Photofinish Arrival by Priest at Wedding

It wasn't too very difficult getting a mass reader in today's wedding mass. Although initially I looked for the groom, I smarted up and simply asked the wedding coordinator. The wedding coordinator couldn't give me a name (no surprise there!) and promise she'll call someone.

That "someone" didn't appear and so I pressed the wedding coordinator to give me a mass reader immediately. She volunteered a young lady who, unfortunately, was wearing a short skirt. Our mass assistants consider above-the-knee skirts as short, and I didn't want to get an issue again on improper attire for mass readers, so I asked the wedding coordinator to pick another.

Finding a Suitable Mass Reader

Since I was standing among the lady sponsors who at that time were just milling at the church doors, I asked them who wanted to be the reader. Some were hesitant to become the mass reader. One sponsor claimed she had no eyeglasses and couldn't read.

Funny, when I was talking to the elderly sponsors, they were very solemn and so very respectful. Some even addressed me as "Father". When I clarified to them I wasn't a priest, they break out into an embarrassed smile. The solemness just magically disappear!

Finally, one lady sponsor volunteered. Bless her heart! It isn't every wedding where someone would actually step up to the plate without much cajoling. To me, that kind of attitude spells C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E. She wore a simple yet elegant dress. She and I went through with the brief orientation at the ambo with no problems. I even took her name so I would know whom to call or look for, just in case.

No Priest to Officiate the Wedding

It's time. And I can see the wedding entourage getting a bit restless. They've been lined up already by the mass assistants and were just waiting for the go signal - not really sure were it will come from. One of the lady sponsors, the one who claimed has no eyeglasses, raised her arm with a thumbs up "go signal" sign to me. I was at the commentator's lectern. She probably thought her signal was enough for me to start.

Then I learn that the officiating priest isn't even in the sacristy. The officiating priest wasn't even in the church! The mass assistant informed a brother who then called the priest. He said the priest would be in the church grounds in a few minutes. I don't know where the priest was coming from and so I asked if it was okay to go ahead and start? Or, (if the priest is still far) tell the entourage to be seated first?

I was asked by both brother and mass assistant to start.

As it turned out, it was a good call.

After I made the introduction, it was some time before the correct audio track for the processional march could be played. That part was already beyond me but at least it was buying time until the priest arrived. The processional march went at a steady clip. There were plenty of sponsors so it was quite long. Then the bridal march. The front church door was opened and the bridal march began.

Just then, through the church's side doors, I saw a van whizzed by. The brother confirmed to me that it was the officiating priest for the wedding mass.

I imagined the priest rushed through wearing his wedding mass garments at the sacristy. When the couple positioned themselves at their places, he was ready - just in time. He was smiling, but he was also sweating.

Lessons Learned

  • Write the Names of Couple

    This helps me in my script, just in case I momentarily forget the couples' names on the Marriage Contract. I write the groom's and bride's names on a piece of paper. Under it I write the surname of the groom. Why? Well, because sometimes, towards the end of the wedding mass, the priest would introduce the wedding couple saying "... and now, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. xxx" It certainly helps if I have it written down so I could shout the groom's surname or show it to the priest when he asks for it.

  • Not Being a Priest

    It isn't the first time that people have mistaken me to be a priest. Maybe it's my attire or maybe it's my respectable demeanor. Even on Sunday masses, folks mistake me to be a priest. It has its advantages. One time, a mass assistant asked me to tell the a preceding wedding party to leave because the wedding has gone on overtime. And she added, "since you look like a priest, anyway!" And, yes, the wedding party left!

    Another I noticed is that, as mentioned above, people seem to have a high regard when they see me - even wanting to shake my hand. I sometimes think they presume me to be a priest. When I tell them I'm not a priest, they utter a meek "oh." After that, I feel the high regard seem to vanish.

    Well, I don't pretend to be a priest. Whatever they assume, I'll just remain silent. I'll just do the tasks assigned to me as a wedding mass commentator. If they mistake me for one, it's no longer my problem.