I had my first real "overwhelmed" moment a couple of days ago. With just under two months to go the what-ifs started piling up in my head. Now that other people are really getting involved in planning their bits of the wedding I kind of have to face it as a reality, instead of just a far off event that I can plan and moon about over.
Between David, Madeleine, and the eventual return of my common sense I am feeling better. I have a tendency to forget that other people are able, and willing, to help me. I also have a tendency to worry and then waste time, rather than doing something productive. But now I am armed with a to-do list that grows every day, but which I am committed to working on every day. This evening, btw, saw some additions to the wedding website go up so if you haven't checked it in awhile, go take a look!
Last night David and I put the spoken part of our ceremony together, at least for the most part, and that got me thinking. In a world where it often seems that having a blatantly non-[mainstream]religious ceremony is a way of standing out and being controversial , my ceremony is putting my personal and religious beliefs to the forefront in a way that is not normal for me.
This really is the first time, at least since my confirmation, that my beliefs are taking centre stage to be witnessed by friends and family, many of whom do not share my beliefs (or at least do not share them in part).
As we picked the readings, prayers, and vows I was struck by what a statement I was making. It may not be obvious to anyone there, but it is to me. In some ways it is a statement of our Catholic beliefs (like the reading from Tobit), and in others it is a statement of our beliefs about marriage (being permanent, and the idea that children are a blessing). The readings we chose emphasize the importance of spiritual life and virtue, rather than highlighting love/passion/desire.
I suppose that they really highlight my desire and prayer for us as a couple—that together we would grow in faith and love, helping each other on this journey of drawing closer to God, and becoming models for each other of Christian virtue and Christ-like love and sacrifice. This is something to strive for.
I am coming to realise now how impossible it is for me to keep separate my true beliefs from the world I inhabit. Although I have kept silent when friends and acquaintances of mine have put articles/comments on Facebook, for example, that I find offensive and inconsiderate of my beliefs (my silence because they have a right to their expression in their own space, and I could absent myself in such a way that I would not have to view it), I can no longer even consider silence in the realm of my own world. Yes, this goes beyond a few readings, but enters the very core of myself and of my marriage.
What I mean, or think I mean, is that my wedding ceremony is providing everyone with a glimpse of my world. I hope that I shall always be considerate of the beliefs of my friends and family, even when I do not agree, but my Catholicism and my beliefs are not an option—they are part of the whole package.