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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love and Marriage: Charity and Holy Matrimony

This post, or "offering," comes from the lovely Jessica Love.   Ms. Love is engaged and living in Sacramento, CA with her fabulous fiancé, Jason.  In addition to being a public relations rock star, Ms. Love is a talented writer and I'm hoping to convince her to make guest posting a regular gig.  You can read more from Jessica at Girls on the Grid, where in her latest post, she shares a yummy recipe for two.  Here's her take on how she's giving back in an often overlooked, but traditional way:

  For some couples, weddings translate to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. My fiancé and I are one of those couples. When I imagined my wedding as a little girl, I always imagined it in a church.

My fiancé (Jason) and I were both raised Catholic, and want to raise our children Catholic as well. Throughout our planning process, our one constant has been our desire to have a traditional Catholic wedding.

This is not as simple as I thought it would be. At times the church aspect is frustrating: There is limited availability, ceremony times are set in stone, and we worry that our non-Catholic guests might be bored. It also requires extra driving between the ceremony and the reception, and it is difficult to line up the ceremony and reception times so that there’s not a gap between the two.  

Still, we wanted to stay true to our vision, and our faith. So we’ve booked our wedding at St. Francis Catholic church in midtown Sacramento. It’s a beautiful, old mission-style church. With its grand altar, religious imagery and striking stained glass, the church offers a setting that – I believe – will make our wedding ceremony especially sacred. 

Interior of St. Francis Church, Sacramento, CA

There is great beauty in the traditional religious ceremony. But beyond that, all fees associated with use of the church are essentially donations to the parish. At St. Francis, I know our donation goes to one of the 50-plus ministries that the church provides. Whether to support the affiliated parish elementary school, assist in the church’s breakfast ministry (each morning, parish volunteers serve breakfast to the homeless), or help with repairs for the church building, my family considers it money well spent.

Sure, we could have held our ceremony at the vineyard where our reception will be. It would have been easier and more convenient for guests, and would have allowed us the evening ceremony that we wanted. But when I walk down the aisle at 2:00 p.m. on June 25, 2011, I know that I’ll be fulfilling what is, for Jason and me, a sacrament. And I’ll know that our contribution will enable the church to continue offering that same sacrament for other couples for years to come. To me, that’s worth everything.
The happy couple, Jason and Jessica.

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