Amoris Laetitia 212: Liturgy Preparation

amoris laetitia memeIn my experience, many couples are genuinely concerned about the preparation of their wedding liturgy. I approve of the Holy Father’s terminology here: not planning, but preparation. The notion is that we are not just amassing supplies and instructing people in their roles, but we are allowing a preparation mindset that opens us to the possibilities inherent in good ritual.

212. Short-term preparations for marriage tend to be concentrated on invitations, clothes, the party and any number of other details that tend to drain not only the budget but energy and joy as well. The spouses come to the wedding ceremony exhausted and harried, rather than focused and ready for the great step that they are about to take. The same kind of preoccupation with a big celebration also affects certain de facto unions; because of the expenses involved, the couple, instead of being concerned above all with their love and solemnizing it in the presence of others, never get married. Here let me say a word to fiancés. Have the courage to be different. Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a society of consumption and empty appearances. What is important is the love you share, strengthened and sanctified by grace. You are capable of opting for a more modest and simple celebration in which love takes precedence over everything else. Pastoral workers and the entire community can help make this priority the norm rather than the exception.

If parishes do not make good liturgy a norm, how would we expect couples to divert focus from being the same as anyone else?

For your reference Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 212: Liturgy Preparation

  1. Devin Rice says:

    The focus of this paragraph appears to be the wedding reception (which is usually the event that requires the most in terms of preparation, stress and money) and not the liturgy. It is also the area where pastoral workers have less of a say than the rites themselves. Have you found a way to counsel couples to have more modest celebrations?

    On a different note, men in my geographic area are starting to purchase suits for their wedding that can be worn again. I know of very few women who do so with dresses. But if I remember correctly that this was the norm of the middle class around the late 19th and early 20th century.

  2. Todd says:

    The last couple I worked with had the reception in the church hall. That wasn’t uncommon at the student center, though many opted for on-campus facilities. I suppose I feel more conflicted about the more gross reception customs, like the one with the garter which I haven’t seen in some time.

    As for wedding clothing, yes: the trend is definitely away from tuxes and rentals, though not entirely. The only reason I don’t wear my wedding suit is that I have more stylish suits now. Double-breasted suits are somewhat out of fashion now. But I wear my wedding tie on special occasions. My wife always notices.

    Wedding dresses seem to be of a feather with baptismal gowns, and wedding crowns. Some wedding dresses get passed to daughters. My wife made hers, but she says she would have spared herself the trouble if she found something on the rack at a department store. I don’t recall seeing many white dresses at Penney’s.

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