Tag Archives: church

A Special Moment In The Light

10 May

As Gerard and I made our way down the aisle towards the church exit as just-newlyweds, we shared a special moment. It was one of those moments that succeeds in being private and public all at the same time – and we were lucky enough to have it captured in a series of photographs.

As we walked down the aisle, we saw a ray of bright sunshine breaking through the stained glass windows and landing directly on the aisle, like a beautiful natural spotlight. When we reached the light, we paused and took our moment…

Eight Weeks To Go? Really???

5 Mar

When Gerard and I first got engaged, everything wedding-related seemed a little abstract. It was more real than it had been before, obviously, since it was something that was actually going to happen. But it was happening far enough in the future for me have a somewhat lackadaisical attitude about it all. There was no rush and no stress. We were talking about something that was happening seventeen months away.

I watched those wedding planning shows on TV, shows like Rich Bride, Poor Bride and Wedding SOS, and I smugly thought about how my wedding planning would never be as fraught with stress as the wedding featured in those shows.

Now, with precisely eight weeks to go until my wedding, my smugness is sticking in my craw, threatening to choke me.

There is a lot to be done. A scary amount of stuff. The dress is almost complete, the bridesmaids dresses have been ordered, and the church and the reception hall have been booked. Apart from a couple of other minor details like my shoes and my makeup person, that’s pretty much all that’s actually under control.

We finished the guest list last night. Invitations are being printed this weekend and will go out on Monday.

Starting this week, we will be attending mandatory pre-marriage counseling.

Gerard and his groomsmen have to figure out what they’re wearing.

I have to send photos to the person who’s making our cake so she can give me a quote.

Flowers, decor, and guest favours have to be arranged.

I need to confirm a hairdresser.

Transportation has to be sorted out.

The DJ and photographer has to be booked.

We need to decide who the Master of Ceremonies will be.

The rehearsal dinner has to be planned.

And more.

It’s an awful lot of activity to fit into eight weeks.

And so, this weekend, wedding planning has suddenly kicked into full-gear. Out of the blue, Gerard has started voicing opinions about the wedding, and he’s coming up with really great ideas. We have most of the wedding party coming over tomorrow to help us with tasks and ideas. Task lists are being made, ones that have actual deadline dates on them. Our first song has been decided.

Things are happening and a bride-to-be is stressing out.

Somehow, it will happen.

Somehow, we will create a wedding that will, for all the right reasons, be a day to remember.

A Case Of Faint Religion

14 Jan

This coming Sunday, I will be going to church. The last time this happened, it was to attend the funeral for Gerard’s 103-year-old grandmother.  I have been to church maybe ten times in as many years, and there has always been a specific reason for it, like a funeral, a baptism, or a wedding.  I’m not what one might refer to as “the churchgoing kind”.

When I was about sixteen, I had a firm belief that I had developed an allergy to churches.  This was based on a very strange trend that started at this age: every time I went to church – EVERY time – I would faint.  Whenever the congregation was called upon to kneel, for whatever reason the blood would just rush from my head and I would be out like a light.

There was a medical reason for this, of course, although I cannot remember now what that was.  I went through a somewhat inconvenient few months where I would faint at the drop of a hat, whether I was at home, in a store, or in math class.  Presumably I wasn’t allergic to all of those places as well.  What convinced me, though, was the absolute regularity of it.  When I went to church – any church – I could be completely relied on to faint and disrupt the proceedings.

I had a theory about this.  See, I was educated at a girls-only Catholic school run by nuns (some of the nuns were very nice, but some of them were MEAN!). Every week, all of us – including the non-Catholics like me – had to attend these religious education classes.  And on the first Friday of every month, the entire student body would troop over to the nearby Catholic church to attend “First Friday Mass”.

In addition to all of this, I was a Sunday school teacher at the Anglican church my family belonged to, AND I went through a phase of regularly attending the Evangelical church that my parents referred to as “happy clappers”.

That’s three – count ’em – THREE churches that I frequented on a regular basis.  That’s a whole lot of religion for a teenager.

My theory was that overexposure to religion had given me an allergy to churches.  Kind of like the time I got 67 beestings in one go and ended up with an allergy to bees.

Because I was allergic to churches and all, I stopped going.  I mean, it was hazardous to my health.  Everyone knows that if you expose yourself to something you’re allergic to, the allergy gets worse and worse.  I just assumed that my church allergy would work the same way.

I couldn’t get out of the First Friday Masses at school.  The nuns were very weird about that.  If a student had an accident and ended up with, say, a severed arm, the nuns would definitely take that student to the hospital.  Right after the student had attended Mass with the severed limb sitting there on the pew.

As an adult, my church attendance has been limited to events like weddings and funerals.  When the kids were born, we joined the local Anglican church so we could get them baptized (what they do or don’t do with religion as they get older will be up to them).  And now, with my own wedding coming up at the end of April, it is time for us to do the church thing again.

When we first started making the wedding plans, I was never really gung-ho on the idea of getting married in a church, particularly since we’ve been living in sin for the last ten years.  It didn’t really make sense to me: Gerard is a non-practicing Catholic, and I am a lapsed something-or-other.  We try to live our lives as good and decent human beings, and although I believe in some greater force, a Karma of the Universe type of thing, I don’t really believe in God in the traditional sense.  When bad things happen to people I care about, I pray for them, but I am not praying to a Biblical God.  I am praying to the forces of energy that shift the Universe around and affect the way things happen.

When I talked about not getting married in a church, my future mother-in-law almost cried.  She is a devout Catholic, and had been holding out hope that we would get married in a Catholic church.  I went along with it, because honestly, I don’t care where I get married. As long as I’m a Mrs by the end of my wedding day, I’ll get married in a bus shelter if it makes people happy.

The Catholic church did not turn out to be a feasible option, firstly because the Catholics are a bit picky about presiding over a marriage where one partner is not a Catholic, and secondly because we don’t like the priest at our local Catholic church.

So we went back to the Anglican church in our neighbourhood, to talk to the same minister who baptized my boys.  We had a lovely long chat with him this week, and he told us that he would be happy to preside over our wedding.  We would be happy with this as well: the minister is really a lovely person, and the church is a welcoming, neighbourly type of place.

We will be going there on Sunday, because we feel that if we’re going to have our marriage blessed in a church, we should at least take the time to show up, hear what the sermons are all about, and get to know some of the people.  We do not want to observe such an important day of our lives in a place where we are strangers.

I just hope I don’t faint.