Watching it all over again

Last weekend, we celebrated the big #10 by getting away to a charming inn in Monterey.  We also celebrated it by watching the wedding video start to finish, something we haven’t done in years.

It was a powerful experience, in ways I hadn’t quite anticipated.

For one thing, it moved us to see the people we love who are no longer with us.  Scott’s great-aunt Ruth, my great-aunt Jess, our friend Mary – seeing them celebrating and smiling made us smile, and also get pretty misty.

It was also so meaningful to revisit the little interviews people gave.  Our videographer did a great job of pulling folks aside and asking them to say a few words, and hearing those words ten years later – the good wishes for us, the joy people felt on our behalf, the advice that they had for a successful marriage—it was golden.

I was not really prepared, either, for the way that the video made me feel transported by the words and ritual of the Mass.   And we almost didn’t get it on tape.   When we met with the videographer a few weeks before the wedding, he said casually, “I can cut a Catholic Mass down to about fifteen minutes.”

“Actually,” Scott said politely, “we’d like to have the whole thing on film.”  At this the videographer blanched somewhat, clearly not accustomed to dealing with Church geeks of our magnitude.  But he rallied, and he got the whole thing, even though it was one of the longest Masses I’ve ever attended, one concelebrated by four priests (when your husband works in ministry, it’s like a Cecil B. DeMille production up there on the altar).

And when we watched it last weekend, it made me cry, just as I did on the big day itself.  It wasn’t just the gorgeous music or the beautiful church.  It was remembering the experience of kneeling in front of the altar, so close, and seeing the consecration happen right before my eyes.  It was knowing that God was so near in that bread and wine, and realizing that God had been near us all along, even during the seemingly endless period of wandering before we found each other.  And it was remembering that God always shows up, every time, in that bread and wine.  He’s been doing so for the ten years of our marriage, and he will for as long as we’re together – and beyond.

I thought of Matthew and Luke, too, as I watched myself in the big white dress standing on the big white altar.  I like having this video record of the day, for their sake.  Someday, when they are adults, they’ll watch this video and they’ll see their parents looking so young and in love and happy.  They’ll see people they recognize, family and friends, thrilled to the gills that we both found each other after so much searching.  And they’ll see what our faith has meant to us.  Wherever our boys are in their own spiritual journeys, the video will show them that this Church gave their parents community, and transcendence, and joy.

That means a lot.

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