Is it normal for the Episcopal Church to just hand out marriages? I recognize the need for Pre-Caana classes, especially the way things are today with divorce.
Here’s some background. My buddy Brian was engaged to be married to Lauren, last August, they got into an argument and broke off the engagement. Laur gave back the ring. Even though I’ve known Brian since second grade, and he is one of my best friends, I’ll admit, he’s a hard headed knuckle head and the problems were mostly his fault. A few weeks after the engagement, Brian was on leave (he’s in the Army) and he knocked up another girl. Laur was crushed, but she still had a spot in her heart for Brian. They are both Catholic, Laur teaches at a Cath all girls school, and Brian comes from a very Italian family.
Anyway, 3 weeks ago, Brian called me and asks me to go to his wedding…that took place 2 nights ago. My head was spinning, I couldn’t understand it, nor could any of his family or friends. He barely knew this girl, and we all new he didn’t love her and he was just doing this because he thought it would be the “right thing to do”. I asked him to reconsider many times and to think about what he’s doing, once again, he’s very hard-headed. I explained how he could support her and his child, build a relationship…and then maybe down the road, marry her when they know eachother better. He didn’t listen to any of our pleas. But since we are his friends, we smiled and supported him, but we were honest with him. His big thing was to be married before the baby was born…at the wedding, his bride was almost bursting…a very classy picture…shotgun wedding anyone?
Since this was on such short notice, a Catholic Church would not do the ceremony…for obvious reasons. They had to go Episcopal (I think she was Episcopalian). I arrived with my friends and sat on the groom’s side, everyone was very well dressed, men in expensive, dark suits, the women in gowns or dresses…many wore the expression of disagreement or even confusion at this hastily thrown together wedding. Her side was a bit different, most had on wrinkly jeans, sweat-shirts, and some even had t-shirts, maybe 2 men had on a tie, no jackets or suits to be seen.
The ceremony started with the Episcopal priest giving a “briefing” of what would occur. For the benefit of Brian’s heavily Catholic family he said that if one closed his eyes, and listened, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a ceremony at this church from one at a Catholic Church :rolleyes: . He also said how he used to be a Catholic priest, but “Roamed from Rome”, started a family, and this is where he wound up. So only my friends could hear, I coughed the word, quitter.
Anyway, the service went on, the couple looked outta place. The loving glances usually exchanged between bride and groom were a bit lacking. Brian looked unhappy, his family looked confused, the bride looked like she was about to go into labor. The priest asked if anyone objected to the marriage…I saw a few elbows nudging…
After the wedding, the “reception” had hoagies and a few 30 packs of bud. It seemed like a good amount of Brian’s family left. As I was eating potato chips out of the paper plate, Brian’s dad, Vito came over to us and asked…“What the hell happened?” Why is he doing this?"…We couldn’t answer, as the whole thing was just so surreal. It was like attending a friend’s funeral, not a wedding. The bride and groom were with eachother no longer than 5 minutes at a time at the “reception”, usually when one sat down, the other got up. It’s a sad thing to say, but people were taking bets on the duration of this marriage.
Anyway, sorry to rant. Here’s my main question, is it common for Epicopal churches to do this? Only a dimwit couldn’t see the reason these two, almost strangers were getting married. How could this priest agree to do the ceremony? Sorry, my head is still spinning…