What Makes a Wedding a Marriage

17 Jan

What makes a wedding a marriag
I welcomed in this New Year with the celebration of my sister’s wedding. We are frequently surrounded by the beauty of weddings: in films they are filled with magic, in books they are full of vibrant flowers, elegant dresses, savory foods, and a plethora of wines. As a sister of the bride I can confidently recall the details of the planning, the creation of the event. As the wedding approached I was prepared for the logistics: nails done, hair appointment, finally the bride is dressed and ready. We stood in proper order in the back of the church, the music accompanying us down the aisle. The last bridesmaid and groomsman took their places at the altar, the doors closing behind.

With the cue of the piano, the doors opened wide, and my sister stood dressed in white, beaming on the arm of my father. On her way to meet her new husband she passed characters from her life, they were lined in pews smiling at the little child they grew up with, at the grade school friend, the neighbor, the college roommate, the coworker. We all stood in observation as two roads emerged; the road of her past personified by the characters in the pews whose relationships led her to this intersection with her future, her husband. Meeting at the altar, my father kissed my sister and sealed his approval of my brother-in-law with a handshake. The transfer from her family of the past to the family of her future at the base of an altar. Christmas lights glistened as the ceremony began with the sign of the cross, the recognition of the mystery.

With the procession of the mass, we were all instantly reminded of the true beauty of matrimony, a promise made under the eyes of God. My sister and her new husband’s gaze continually focused on the cross. At the altar they declared their vow to be faithful and true in front of humanity and Divine. The two looked upon their new path not through a fantasy, but in front of reality. Struggles, difficulty and growth are in their future but through this knowledge and surrender to the Mystery there is hope and faith. Because only through Jesus, and His bride the Church, can we truly love.

– Colleen Pesci

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