Blurry Pictures of the Main Event
(Hopefully, I'll get some better ones to share at some point...)
Nicole's bridesmaids were her sister, Beth (second from right), her friends Cassie and Ariana (far left), and our old friend (who became Nicole's good friend, too), Alena (third from right). Her oldest and dearest friend, Brooke (far right) was her Maid of Honor.
Paul's Groomsmen were his two brothers, Jon and Dominic, one old friend from his childhood, Luke (third from the right), and one new friend from college, Ryan (far right).On his immediate right is his Man of Honor, his brother, Kevin.
Its not being a part of a Nuptial Mass, the ceremony was over in a wink. I still can't believe it. One minute Dan and I were being ushered into our seats in the front pew, near Dan's parents and my parents. And, then, in a blurr, all the boys were there in front of us, lined up this side of the Communion rail: Kevvy, so broad-shouldered, looking so relaxed; Jon, so attentive, tending to our little ring-bearer, Gabe, next to him; our good friend, Luke, whom the boys have known all their lives; our Dominicky, such a tall little brother, uncharacteristically un-jovial, Ryan, one of Paul's college friends that everyone adopted immediately into the family... Little Gabey so solemn and collected; I was so proud of him standing there with his big brothers -+- So proud of them all, I struggled to hold back the tears... I mean, for heaven's sake, the Bride hadn't even arrived yet! -+- Before I knew it, though, the beautiful bridesmaids were processing and lining up opposite the boys -+- Everyone was smiling so broadly, not a misstep was made, (though the girls had worried so much about slipping or tripping) -+- Then our three little girls, Theresa, Cathy, and Anna, slipped down the aisle, their hands folded like little angels, sweet little junior bridesmaids -+- Anna, though, caught her Aunt's eye, and (being Anna), smiled sweetly, and purposefully at her Aunt's camera, waiting, waiting, waiting for the flash... And, paying no attention to where she was going, she almost walked into the side of the front pew where I was sitting, until I put my hand out and directed her back out into action. -+- Sweet little Allie, the flower girl, walked in next, close to her Mommy, Nicole's sister, Beth. She dutifully scattered her bright atumn leaves and rose petals -+- scarlet and yellow -+- and when she happened past her family in the pews, she piped up, as casually as if it were all an everyday affair: "Hi, Daddy!" -+- Everyone laughed -+- At some point the music changed, and it was all such a blurr, that I cannot now tell you what it changed from and to -+- And all eyes turn to the back of the church -+- There was Nicole, prettier than a princess, smiling her beautiful, beautiful smile -+- She was the radiant bride you hear tell about -+- Next to her Daddy, so solemn and handsome beside her -+- (She looks so much like her Dad!) -+- And in what seemed like an instant and what seemed like twenty-two years, Nicole was down the aisle, and passing in front of me -+- I glanced across the aisle to Nicole's Mom, whose teary eye caught my teary eye. -+- We gave each other a thumb's up -+- And turning forward, there was the whole group in the front of the Church -+- All the groomsmen and bridesmaides looking on, Father and the altar server, standing in front, Paul waiting nearby as Nicole approached on her Dad's arm -+- Such a soft, dear look on Paul's face as he watched his bride come near to the altar -+- Nicole's Dad looked Paul right in the eye, then, and shook his hand, and put Nicole's hand in Paul's -+- They (Paul and Nicole) looked at each other and smiled, then turned to step up on the step of the altar near Father -+- Father smiled his trademark smile, and we could see that he was saying something privately to Paul and Nicole -+- And then, the ceremony began...
First, Father gave a wonderful, short talk about the responsibilities of the married life and the necessity and joy of self sacrifice in a successful union. He reminded them that God is the Third Party in a Catholic marriage. And, I'm sure there was more, of course, and it was all perfect. Then, he proceeded with the vows, as such:
(Or a close approximation, thereof...)
The Rite of Marriage
The bride and groom stand before the priest, just outside the sanctuary. The groom stands on the Epistle side of the church (the right from the point of view of the congregation), and the bride stands on the Gospel side. The priest then asks the following question of the groom:
Father G.: Wilt thou take N., here present, for thy lawful wife, according to the rite of our holy Mother the Church?
Paul: I will
Then the priest asks the bride:
Father G.: Wilt thou take Paul, here present, for thy lawful husband, according to the rite of our holy Mother the Church?
Nicole: I will.
Having obtained their mutual consent, the priest asks the man and the woman join their right hands. Then they pledge themselves each to the other as follows, repeating the words after the priest. The man begins:
I, Paul Davis, take thee, Nicole B, for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
The woman follows:
I, Nicole, take thee, Paul Davis, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
The priest then says:
I join you together in marriage, in the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.Ego conjugo vos in matrimonium, in nomine Patris, + et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
The priest sprinkles the couple with Holy Water. Then he blesses the bride's ring, saying:
V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord. V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Who made heaven and earth.R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
V. The Lord be with you.V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. And with Thy spirit.R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Let us pray. Bless, + O Lord, this ring, which we bless + in Thy name, that she who shall wear it, keeping true faith unto her spouse, may abide in Thy peace and in obedience to Thy will, and ever live in mutual love. Through Christ our Lord.R. Amen.
