Our wedding list included almost everyone that had ever been close to me or my family–and I’ve lived my entire life in the same community, so you can imagine, the list was pretty big. Over 300 people came to our Wedding Mass and reception–and I’m sure more than 60% of that crowd was made up of kids.
I’m from the Midwest (or technically, as I learned in a geography class in college, the “Great Plains”…), and I actually wasn’t aware until I was an adult that some people don’t invite kids to weddings.
I clearly remember a summer in the ’90s when we had three big Catholic weddings in one year. I was about 10-years-old, and those Masses blew me away. So beautiful, so prayerful, so loving. The parties were fun too–no one parties like little kids. Those three couples that got married that year have over 20 kids between them now, so they’re still no stranger to the commotion of kids.
Perhaps it’s something about the Midwest that we just have big parties open to all ages (for instance, rehearsal dinners are often a barbecue in someone’s backyard with all the extended family participating, and our ancestors always had barn-raising parties, so it’s in our blood…).
But perhaps I was blessed to be surrounded by a Catholic community and culture where even the young people were starting out their marriages with a total openness to life and all that it brings. How much did that influence my own vocation and my own calling to marriage?
In the words of one seminarian (now deacon) that attended our wedding:
“If every wedding was like that, there’d be no more deacons or priests…”
Yes! Let our living of the married vocation be truly a sacrament and a vocation that attracts others to holiness!