The Worst Wedding Ever

That is in terms of tardiness.

Some people seem to think that going to a Catholic wedding mass is more of a social event than a religious one. I thought today's wedding exemplified that.

When I arrived, the assigned lector was there and so were the mother-butlers. However, there were only a handful of wedding guests and wedding entourage inside the church. You'd think the whole afternoon in the church would be uneventful.

No Bride and No Bridesmaid

After five minutes, a few members in the groom's side have arrived and sat themselves at the farthest back pews. At three minutes before the wedding time, I announced that the wedding was about to start and for the entourage to be ready in the processional.

There was no movement at the back that would indicate a response. Nobody stood up to walk to the middle aisle. Actually, nobody stood up - period.

It was surreal. It was as though nobody spoke at the microphone for a call for action. There was simply no sense of urgency - at all.

The mother-butler approached to tell me the bride wasn't there. It appeared though that none of bride's cohorts (bridesmaids) were there either.

Call for Wedding to Start

A couple of minutes after the assigned wedding time, the bells were rang by the assistant. This signaled to me that the priest, Fr. Raul, was already there at the sacristy and ready to start with the wedding mass.

As usual, I started to give the introduction. The mother-butler waved to me, frantically, saying the bride has not yet arrived.

But what can I do? Fr. Raul is a stickler for time.

I've already been told by him over and over that we follow the call time - meaning, start the wedding strictly on time. And he's always there on or before the time.

So the processional march music started. But nobody was marching. Fr. Raul was waiting at the altar, but other than the few gentlemen already there, nobody was at the entourage for the procession.

Sense of Entitlement in Church

Ten minutes of waiting at the altar and nobody was marching, Fr. Raul feels he has had it.

He slowly exited toward the sacristy and removed his priestly garments. He was going back to his room.

Meanwhile, the mother-butlers were getting nervous. Twenty minutes after the time, a few more members of the entourage were just trickling in.

One guy was bringing his suit in a plastic bag, the bridesmaids were still bringing their gowns. Yes, twenty minutes after the scheduled wedding call time, they were just arriving and going to the church's restrooms to dress up!

Thirty minutes after the time, the bride appears. The bridesmaids meanwhile were still doing their last minute touch-ups or make-ups or whatever - inside the church.

But the priest is nowhere to be found. The mother-butlers have been asking the secretary to call Fr. Raul back for the wedding. I, however, had the feeling Fr. Raul isn't coming back just yet. A stickler for punctuality and coming on time, he was pissed-off - bigtime this time.

(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)