I am back in Austin slowly getting settled back in and currently, working the front desk at the University Catholic Center for a wedding.
I always enjoy Catholic weddings. I’ve been to a couple of ceremonies conducted by the local Justice of the Peace, one marriage ceremony of a couple exchanging their vows within the Church after a few years of civil marriage. I’ve only been to one Catholic wedding where I knew either the bride or the groom (that’s right Andrea, it was your wedding!). Beyond that, I have been an altar server at some twenty or twenty-five weddings.
By far, the most rewarding position at the wedding would have to be either the priest or the server. While standing upon the altar, in my case holding the book for Fr. Koch, you can feel the love between the couple. This is the happiest moment, so far, of their lives. You can feel the love of God bathing them. They are, through the sacramental marriage, creating a union that mimics God himself. In my short life, I can’t say I have felt that in as powerful of a way as you can while standing a foot away from the couple when they recite their vows.
You can see that they are nervous. They are excited. They are even a little scared. You can see them calming each other down in way that probably only a few or perhaps only their groom/bride could do. In the hours before, as you prepare for the Mass and make sure all the vessels, liturgical books, et al., the groom and bride are rushing around. Everything has to be right. The flowers are late! Where is the ringbearer? Why isn’t Mom here yet? The stress of the wedding event that had been in the works for at least six months is coming to a head.
Once the procession ends and the groom steps off the altar to meet his bride, it fades away. It is such an awesome thing to see that happen, and believe me, in many cases it is quite visible.
Whether there is a crowd of 10 or a crowd of 1,000, once the bride and groom are together, three people remain. The bride, the groom and the priest. It is a little different for everyone but in many cases, you can just tell that all else is forgotten.
On a completely separate wedding note, the couple getting married today was smart. They wanted the service at University Catholic Center but parking is always a problem. So, they told their guests of a secondary parking lot far from campus and had a bus transport them to the Center. I thought it was a great idea.