Dearly Beloved

Went to Morristown, New Jersey for a wedding this weekend. One of Bryna’s (many) cousins got married at St. Mary’s Abbey, a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery. When your mother in law is the oldest of twelve(!) from a big Polish, Catholic family you go to a lot of family weddings.

Zack stayed in Briarcliff for a sleepover with his Aunt Liz and Uncle TJ and was spoiled rotten. Ben came with us and got to experience his first wedding. The worst part for Ben, besides watching the bride and groom kiss (“Gross!”), actually took place the week before the wedding. “What do you mean I have to wear dress shoes? What’s wrong with my sneakers?” Well, besides the fact that they used to be white and are now a sort of off-brown, nothing. Mercifully, it was Bryna who took him shoe shopping. They returned with what I’d basically call black sneakers. I assume some sort of compromise was at play.

But in the end, Ben looked smashing and it was nice to have him with us and let him be exposed to the sacrament of marriage for the first time. After the ceremony ended, while we were waiting on the receiving line, Ben did proudly point out the fact that he’d just untucked his shirt. His way of sticking it to the man (or mom) I guess.

One of the occupational hazards of being a man of the cloth and going to services led by others is that nagging sense of judgment. It’s a terrible thing — and it’s hard to enter into something prayerfully when you’re wondering why the priest is wearing/doing/saying that. Since my sabbatical earlier this year, I’ve gotten much better at this. But…nonetheless…did the priest really have to say to the groom, in lieu of “You may kiss the bride”…”If you don’t kiss her, I will.” What? Are you kidding me? Especially coming from a monk, that’s just creepy!

Okay, that’s all; I’m done. It really was a lovely service and I even introduced Ben to the priest after the service. It was nice to be able to introduce our Benedict to a Benedictine. He, of course, loved the name though I made sure to point out that he was named well before the current pope…


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