Well I'm back from the wedding, and thank you so much for the encouraging comments on my homily. Had I known that bride, groom, parents and wedding party would be standing up through the whole thing, I would have cut it in half.
So, it's true. I have very mixed feelings about this wedding I just went to. On the one hand, I'm very grateful for the opportunity to preach and serve a couple who were real good friends to me in the discernment years before I entered the Order.
On the other hand, the ceremony itself bugged me. First of all, there wasn't much to it; if it hadn't been for me preaching for eight minutes, it would have been over in fifteen, shorter than daily Mass on a hot day in Ordinary Time. It was in a protestant church to which neither bride nor groom had any relationship before or, as far as I can tell, plan to have in the future. There was pretty organ music to accompany movement, but no singing. There was no dialogue with or response by the assembly.
It was as if I went to a civil wedding that had been dressed up with a church building and the occasional pronunciation of the Lord's name. As the recessional was winding up, I was standing in the front of the church with the minister, and I told him that I hardly felt as if I'd been to church. He said he knew what I meant, but that it was business.
Part of me wants to call the whole thing a sacrilege, but I don't think it ascended to that level of intentionality.
I have to admit that the reception was fun. I was seated with a friend of the bride who was the last girl I ever dated (briefly) before entering the Order. It was fun to see someone I remembered as a party girl sitting there with a husband and two little kids. Even better was that she didn't seem at all surprised by my current state.