Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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From Highest Heaven to Demonic Depths

September 1st, 2009, Promulgated by Gen


A priest with whom I often speak asked me to write on the topic of weddings, for he often experiences great frustration with them. He noted how a couple can have a beautiful wedding Mass, with sacred music and clouds of incense, and then leave church to revel in drunken madness at the reception. Of course, there is nothing wrong with revelry, but my friend told me how he once had to defend his father (recently deceased) from the vicious attacks of a less-than-sober “best man.”According to some priestly authors, only the demonic can cause such a tremendous about-face on a day of undoubted sanctity. And I believe it. Weddings are moments of celebration, but not the profane celebrations of human ability. No, it’s a celebration between the nuptial trinity: the bride, the groom, and God. Where do tequila shooters and vodka have a place in this?

To have a reception where the priest’s father is derided and commented upon lewdly, where the “music” is so loud as to prevent conversation, where the sanctity of the day is discarded to make way for drunken debauchery is no “reception” at all, for the gift received at the altar, God’s binding blessing, is no longer “received” but is discarded carelessly.

I am not saying in any way that a reception should be as solemn and sacred as the wedding Mass. After all, we all need a little fun outside of church. However, this fun must be in good taste and must be had according to the faith which we have. This faith is not one that promotes binge-drinking, lust-filled songs, and improper jokes. Our faith is one that recognizes God’s providential hand in everything, including the painful and the joyful alike. To have a wedding at which you kneel so piously before Our Lord, and then to go forth and satisfy your gluttonous urges is to embrace hypocrisy and to behave in a most un-Catholic manner. Indeed, it is to act in an inhuman manner. For human beings are called to be creatures of dignity, above the impairing effects of alcohol and lust. Yes, we fall, yes, we succumb. However, to lead hundreds of others into this for the sake of jocularity? That, dear readers, is much more serious.

Please note, this is not meant to judge anyone or their receptions. It is a commentary on society. If you feel the urge to post a comment berating me for my Puritanical streak, think twice. It comes down to this: would God find fault in our often decadent and sinful receptions or would he join in? Something tells me it would not be the latter, but the former.

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3 Responses to “From Highest Heaven to Demonic Depths”

  1. avatar Dr. K says:

    I've seen plenty of disgusting actions at wedding receptions: jokes during the wedding toast commenting on the groom's "porn collection", excessive drunkenness to the point of sickness, and fist-fights. A day to celebrate the union of two people before God turned into a night of living hell.

    Thankfully not all weddings are like that, but I've witnessed my share of crazy receptions.

    ~Dr. K

  2. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    but this is why I became Catholic:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVrJ66Phn8

    jk – I agree with your post. Well said.

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    So true.

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