No Wedding Kiss for the Bride and Groom

A wedding without the kiss! Horrors! This is NOT what weddings are made of, I thought.

Today, I took my trusty bike on my usual route towards the parish church. This is for an afternoon wedding mass. I knew I was early (as I always am) when I left home. When I reached the the church, I noticed there was a formation of the wedding entourage at the church doors. Was I late? This struck me as odd, and I felt a bit tensed and nervous. I knew I still had a good 15 minutes before "call time", so why was the entourage all ready too march?

Late Commentator for the Wedding

As I rode my bike towards the sacristy at a now faster pace, I saw the officiating priest outside. The priest was at the parking lot giving blessings to a car (a newly bought one, I presume). At least I felt relieved that, nopes, the wedding hasn't started yet. I didn't want to be late. The wedding mass I skipped accidentally was still fresh in my mind.

I parked the bike at my usual spot and proceeded to prepare and orient the assigned mass readers. One lady mass reader, who was a part of the wedding entourage was wearing a gown showing the shoulders. Fortunately, she was able to procure a shawl. Maybe she already had one, but I didn't notice her wearing it when I gave the orientation. I didn't want her to be rejected by the mother butler because of improper dress as a mass reader.

Presentation of the Wedding Couple

The wedding mass went on without major hitches. At the conclusion of the marriage ceremony (or marriage rites), the officiating priest urged everyone to give the newlyweds a jubilant round of applause. I don't normally look at the newlyweds at this instances like this because I was more focused on what the priest is about to say or do. So, if the couple kissed at the end of the marriage ceremony after the homily, I wouldn't know. But there was certainly an applause.

The other part of the wedding mass where the officiating priest presents the newly-wedded couple is at the final blessing towards the end of the wedding mass. The final blessing of the couple is quite lengthy as the priest addresses and blesses both bride and groom. After introducing the newlyweds as "Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so", everybody clapped (naturally).

When is the Wedding Kiss?

As the applause was dying down, the priest called on the Best Man and Maid of Honor to assist the Bride and the Groom to come to the altar. At that point, I knew it's time for the signing of the marriage contract at the altar. Since all those attending were still standing, the priest said softly, "The wedding is finished."

That was my cue to announce everyone to take their seats as the couple signed the marriage contract. The signing will be followed by the pictorials and finally, the recessional of the entourage. And at that point, I'm ready to pack up and leave. Typically, the wedding coordinator or whoever is in charge of photography takes over the lectern and announces over the microphone the sequence of wedding pictorials.

Well, the wedding coordinator did come up to me at the lectern, but asked me, "When's the wedding kiss?" But I wasn't minding the couple nor the kiss, so I replied, "Didn't they kiss yet?" It seemed they haven't yet and all I could tell the wedding coordinator was that the priest calls the shots as far the wedding kiss is concerned.

I try to be a patient commentator during the wedding mass and avoid preempting the priest's own announcements - calls for applause and wedding kiss, included.

To the wedding coordinator's query, I just suggested that the wedding photographers "stage" their own wedding kiss shots for the Bride and Groom. After all, the wedding mass has ended and it's now time for the wedding photography to call the shots for the pictorial sessions.

Where is the Priest?

I was about to leave the sacristy when I realized I've not signed the commentator schedule sheet and so I turned to go back. Inside the sacristy, the officiating priest has just removed his garments and was now on his way out. "That was quick.", I thought. I went back to the lectern to get a pen and I saw the wedding coordinator there. She asked me where the priest was so he could join the pictorials.

Her jaw dropped when I said the priest was gone.

I don't know what the deal was, exactly. Did they want more pictures with the priest? Typically, an officiating wedding mass priest would just stay for two or three pictures and then leaves. But that's just my guess, because as commentator, I usually leave the church early. Was the priest just in a hurry to leave? Whatever it was, it left the photography crew quite disappointed.