Black velvet “Reserved” signs drape over their back of the first two pews, with their gold fringe hanging down. Not that unusual for weekday mass. We often celebrate silver or golden wedding anniversaries among our aging parishioners. But usually there aren’t young children.
A dozen or so people I normally don’t see at daily mass arrange themselves in these two pews and spilled over to the third row. After the Liturgy of the Word, Fr. Joseph calls a young couple to the altar for their wedding vows. A 5- or 6-year old daughter clings to her mother as she stands at facing her husband. Two witnesses complete the wedding party with friends and relatives caring for the toddler daughter in the front pews.
Fr. Joseph gives them the full treatment — the entire wedding ceremony, complete with vows, blessing of rings, a quick husband-and-wife kiss, and an introduction to the congregation. We applaud. The bride smiles so big her shoulders rise to her ears.