Monday, February 22, 2010

A wedding? You'd think that would be self evident. Not necessarily so - a tale of my weekend...

I had a good weekend, and I'll backtrack to that in a moment. But first, I wanted to start with a sweet anecdote from this morning. Henry had a dentist appointment this morning, and since Mike had class, I took him. We arrive, and are taken back to a dental chair.

Wide-eyed and anxious looking, Hank slips in. The hygienist is all perky, trying to get him to talk and smile.

"Hi Henry! How are you doing today? Did you brush your teeth this..."


He was not in a mood to be trifled with :) But he ended up doing great. Precious little sweetie.

Anyway, so my weekend. As you well know, Mass this weekend would mark my first major headcovering experience for my Lenten pilot project. I was all excited. I had chosen my outfit earlier in the day (we attended the Saturday evening vigil Mass this week), and about 15 minutes before we were slated to leave, I went to choose my covering. The one that went with my outfit best was actually the black velvet headband, so I strapped that on. I felt very cute.

I emerged from the bathroom, and Mike noticed right away.

"Oh! I like your hair thing."


We pull up to a church for 4 pm Mass that we don't usually attend. Mike and I had dinner plans that evening, Sunday morning I was invited to a wedding shower brunch (eliminating Sunday morning Mass as a possibility), and my parish doesn't have a vigil that was as early as we needed for our dinner reservations; thus, we ventured down to a gorgeous church in the city. We'd been there before, but not for some time. And Mike often wants to accompany me to Mass when I go to one of the older churches, since they're so beautiful in this area. Thus, it worked out well. We pull up, and I immediately sense something going on.

"Why are all those girls in matching red dresses going up the stairs?"

My first thought was that I wanted to crochet them some shawls right then and there, because their dresses left a lot of skin exposed :) But also important,

"Do you think there's a wedding?"

Mike pshaws. "No, I don't think so. How could there be? I know they have regular Mass at 4."

I raise my eyebrows at my non-practicing Catholic husband, because he does take his Mass times very seriously.

He adds, "Maybe the wedding is after this Mass. Maybe they're just early."

"Maybe." *skeptical* "Look, there's more dressed up people. Oh wait. Oh dear."


"There's a bride. There is clearly a bride. And she's coming out of a limo."

We both crane our necks. Girl wearing a full-out bridal gown mounts the stairs.

Mike remains very hopeful that we'll get to attend a 4pm vigil. "But wait. Doesn't that look like the groom? Why would they be arriving together?"

"I don't know. But it *is* possible to get married during a regularly scheduled Mass. You don't get to choose the readings and do all the customization that a separate wedding liturgy allows, but it technically can be done. Maybe they're doing that. Sometimes people want a later Saturday wedding ceremony, and the vigil is the only way to have a wedding after 2 pm in a Catholic Church, usually."

Mike looks utterly flummoxed. "Really?"

"Yeah. I've never seen it done, but I know that you can do it."

We continue to spy on people entering the church, and see people wearing clear non-wedding attendance clothes, so figure that the regular vigil is still on. We get out and head in.

As we enter the church, we see the wedding crowd all jammed into the front hallway, right out in the open. I'm even more confused at this point.

We find a pew, and Mass begins. The wedding folk process up with the priest and the altar servers. I think to myself, "yes, definitely must a wedding during the regular Mass."

Well. I was wrong :) As soon as the priest commenced the Mass, he noted that we were celebrating a Quinceanera - a Latin American coming of age ceremony for young women turning 15. I swear - she looked older than 15 :) Considering I was marrying her off...

Anyway, during the Mass, the young lady professes a statement of faith that she will strive to carry out the responsibilities of a Christian woman throughout her life, and receives a Bible, a rosary, and her first pair of high-heeled shoes. Interesting, huh?

What I was unprepared for was how elaborate everything was. There were a dozen attendants, and they all arrived in a limo. Everybody was wearing either a coordinated suit, bridesmaid gown, or a wedding gown. It really, really looked like a wedding :) But it was all very cool, and we enjoyed being a part of it.

So, on the headcovering. I enjoyed wearing it very much. I'll wait until after Lent to post a longer missive about my larger experience with headcovering, so I'll just say that week 1 was a smashing success. It stayed on my head with no fuss and everything.

Ok, instead of a book today I'm going to link to a meatless recipe. Looking for a good Friday dinner? One of my *favorite* on-the-go meatless dinners is Self's Better Bean Burritos. You mix sauteed onions and bell peppers, black beans, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and grape tomatoes (I leave out the lettuce), pop into a whole grain tortilla, and voila! It's a family favorite.

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