Tuesday, 18 May 2010

40 days and 40 nights

that's all there is to go ... holy crap!**

Although thinking about it, when I give up chocolate for lent, forty days seems like ages.

And with that tenuous link I thought I'd mention a few things about our church wedding...

[our little church where we are getting wedded]

I've mentioned before that we're getting married in the little church in our local village in Italy and because I am a Catholic we can do the whole ceremony, including all the legal bits, right there in church on the day.*

The Deacon there has been so sweet and helpful and he found us an English speaking priest based nearby who would perform the service for us.

We were pretty nervous about meeting him. The service is after all the most important part of the whole shebang and the officiating priest can make a huge difference. For example, it’s up to him whether we have communion during the service or not (we really didn’t want it as it would make the service so long). We also had another unorthodox request - we really wanted my mother’s cousin, who is a priest and knows us both well, to have a part in the service, preferably doing the sermon. Thing is, he’s a Lutheran priest not RC. Would this priest be ok with that? I couldn’t see why not since it’s all the same God after-all, but you never know. Nick managed to convince himself that our guy would turn out to be a real fire and brimstone ‘you’re all going to hell’ kind of dude, would speak with a incomprehensible drawl and generally steamroll his way over everything ... and we had no alternative!

So yes, we were nervous about meeting him.

Father Brian turned out to be an Augustinian friar based in San Gimignano. Originally from Boston but living in Italy for nearly forty years, he has a really calm and easy going demeanour - we both immediately felt we were in the safest pair of hands. He loved the idea of Mama’s cousin being involved and gave us a pretty free reign with the order of service. And my parents liked him because he was an academic and chatted about history and architecture - as we left his Cloisters my mother said ‘never mind him being your priest, I want him as friend!’

So nerves all gone and sighs of relief sighed (or excited jumping up and down in my case.) And a bit of quirkiness for our guests: an American Catholic priest doing all the weird and wonderful bells and smells stuff we do, and a German Lutheran priest, with his funny ruff collar and a very personal homily.

So now we’ve chosen our readings and our readers. We’re doing traditional vows. We’ve chosen our entrance music. We've picked a few hymns which we need to narrow down to three. Just need to find some recessional music (all suggestions welcome!)

*(Unfortunately Italian state doesn't recognise weddings of other denominations hence most English people marrying in Italy have to do a registry office ceremony beforehand.)

**OK - now it's 39. I wrote this yesterday but didn't get around to publishing as something rather exciting happened yesterday. Will fill you in anon.


  1. Sounds lovely.

    Looking forward to seeing all about it; im being a bridesmaid for my friend in August in Siena.

    We had Hornpipe from the Water Music Suite by Handel to leave the church.

  2. What a lovely looking place. My whole family is Catholic (even though I'm not) so I know how much effort/emphasis is on the service! Glad your priest is on board with what you want to do :)

  3. Brilliant place to wed. Old churches and even from medieval times are one of the best place to wed.