- 2 years ago
VENT POST. I have another story for you.
I’ve posted before about the many ups and downs of Catholic wedding planning. Reading everybody’s responses, and also other threads, has really opened my eyes that each parish is like a nation unto themselves, with their own rules, their own level of strictness, their own personality. My particular parish is very …particular.
Anyway, Monday was the afternoon of the wedding rehearsal!
Fiance and I were so excited. The official countdown to marriage was on! We met up with our 3 friends who will be at our ceremony for an early supper at a nice restaurant. We were in good spirits. We shared a meal and had a good time. I gave everyone the message my priest asked me to convey: our rehearsal is taking place during the season of Lent, which is sacred to the church. Please be quiet and respectful on church grounds, even when you are standing outside on the steps. People praying inside can hear you, and be disturbed by loud voices. Please keep your voices down, save laughing and joking for later, this is our most solumn season. Cell phones should be muted, and no taking pictures or video.
We arrive at the church. We enter the foyer.
Mass is in session, with the Fr. (the head priest) speaking to the congregation. However, the associate pastor and a few others I don’t recognize are gathered in the foyer chatting quietly. I approach and speak to the associate pastor. The time is 10 minutes before our scheduled rehearsal.
I explain we are here for the wedding rehearsal with Father at 6 pm.
Associate pastor says “No. Hmmm. Noooo. You must have the wrong date. It wouldn’t be today.”
He gestured towards the altar where Fr. is standing. He gestures towards the extra priests milling around.
“After Mass today, we have rites. Fr. is busy all evening.”
My heart sinks. FI’s grip on my hand tighens in panic.
Now to go back in time, every time I’ve met with Fr. (who we’ve met with at least 10 times) about getting married, each time we have confirmed the wedding date. Each time my priest hems and haws, either like he’s forgotten the date I requested, or that the date is problematic. Each time he eventually confirms my date is okay, and reminds me it’s during Lent. When we saw him last in November, he advised us the the bishop had granted our dispensation to wed, and that the date and time of the wedding was accepted. He took the marriage license from me, with our wedding date printed on it.
Back in November, Fr. said normally, he’d schedule the rehearsal one or two days before the wedding, but in our case, he wanted to do our rehearsal 2 weeks before the wedding, since the church was busy with Lent activities.
That was fine with us.
Fr. checked his calendar, and he picked the date and time of the rehearsal. We didn’t ask for a date. He gave it to us.
I watched him write the rehearsal date and time, then the wedding date and time, into the big church calendar on the wall, then the calendar on his desk. He asked us to double check what he wrote, it was perfect. Then I copied that information into my little book. He offered to check it over with a smile, he looked at it and said “Now we’re all in agreement!”
I felt very positive after this meeting.
He reminded us that during Lent, we are not allowed to have any decorations of any kind, no flowers, no photography, and if we want the church organist to play music, the music setlist was limited compared to the usual music available. (That was fine. He had been clear about that from the beginning.) He also reminded us, “Please remind your wedding party to be quiet and respectful when they enter the church. After all, it’s Lent.”
The point of this story is that myself, my Fiance, and my priest (who is the main pastor at this parish) were all 100% aware that both the rehearsal and the wedding were happening during Lent. It was not a surprise. Fr. told us many times that having a wedding during Lent was “unusual”, and while I am grateful we were granted our date to begin with, because I realize what Lent means, it’s become very off-putting to have this brough to my attention. Every. Single. Time.
Flash forward in time to the other night when we show up for rehearsal.
The associate pastor insisted we must be mistaken, it can’t be “this night”.
My Fiance speaks up. “This is the right date. Father wrote it in the calendar.”
The associate pastor goes to check the calendar. After what felt like a tortorous amount of time, he comes back.
“It’s in the calendar. Fr. must have forgotten.”
Forgotten? OH NO.
I take a deep breath.
Mass concludes. The associate pastor catches Fr’s eye and they confer. Eventually my priest arrives, and says “It’s Lent!”.
YES I KNOW!
He looks at us, looking perplexed, is the only way I can describe it.
He ushes us into the Sacristy and rushes us through the rehearsal, what to expect, what we are required to do. He was very friendly and seemed excited for us, so there is that. The whole thing took about 10 minutes.
I double checked with him, “Do I need to speak to you or the office staff before the wedding day?”
He said no, just show up about 30 minutes before go time.
However, my Fiance and discussed this later. We are going to call the day before. I can’t take the stress of thinking they forget agin.
So end of this saga is that we got our rehearsal done. Yay!
Again this is just a vent post. I’m not going to try to switch churches, I’m not going to go see a judge.