was deeply sincere and personal. It touched the hearts of both me and my husband.
Many of our friends and family members came out to us at the end of the day to praise Fr. Joe for leading such a warm, welcoming and heartfelt ceremony.
I think with more priests like Father Joe who are strong speakers with generous, warm personalities, there is much to look forward to in the future of the Church and Mass.
As the Catholic Church atones for past mistakes, I hope that the Church will evolve and become a more inclusive and diverse institution.
Its emphasis on charity and community is valuable, and it is a special place of healing, comfort, grace, and celebration. It will take more priests who are kind and inspirational to rise up and carry this message.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/im-so-glad-i-had-a-catholic-church-wedding-and-thank-you-fr-joe-41938013.html I’m so glad I had a Catholic church wedding and thank you Fr. Joe