Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Life and Death

Gosh, posting has been so slow recently. Well, now I have something to post about.

I went up to what I call "God's country", northern Virginia, to attend a wedding of the daughter of some long time friends of ours. The wedding was at All Saints in Manassas, my old parish.

The family was a very big one, and I exaggerate not when I tell you I learned of new siblings of the bride's I didn't know existed. I had also forgotten how pretty all of the daughters were.

Since it was a family tightly knit with the private schools up their, I had expected to see a few people from my old school and specifically my old class only seven years older. Unfortunately, I didn't see anyone.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I had a look at the altar server schedule. I was surprised to see that the ranks of altar servers was still predominantly male. In fact, I only saw one girl's name.

The only people I really knew there were my God-parents who I had seen in a much shorter time since they came down for my confirmation in April. I learned that they're twenty year old daughter is about to get married at the very end of December.

The wedding was only an exchange of vows and not a nuptial Mass. I would've had the nuptial Mass, but oh well. What with the wedding and the fact that Jonathan Lee had been visiting Christendom College in Front Royal (about forty-five minutes away, though thirty the way he drives it), I was reminded oh what a friend of mine and current Christendom student told me which is that quite a few Christendom people want their nuptial Masses to be Tridentine, and that Bishop Loverde is apparently quite generous in dealing out permission slips, if you will.

After the wedding and before the reception, I saw a priest come out of the rectory with the flowing tails of a cassock and a hip sash blowing in the breeze. I, being a nerd, recognized him as one just ordained this past summer. Fr. Gregory Thompson I think his name was.

At the reception, there was the typical music three times as loud as it needed to be. One of the songs played was the one that goes on about "love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage". Yeah..one is fitted with constricting binds and made to pull the loud! Just kidding.

At All Saints, up against the wall and to the right of the altar, there were two huge scroll like things titled "In Memoriam" and had the names of the parish's dead of the last year. Jonathan Lee spotted a name that was all too familiar. The name was that of my lifelong friend's mother who I saw and talked to quite a bit since I lived next door to them for almost ten years. I thought to myself that it could have been someone else but it would have indeed been a coincidence if someone with the same name from the same home parish had died. Since it was my friends birthday on that day anyway, I called up and amidst wishing a happy birthday and catching up on a few other things, I heard that it was indeed his mother listed and that she died about a year ago from some sort of heart condition that stumped the doctors. Very sad...she was younger than my mom.

Which reminds me, it was quite fitting and made a pleasant contrast that my return to All Saints should be to attend a wedding since the last time I was there was a few years back attending the funeral of a little girl.