|The Wedding Party--Henri Rousseau|
Wedding season is upon us. I am so excited when I am invited to a Catholic wedding, especially when it is for two faithful Catholics. I also find Protestant weddings celebrated prayerfully a true joy. Secular weddings, on the other hand, leave me conflicted. I really do wish the bride and groom a lifetime of happiness, but they are starting out at a great disadvantage if they do not recognize that marriage is about so much more than "luv"! Here is what I really want to tell these couples:
Dear Bride and Groom,
I am sure you are thrilled with the grand affair you are planning to celebrate the legalization of your union. You have been living together for years so right now it is all about the party.
I really do hope you have years of health and happiness in front of you. I also pray that you someday recognize the true meaning of matrimony and see that it is so much more than a civil recognition of your mutual affection followed by an elaborate gala.
However, at present you are asking guests to spend great quantities of money to celebrate the execution of a legal contract. Children are not welcome because they do not fit the ambience you are hoping to create. There will be no recognition of the transcendent nature of marriage nor will there be any acknowledgement that marriage is a vocation, a calling from God. It is your event and I respect your choice to keep it totally secular.
I ask that you respect my choice to limit my participation. I really do wish you well but I am very uncomfortable pretending that this secular ritual is the same as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Such a pretense is the reason marriage has been demeaned and degraded in our culture. I cannot in good conscience fully participate.I will keep you in my prayers.
Your Invited Guest