Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The fruits of bad catechesis example 1011

There are many days when I wonder if I should read anything in the newspaper other than the section A and B headlines. Since I was about 9 or 10, I enjoyed reading the paper front to back including the style section and I retain this habit today.

Our area Sunday paper has a sectionin the Style Section where they have an in-depth profile of a couple that recently married. It reviews how they met and some details of the wedding. Given that DH and I met through science fiction fandom our story probably would have been a natural had this feature existed at the time, but I digress.

So this past week, it was a couple who married in a Jewish ceremony, complete with a ketubah (or elaborately decorated marriage contract), huppah (the "tent" under which the Jewish marriage ceremony takes place, the blessings.....but neither one was Jewish. One was raised Episcopalian and the other Catholic. The operative word probably being "raised". A comment attributed to the one with the Catholic background was "I've been to a Catholic wedding, and they seem boring. It's just like church"

Based on the remainder of the article, the couple wanted "something unique" that "spoke to them" etc. Now assuming this quote was accurate, we see a sad example of the lack of catechesis into the very nature of marriage and the beautiful and powerful way that a Catholic wedding makes true two hearts and lives becoming one. I would not be surprised if this is also a result of the lack luster music and liturgical aspects of masses in too many parishes hit by the "spirit" of Vatican II". I would also bet money that he has never experienced the beauty and transcendence of an EF nuptual mass much less an EF mass, but even the OF wedding services and masses I have attended have been special and very different than other services or masses, because of the sacrament being celebrated. The individualism and personality can be expressed in the music and the readings (for the OF) and in the bridesmaid's dresses, but it should really be expressed in the reception.

There is also the issue of co-opting traditions not your own or your families because you think they are "neat", which is addressed in the article. I think many Asian wedding outfits are gorgeous (especially Japanese and Indian), but I was not running out to buy a sari or kimono when I married. The bigger issue is the tragedy of someone, ostensibly raised with the benefits of the sacraments, who seems to have no knowledge of the transcendence that is a sacramental wedding. When the marriage is sacramental, God gives special graces to the married couple, which if they act in cooperation, can assist them in the struggles of their lives as children of God and in the struggles of their vocation.

The "just church" comment strikes me as the comment of one who has not experienced the mass as the wonder that it is can be when celebrated as actually intended in the OF as well as the EF.

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