A Wedding Story

This essay was written by Alexandra, 31, who is originally from Los Angeles. Her husband Christopher, 31, is an architect from Medford, New Jersey. Alexandra tells the unlikely story of her discovery of the Faith and its traditions, and how she fell in love and married her Christopher in an astonishingly beautiful historic Catholic church, … Read more

A Catholic Quinceañera for Trinity

by Donna Sue Berry It’s not a Sacrament, though it always includes a Mass. The Mexican Quinceañera (variously called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de quinceañera, quince años, quinceañera or simply quince in Latin American countries and ex-patriate communities) is a ‘coming of age’ ceremony. The origins of Quinceañera are variously credited to the Aztec … Read more

Something Old, Something Borrowed

A New Life for Your Old Wedding Dress

by Sylvana Budesheim

With the popularity of shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” it is clear that a major focal point of today’s wedding is the gown. Brides spend copious amounts of time, effort and money finding the ‘perfect’ gown,  appropriate for the time of day and year, the location, and the bride herself.

It is almost amusing to see how so much can go into an article of clothing which will only be used once.

Brides spend copious amounts of time, effort and money finding the ‘perfect’ gown.

The Problem of the Traditional Option

What to do with that ornate—and expensive—wedding gown once the ceremony and reception have passed? Dry cleaners suggest that brides have dresses cleaned and preserved, so the silk, organza, and tulle don’t yellow and any cake frosting or stray makeup is carefully removed.

There is also the chance that the properly preserved dress will make another appearance in due time, on a bride’s female relative in the next generation; a daughter, a niece, or perhaps a god-daughter.

Unfortunately, since there is no guarantee that size or style are hereditary, many a preserved wedding dress is left to languish in the box.

Unfortunately, since there is no guarantee that size or style are hereditary, many a preserved wedding dress is left to languish in the box.

Trashing — Or Looking to the Future?

Popular society has embraced the nihilistic trend of wedding gown trashing, with photographers documenting the gown’s burning or shredding.

Thankfully, there is a kinder option, especially for those brides who look forward to motherhood with joy and longing. Today, there are seamstresses who specialize in cutting wedding gowns into beautiful and ornate baptismal gowns, thereby extending the Sacraments of the Church into the next generation.

Popular society has embraced the nihilistic trend of wedding gown trashing, with photographers documenting the gown’s burning or shredding.

Other brides will carry a handkerchief as their “something old,” a reference to the old anonymous poem about what will bring good luck to a bride. The handkerchief is something of the bygone era for the most part, but some are especially made with a dual purpose. With a few stitches, the handkerchief becomes a bonnet for the new baby to wear with their baptismal gown.

Your wedding gown is more than a pretty dress. Understood properly, and in the right hands, it can become a window to the past, or a treasured gift for the future.

This bride, confident that her daughters would be much too tall to have inherited her dress, made the decision to turn it into a baptismal gown.

A former teacher, Sylvana Budesheim uses her Education degrees to ensure her four children are always grammatically correct and help the occasional student file a better college application essay. Her blog can be found at www.incidentproneSAHM.wordpress.com.

 

Crowning the May Queen

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In May, Catholics hold a ceremony wherein a statue of the Blessed Mother is crowned by children, accompanied by solemn hymns, joyfully sung. Mary’s crown is made of woven May flowers.

The Catholic practice of assigning a special devotion to each month goes back to the early 16th century. In the late 18th century the May devotion to Mary arose among Jesuits in Rome.  In the early years of the 19th century, it quickly spread throughout the Western Church, and, by the time of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, it had become universal.

May crownings in honor of Mary stem from this time and many parishes are reviving them to honor the role that the Blessed Virgin played in our salvation through her fiat–her joyous “Yes” to the will of God. This Irish hymn dates back as far as the 13th Century, though in 1883, Mary E. Walsh adapted it.

 

 

 

Queen of the May  (Bring Flowers of the Rarest)

Bring flowers of the rarest
From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale
Our full hearts are swelling
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending
Oh! Thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee
Oh! Thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee
How dark without Mary
Life’s journey would be

O Virgin most tender
Our homage we render
Thy love and protection
Sweet Mother, to win
In danger defend us
In sorrow befriend us
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin

Of Mothers the dearest
Oh, wilt thou be nearest
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete
Forsake us, O never
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet

 

REFRAIN: O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!

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Many parishes are reviving the Crowning of the May Queen to honor the role that the Blessed Virgin played in our salvation through her fiat–her joyous “Yes” to the will of God.

The Catholic Wedding of the Year 2012

By Lucy Mc Vicker Archduchess Kathleen of Austria is everything a princess should be – poised, graceful, elegant, articulate, God-fearing, humble, and virtuous. She is also an American with a passion to defend the poor, the lonely, the pre-born and their mothers.  I know about this passion, because I was blessed with this inspiring friend … Read more