Wedding or Matrimony-A A +A
As I See It
Saturday, February 23, 2013
“2013 in 2013” was really a record-breaking mass wedding officiated by Mayor Bing Leonardia. Mayor Bing said, “This is totally amazing. This has not happened before in Bacolod, province and in the Philippines.” This is just happening now!
I just don’t know if the Catholic Church and the other churches have also their amazing comments. It is our common understanding that when we say matrimony, we mean marriage as a Christian sacrament. Wedding is a ceremony of marriage with its accompanying festivities. Mayors, judges or the captains of the ships (in case of emergency) can perform weddings. Priests, pastors and ministers of churches solemnize marriage. Both acts of binding the hearts of two consenting adults (male and female) are legal. Their children are legitimate.
“2013 in 2013” is alarming. If the same scenario happened also in other places in the Philippines, then we can conclude that the churches, especially the dominant church, are not able to let their followers understand the significance of marriage. Why should unmarried couples wait for the mayor’s mass wedding? The reason could be personal, but oftentimes we hear, “Church wedding has more requirements and the dominant Church marriage is expensive.”
I just don’t know if how things in the world are but it cannot be denied that there is ‘ordinary marriage’ and ‘special marriage’. Probably the menu book on marriage is what scares the would-be husband and wife. I was once scared… but I made my own menu. That was not that expensive but delicious. Fr. Boy Tan can attest to that.
Marriage or wedding should always end in building a happy home, a fulfilled family circle, and a union not just of the egg cell and the sperm cell but a fusion of two souls ready to undertake a dramatic journey through life. The Catholic Church has always called marriage a sacred sacrament that should not be violated and refuses to allow divorce. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a sacrament is a religious ceremony or act of the Christian Churches regarded as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace.
My catechism teacher in Grade III told me that Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of matrimony. When I was in third year high school at St. Joseph Academy, my Church History book said that people of all religions before Christ have long practiced marriage. Marriage was not exalted like Baptism and Eucharist until the 12th century. The Council of Trent emphasized matrimony in 1563. “If anyone says that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Christ our Lord, but was invented by men in the Church and does not confer grace, let him be anathema.”
I believe that this was the stand of the Church as a total rejection of Martin Luther and John Calvin who did not agree that marriage is a sacrament but a human contract under the jurisdiction of a civil authority. My favorite ‘marriage story’ was that of Jacqueline Kennedy (wife of the late President John F. Kennedy and a Roman Catholic) and Aristotle Onassis(a Greek Orthodox and a divorcee). The Roman Rota (Church’s supreme marriage tribunal) decided that Jacqueline’s case was unique and she was not given automatic excommunication for marrying a non-Catholic.
Our Catholic Church has a stand of not allowing Catholics to marry non-Catholics. An icon like Jacqueline was an exception. It’s fun! After all, marriage is not made in heaven.
I like what W. Secher said, “Husband and wife should be like two candles burning together, which makes the house lightsome; or like two fragrant flowers bound up in bouquet, that augment its sweetness; or like two-well tuned instruments, which, sounding together, make the more melodious music. You should be like two springs meeting and joining the streams to make one current.”
My own marriage is far from perfect and I am not asking my wife to be the best partner but I tried myself to be the best partner by being the right person to a partner who longs for partnership that is beyond fun. Excuse me but I always look forward to a love triangle… my wife, my God and I.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 23, 2013.