H/T to Kathy Schiffer for this picture:
There’s more whacky wedding pictures, along with a reminder of why Catholics get married in church.
I wrote about this subject two years ago, responding to a reader who was frustrated at not being able to have a wedding in a catering hall or a beach:
It helps to look at marriage as what it truly is: a sacrament. It is the tradition of the church that – with some rare and specific exceptions — sacraments are received in a church. Which means, among other things, the ritual takes place in the presence of Jesus Christ, in the Blessed Sacrament. It unfolds before the people of God, the community of faith. And, for marriage, it is witnessed by a minister of the church, a priest or deacon.
But there is also this: being married in a church says something. It says: “We take this seriously, and are making this commitment in a sacred space, in the presence of God, before His people, forever.” It says: “We are beginning our life together in a way that signifies to the world our commitment to each other, and our commitment to our faith, and let’s face it: know we’re going to need all the graces we can get.”
It also says: “This is something more than just a party.”
…The location of a sacrament is about much more than mere geography.
A priest may bring Christ to the people and into the world by celebrating the Mass in an unusual public venue – a mall or a beach or a cruise ship dining room.
But a marriage is different.
By bringing themselves before the Church, and into a church, and bearing witness in that sacred setting, a couple performs a public act of humility, and faith, and belief.
They don’t expect God to come to them. They go to Him.
It is a deeper sign of how they are beginning their lives together, and what will be important in their marriage.
Pastoral considerations, and special circumstances, might call for making some adjustments. But it seems to me: two Catholics who grasp the commitment they are making, and who understand what is at stake, and who believe in the faith into which they were baptized, should not really want to be married anywhere else.