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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

February 16, 2016

Bridal chit-chat (20): Euro-weddings

evelyn @ 8:34 pm


Occasionally I’m asked to play at weddings for people from other European countries. Sometimes it is for a family from abroad who have settled in the parish. Or else it can be a ‘tourist wedding’ for which our historic town has been chosen, like the French one several years go.

On that occasion, when it came to the actual marriage liturgy, all the guests surged into the sanctuary and gathered closely round priest and couple, cameras and video recorders flashing and whirring away. Those who couldn’t get in front of the altar went round the back, until the sanctuary was full of them. Our then priest was obviously quite taken aback at the sudden rush but decided to keep things peaceful and not to send them packing. Whether this was a French custom, or whether they were just taking advantage, I wouldn’t know. And of course this rumbustious crowd may not have been typical. Maybe the blog’s French readers could enlighten us?

Then there was the Italian wedding. The flower arrangers spent the whole of the previous day filling the sanctuary to within an inch of its life with white flowers and absolute masses of greenery. And I mean ‘filling’. The floral arrangements climbed high towards the ceiling and as for floor space, there wasn’t much left at all. The priest they imported said a good deal of the Nuptial Mass in Italian, and I thanked the Lord for my knowledge of Spanish, which at least gave me the gist of things, more or less.

Our own priest’s face was a picture the next day, as he parted the fronds of the Amazonian jungle which his sanctuary had become in order to reach the altar and say Sunday Mass.

And then there was the Irish wedding. Ah, but that’s another story …

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