Extraordinary Beauty

From a marriage at which I was the photographer late last month:

Wedding in the Extraordinary Form - Consecration 2

It was a Wedding Mass done in the Extraordinary Form, and the whole ceremony was very solemn. Definitely not the kind of Mass that giddy multi-thousand-dollar-spending brides would love, but the kind of wedding someone who has a strong Eucharistic devotion would like!*

Instead of focusing on the marriage ceremony throughout the Mass, and having a lot of touchy-feely moments like a community candle (whatever you call it), the Mass starts with the marriage rite, then the bride and groom are led to the altar to kneel before the Lord during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The whole congregation is focused on the liturgy—the love feast of Heaven on Earth—and the focus is on the Eucharist.

One fact that I'm not sure most people know is that the bride and groom are themselves the ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage. The priest/deacon/whomever is simply a witness to this holy union.

View all the pictures from this set on Flickr.

(*Note: Don't take this post to mean that I'm some kind of anti-English-wedding-Mass nut. I'm just expounding the virtues of the extraordinary form rite of Marriage. I think that there are some excellent ideas in both forms... but all to often the focus of the Wedding Mass itself is completely lost on those for whom it should matter most: the groom and bride!).