Then the priest sprinkles the ring (which is considered a sacramental) with holy water in the form of a cross; and the bridegroom, having received the ring from the hand of the priest, places it on the third finger of the left hand of the bride, saying the following:
With this ring I thee wed and I plight unto thee my troth. ( Paul and Nicole both exchanged rings, one with another, though, I don't think these words are the exact translation they used...)
Then the priest says:In the name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.In nomine Patris, + et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
This done, the priest says:
V. Confirm, O God, that which Thou hast wrought in us. V. Confirma hoc, Deus, qod operatus es in nobis.
R. From Thy holy temple, which is in Jerusalem. R. A templo sancto tuo quod est in Jerusalem.
V. Lord, have mercy. V. Kyrie eleison.
R. Christ, have mercy. R. Christe eleison.
V. Lord, have mercy. V. Kyrie eleison.
Our Father, etc. (inaudibly). Pater noster (secreto).
V. And lead us not into temptation. V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. But deliver us from evil. R. Sed libera nos a malo.
V. Save Thy servants. V. Salvos fac servos tuos.
R. Who hope in Thee, O my God. R. Deus meus, sperantes in te.
V. Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place.V. Mitte eis, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
R. And defend them out of Sion.R. Et de Sion tuere eos.
V. Be unto them, Lord, a tower of strength.V. Esto eis, Domine, turris fortitudinis.
R.: A facie inimici.R. From the face of the enemy.
V. Domine exaudi orationem meam.V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
.V. The Lord be with you.V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. And with Thy spirit.R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Let us pray.
Look down with favor, O Lod, we beseech Thee, upon these Thy servants, and graciously protect this, Thine ordinance, whereby Thou hast provided for the propagation of mankind; that they who are joined together by Thy authority may be preserved by Thy help; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then Father shook Paul's and Nicole's hands and motioned them onward with outspread palms.
And, in a flash, they were gone down the aisle. All smiles, and a blur of black and white, scarlet and yellow. Cameras flashing all around them like paparazzi.
It's no wonder all our pictures came out blurry; the whole wedding seemed to happen at the speed of light. Zip, zip, zip, zip, and all the bridesmaids and groomsmen were down the aisle. And the ushers were standing near our pew reminding us that it was our turn to exit. Holy cow! Already?
* During the vows, I couldn't help but be touched at how Nicole and Paul held hands, stroking one another's fingers, almost imperceptibly. Nicole told me later, though, that she was trying to poke Paul with her fingernails at the first words of the vows to get him to look at her instead of at Father. I guess it worked, because he did turn his head.
* She also told me that the personal advice that Father gave when she and Paul first stepped up next to them was something to the effect of: Watch out, you guys, don't step backwards or you'll fall off the step.
* The three junior bridesmaids and Gabe, the ring bearer, were instructed during the rehearsal the day before the wedding to walk around and sit in the front pew after they had done their "things." Unfortunately, though, with three grown up pairs of fannies in the front pew (Dan and me and two sets of grandparents), their four little bodies did not even come close to fitting. (What were we thinking when we told them to do that?) They apparently found places to squoosh in somewhere in the front pew area, but I still don't know exactly where they sat. If they made a rustle or fuss, though, I didn't hear it. But I think I was otherwise distracted.
* Speaking of the three junior bridesmaides... Remember all the trouble I went to to make their three little wreath/veil/hat thingies? Well, when all was said and done, and I had packed the car, checked my list, and checked it twice... I forgot them at home. Thankfully, Dan had time to go back and get them and return in time for the girls to have them for the official wedding photos before the wedding.
* Then, after the wedding, the girls took off their little wreath/veil/hat thingies and left them in Dan's parents' rental car. I'm not sure where they are now...
* We had the worst dickens of a time, too, with the men's boutonniers. I had given them very little thought, I have to admit, concentrating all my worries before the wedding on getting the altar arrangements and the girls' bouquets just right. Little did I realize what a pain in the neck they were going to be, though, or I'd have given them a lot more thought. Though the yellow and red roses we used were fresh and lovely, the stems turned out to be particularly brittle, and two or three of them snapped when we tried to pin them on. There was a lot of pinning and re-pinning of boutonniers. I fully expected one of them to pop off during the ceremony, but "Thank-you, God! none of them did. It was all good. The girls' bouquets held together, too.
* The whole wedding, start to finish, took less than an hour. Maybe even closer to a half hour.
* The rumor is that, after Nicole processed out of the church with Paul after the wedding, as soon as she got into the vestibule, she threw her arms in the air and exclaimed: "Now Let's Party!" But, I don't know if I believe that or not... &;o)
Next Installment: The Reception