“On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there ...” (John 2:1)
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of being the Master of Ceremonies for a Solemn High Nuptial (Wedding) Mass, for a gentleman who had been instrumental in assisting me in bringing the Traditional Latin Mass to Saint John the Beloved, as Karl Selzer was joined in Holy Matrimony to Mary Crnkovich. The night before, we had a rehearsal, and I was invited to the dinner afterwords by the groom's father. As it was an unexpected overture, I was hardly dressed for it, though, and had to rush home and put on the first thing I could find that matched -- my latin dance outfit. (That's not quite as ridiculous as it appears, okay? The shirt buttons all the way up.) People took turns paying tribute. For some reason, many people thought mine was the best (if somewhat at the groom's expense, naturally).
The reception after the wedding was held at the Columbus Club, affiliated with a Knights of Columbus council in Arlington. (That's the one I must join eventually; it has a swim club, and a bar.) I was seated with some married people my own age. The place where Sal would have sat appeared to be taken by a seminarian. They were all nice folks, and were curious about a form of the Mass that they had never seen.
Still, I missed my comrades, most of whom are younger than my own son. Naturally, they were sitting elsewhere.
I don't remember the poet who said that "love is wasted on the young." For my money, it seems that weddings are meant to be celebrated by the young, which is one reason I usually avoid attending them alone. The music was outstanding, if a bit loud at times, a sign that I might be getting on in years. Some of the young men who have taken one swing dance workshop are of the impression, that the genre consists mainly of throwing the woman around while still (barely) holding on to her. (A word of counsel to these gentlemen: You do not apply icing where there is no cake. It'll just sit there in a lump, okay?)
I regretted all the more that Sal could not get back from the Philippines in time for the gala event, inasmuch as the hoi-polloi did not get to see her resplendent in the outfit you see here, nor witness our combined superiority on the dance floor. I did get to dance with a few of the ladies, though. It is a shame that some women's husbands don't take them out enough. Try telling someone for the first time, that social dancing is more like walking than ... well, than it isn't.
Speaking of husbands, one of them did ask me to speak to hers, and explain how it is that "you know so much." I think she was referring to my role in the Nuptial Mass which they had attended. What else could I tell him? “Why, thank you, sir, but it's quite simple, really; I read too damn much.”
VIDEO: Saint Marie Church, Manchester, New Hampshire, 2007.
Quite a few of the guys are leaving the the Server Corps this spring, after graduating from high school. I'm going to miss the camaraderie we've had, and which was evident last night, as we gathered at one point in front of the crowd, en masse, to toast our fellow Knight of the Altar.
I found myself wondering how it was, that I identified more with the younger ones than those my own age. It wasn't just the occasion. I see this in a good many people as they approach midlife, becoming sedentary not only in body, but in mind and spirit. They have their wives or husbands, they have their children, their house in the suburbs, their nice back yards. What else is there? I wonder when the last time was any of them actually went dancing. Sal and I haven't been out much ourselves since she started working seven evenings a week. We both agreed that it has to change upon her return.
I don't feel eighteen, nor would I wish to return to that age. I also don't feel fifty-six. Some mysterious place in between, perhaps. But wherever (and whatever) it is, I do wish the best to Karl and Mary.