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Welcome to The Secular Gospel According to Jess! In this blog you’ll find everything from cartoons that make me laugh, to quotes that inspire me, to stories of my own personal experience when it comes to dealing with religion and pretty much everything in between. The title of my blog is intended to be ironic, as one doesn’t often hear the word, “gospel”, associated with secularism, but my intent is to preach, for lack of a better word, what I think gospel should really be about: love, rationalism, fairness, equality, human rights, science and truth. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Catholic Weddings

A former colleague of mine got married over the weekend, and her husband's family is quite religious. The ceremony took place in a church, and although this was one of many Catholic weddings I've attended, I found myself feeling frustrated in a way I really hadn't been at other religious wedding ceremonies. The focus of the ceremony was not on my friend and her husband to be. The focus was on God. The ceremony lasted about an hour, maybe 10 minutes of which was centered around the actual bride and groom. I wished I could have heard more from his and her families, more from the bride and groom themselves...more about their journey to the altar, complete with advice from parents and friends who had been married before--not from a priest, who by Catholic law must never marry, who was simply reciting words from ancient texts as though these words were the "one size fits all" solution to what makes a happy marriage. There were so many times during the ceremony where I noted hypocrisy so clearly evident. While the priest spoke about the sacrament and unbreakable bond of marriage, both the groom and bride's parents, who were all divorced and remarried, looked on. I cannot imagine how they must have felt, being judged for "failing" to make their first marriages work. It made me sad, this generic approach to what is often one of the most important days of a person's life. I know that my own wedding will be replete with anecdotes and advice that are fitted specifically to me and my future husband, and that the uniqueness of the day and how my wedding ceremony will be different from anyone else's will be what really makes it stand out.

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