Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Beautiful Catholic Wedding

While Sarah and Daniel are on their honeymoon, this blog entry is co-written by Caroline, Sarah’s roommate/friend/coworker, and Leeanna, Sarah’s friend/coworker. Most of this entry is written from their joint perspective, with individual observations as noted.

Sarah and Daniel’s wedding day was absolutely beautiful, and even the weather held up when it needed to. Every piece of the ceremony made clear what is important to this couple…not only that they love each other, but that this love is rooted in faith. It was evident by their beaming smiles that Sarah and Daniel knew the significance of the sacrament they conferred on one another, and were receiving the graces necessary to start their new life together.

Caroline: I can’t say for sure about Daniel, he may not have been as nervous or he may have been hiding it to help Sarah, but Sarah was definitely anxious/nervous the night before the wedding! However, I think that her bridesmaids and I, a “groomsmaid,” helped to calm her down at least a little bit. Despite her nervousness, which continued as she walked down the aisle, once she was beside Daniel it all seemed to disappear. Both of them were so happy, and you could see it in the way they looked at each other throughout the entire day.

Leeanna: The first time I saw Sarah on Saturday was as she walked down the aisle. She looked very nervous…not because of what she was about to do, but because all eyes in the church were on her! (Sarah is not someone who likes to be the center of attention.) From the moment she reached Daniel’s side, however, the nervous look was replaced with a confident smile.

Both: The most striking moment of the ceremony was when Sarah and Daniel said their vows. As Sarah has mentioned, she and Daniel memorized their vows instead of repeating them after the priest. They both spoke the words so loudly, clearly, and confidently. We didn’t realize that this seemingly small touch would have such an impact, but it allowed them to speak “till death do us part” directly to one another – making clear how genuine their words were.

Father Rick, who said the Mass, has known Sarah and Daniel since they were in college. Because he knows them so well, he was able to speak from personal experience about how supportive they are of one another and how willingly they have dedicated their lives to one another since they started dating. He talked about an understanding of “all the days of my life” and how hard it is to picture all of “those days” from the wedding day. He encouraged the newly married couple to think God’s time when days are tough.

It was beautiful to see Sarah and Daniel’s strong Catholic faith as they presented the gifts of bread and wine to the altar, then later received Communion for the first time as husband and wife. The sacraments of matrimony and Holy Eucharist were intertwined so that the couple’s love pointed to the love of Christ. As Christ offers his body and blood for the Church, Sarah and Daniel offer their lives to one another. The prayers offered by the congregation, priests, and all of you during that Mass will certainly assist this faithful couple throughout married life.

We’ve heard for the past few months, through her blog, how much Sarah cares for Daniel. We work/live with Sarah so we often hear about her love for him. Something that was evident during the ceremony and reception was how much Daniel CHERISHES Sarah. During their first dance, he twirled her around the dance floor, then held her close and sang in her ear. He looked at her with so much love and a huge, boyish grin.

Caroline: In fact a few of our friends told me they had never seen Daniel so incredibly happy, smiley, and so completely filled with joy.

Both: We think everyone at that wedding and reception could see that Sarah will be safe and treasured with Daniel for the rest of her life.

Of course, the day was complete with memorable quirky moments. For example, Sarah’s youngest brother, who is not yet two, screamed through most of the ceremony. As such, he spent most of his time in the back room! Her other little brother, age 8, was the ring bearer. His facial expression was an attempt to hold back smiles as his eyes looked back and forth at everyone watching him walk down the aisle. Her four sisters were also involved as the flower girl, “bridesmaidens,” and the maid of honor, and it was great that they were all a part of the big day!

All we know since the wedding is that Sarah and Daniel arrived safely in Florida. She will be back next week to fill you in! As our last duty as bloggers, we’ll leave you this prayer of blessing for Sarah and Daniel that was prayed during the ceremony.

Nuptial Blessing

Father, by your power you have made everything out of nothing.
In the beginning you created the universe
and made mankind in your own likeness.

You gave man the constant help of woman
so that man and woman should no longer be two, but one flesh,
and you teach us that what you have united
may never be divided.

Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery
that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church.

Father, by your plan man and woman are united,
and married life has been established
as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away by the flood.

Look with love upon this woman, your daughter,
now joined to her husband in marriage.
She asks your blessing.
Give her the grace of love and peace.
May she always follow the example of the holy women
whose praises are sung in the scriptures.

May her husband put his trust in her
and recognize that she is his equal
and the heir with him to the life of grace.
May he always honor her and love her
as Christ loves his bride, the Church.

Father, keep them always true to your commandments.
Keep them faithful in marriage
and let them be living examples of Christian life.
Give them the strength which comes from the gospel
so that they may be witnesses of Christ to others.
Bless them with children and help them to be good parents.
May they live to see their children’s children.
And, after a happy old age,
grant them fullness of life with the saints
in the kingdom of heaven.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Michael said...

It was indeed a beautiful ceremony! It was refreshing to be at a good Catholic wedding where you can tell the couple put the emphasis on the sacrament as opposed to the reception. It was very apparent that Sarah and Daniel chose each part of the mass, each song, perfectly to match their intentions and relationship. Plus, they had an awesome buffet! Always a plus. Sarah and Daniel, may God bless you infinitely in your new union!

Anonymous said...

Sarah & Daniel,

Congratulations on your wedding!! I stumbled upon your blog and I'm glad I did - you have my prayers and support. Sarah, Daniel is a lucky and blessed man, it was a joy working with you and I'm very happy for the two of you. Be assured of my prayers and best wishes. It's unfortunate that your honeymoon didn't bring you to the Inner Passage and the beautiful land of the Southeast of Alaska. Let's be in touch.

With Prayers,
Most Rev. Edward J. Burns
Bishop of Juneau

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Sarah and Daniel! May you have a long and happy life together. I feel that since the emphasis of your life together is focused on Jesus Christ I know your marriage will be a success. Hopefully you or your friends will post additional photos - you looked beautiful (both of you). I look forward to reading about your life together - I am glad that you are continuing the blog.


Jay said...

Thanks for the update and guest blogging! We were a little soggy in Florida this week but I'm sure it was still a great honeymoon and vacation to start a marriage! God bless the couple and marriage!

Anonymous said...


(is that an okay comment?)

Yay, yay, yay!

Christina said...

What a great account! Sarah, you look absolutely stunning! So glad you have married this man who cherishes you so.

Anonymous said...

May God bless your marriage and life together!

PS- I love the veil, Sarah! You look beautiful!

Catholicgauzette said...

Such a wonderful nuptial blessing!

Congratulations on your Sacrament of Marriage!