Wedding Schedule Change Without Notice

The schedule for my wedding service today as commentator was 2 pm. I rushed to the church. I knew I was I was early. After all, I was there with 20 minutes to spare.

But then, there was nobody at the parking lot.

No Wedding Entourage at the Church

That was strange, as there ought to be some cars by now. But there there were no people at the church entrance doors either. The lights inside the church were turned off. There were no flowers or drapery at the aisles either.

Something's definitely amiss. Uh-oh, I thought. Not a screw-up again. A canceled wedding? Did I make a mistake in reading my schedule (not that it has happened before)?

Voice in the Church Sacristy

I went to the sacristy to check the wedding schedule to be sure. Inside the dark sacristy (yeah, lights were turned off too), I was startled when I heard someone from behind shout, "Damn, you're so early!"

It was my brother, Eron, the church help. "What happened?", I queried. He replied that the wedding is at 4 pm. That can't be, I thought. But then a quick check at the commentator's wedding board showed just that - 4 pm. But the "4 pm" was simply handwritten on top of a previous call time that looked like "2 pm" (2 pm is what I have on my own schedule).

Something's not right and someone has got some explaining to do, I thought, and immediately went to the church office.

Inefficiency in the Church Office

I was fuming when the secretary couldn't give a coherent answer. She insisted that it wasn't changed at all and showed me the wedding schedule at THEIR office. There was a bit of buck-passing and heated discourse. Long story short, she claimed ignorance as to why my schedule was wrong.

Pissed off, I told her I just wasted my time and could no longer go home because the wait time for the real schedule at 4 pm was short. It was too hot to go back home and then return at 4 pm, anyway.

I stormed out of the office and proceeded to my lectern to sit and rest. Eron and I discussed all these ridiculous screw-ups that have become commonplace for us lectors and commentators. Like, how is it that the choir and the mother-butlers knew of the schedule, and I, the commentator, didn't?

I heard from Eron that the mother-butler's schedule on THEIR board was correct and probably relayed the correct info to the choir leader. That is why the mother-butlers as well as the choir were not still there at 2 pm.

Investigating the Church Practice on Weddings

Fifteen more minutes into the discussion, the secretary with Fr. Walter came to us. Eron quickly dashed away. Fr. Walter asked me what was wrong, apparently alarmed after the secretary mentioned our heated argument.

I showed them OUR (commentators') copy of the wedding schedule and asked why there was a handwritten correction, while that of the mother-butlers' was correctly printed. They said that, apparently, the schedule was updated. But neither could say who manually changed it on our schedule.

Neither could they explain why NO ONE even bothered to tell our group's coordinator. Just a simple phone call to her and she would've been able to relay it to whoever was the affected commentator.

The saddest part is the secretary didn't even know who our coordinator was. And she just left it at that. Fr. Walter was apologetic and promised that the issue will be investigated especially on matters regarding wedding changes and coordination.

It was already difficult to get volunteers to work on weekday weddings, as it is. The least that I was expecting was some modicum of professionalism from these people who ARE paid.

Anyway, we'll see how that "investigation" will go about. But I'm not holding my breath. After that unannounced wedding cancellation as well as the time when another lector took over my scheduled service, I've just about had it.

This coming December, there would be plenty of weddings again. Too many, in fact, that many of them will spill over to the weekdays since the Saturdays of December won't accommodate them all.

December is a busy month for me. The early morning Simbang Gabi Novena schedules will definitely take their toll too. A couple of years back, I even missed a wedding as commentator. So this time around, especially in view of the recent wedding screw-ups, I'll be begging off from all wedding services in December.