A Catholic wedding performed without a net

Remember the good old days before Vatican II, when people took sacraments seriously and priests treated the liturgy with reverence?

Behold, a Catholic wedding in France from 60 years ago.

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  1. johnplacette says:

    Dear Ordinary,
    I would like to bless a wedding…
    “You want to do what?!!!!!”

  2. Read Agatha Christie books and note that many of the morally repugnant things attributed to Vatican II, while not as common, happened well before the 1960s.

  3. Richard Johnson says:

    I’ve often told couples that it takes courage to enter into a marriage. Perhaps I need to show them this video.

  4. Leave it to the french!

  5. The funny thing is that couple with an unconventional marriage ceremony.probably stayed married till they died.

    Meanwhile, those modern weddings in ornate churches officiated by those in outlandish frocks now statistically end within a few years.

    Style does not matter, substance does. The ceremony is not important for it is fleeting and trivial. The “I Do”, love, and respect are most important parts.

  6. naturgesetz says:

    It must have taken quite a bit of doing to get the dispensation needed to have it outside a church if both parties were Catholic. OTOH, in those days if one was not Catholic, the wedding would not take place in a church. (My parents were married in the rectory parlor.) Yep. Probably a mixed marriage.

  7. There will always be heretics and apostates. Isn’t that one of the reasons Saint Ambrose was so NOT up in the air when it came to the Arians?

  8. Well, style matters a little, I think, but on the whole, I agree with G, the couple likely stayed together through much weirder things.

  9. Deacon Bill says:

    Nah, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Remember a couple of things: This was PRIOR to the new Code of Canon Law, so the canons were a bit different. In addition, these folks were part the circus troupe, and there have always been pastoral approaches to take care of people who are “on the move” so to speak and not regular “residents” of a particular community. Until recently, for example, there was an office devoted to just such ministries at the USCCB.

    So, I doubt this took all that much effort to set up, from an ecclesial perspective, and I would presume that both were Catholic. What I found interesting was the Abbe’s background — the guy who routinely dove into the river to raise money for charity! How fun is that?
    God bless,
    Deacon Bill

  10. Just to clarify, I am not saying that the wedding was repugnant.

  11. Fiergenholt says:

    Deacon Bill

    I forgot about Canon Law’s exceptions for “Carny-Folks.” I knew a priest who — one he retired from pastoral work in his diocese — went into “Carny-Ministry” and follows a circus to this day. Unreal!

  12. Hmmm…could he now be a patron of scuba divers and snorkelers?

  13. Sadly, or maybe not, this video is apparently misleading. Looking up “Roger Decugis” I found the following from Life Magazine in 1954.


    If that links too confusing it says “The Archbishop of Toulouse would not let Berthy Omankowski and Roger Decugis hold a high-wire wedding. Compromising, the couple got married in church, then climbed a high-wire 50 feet above a thronged Capital Place to receive the benediction of Abbe Simon…”

  14. So in other words they had a normal wedding and did the freak show afterwards.

  15. Basically yes. (And in case it’s asked I went to the site of the group that did the video to find the spelling of the names, so I’m pretty certain I have the right couple) Although I don’t know if tight-rope walking is precisely “freak show.”

  16. George Mason says:

    Then the bishop was Jules-Géraud Saliège whose successor was Gabriel-Marie Garrone.


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