Friday, December 12, 2014

Illicit Catholic wedding on TLC

Four Weddings is a reality show on TLC where four brides who are total strangers attend each others weddings and judge them according to certain criteria. The winning bride and her groom with the most points win a honeymoon. 

This afternoon I happened to watch an episode of Four Weddings where one of the weddings took place at a horse racetrack in the Miami Beach area on Christmas Day. The things that really upset me were that the bride wore a rosary around her wrist and that a priest came to the track to officiate. That's right: a Catholic priest went to a racetrack on Christmas Day to officiate at a wedding.

I cannot believe that a priest (even by Novus Ordo standards) would officiate not only outside the church building, but on one of the holiest days of the year! Christmas is when we celebrate the birthday of Our Lord Jesus Christ, not our conjugal lives. According to the Missale Romanum, Christmas is a Double of the First Class feast, which means no other feast can supersede it. Even thought our Advent preparation is complete, the solemn nature of the feast does not permit the use of the Nuptial Mass, and therefore it is still a forbidden time to marry (the Sixth Precept of the Church). 

Additionally, besides the purple vestment days of Septuagesima and Lent, the Nuptial Mass is still forbidden on the following non-penitential days: 
  • All Sundays (yes, even the green ones) 
  • During the Octaves of Easter and Pentecost (Yes, even though Alleluia and white or gold vestments are back, Easter's octave is that of the First Class, and therefore you cannot ordinarily marry until the Monday after Low Sunday. Pentecost historically ranks higher than Christmas, and it's octave [which includes the summer Ember Days] ranks the same.)
  • The Feast of the Circumcision (Jan. 1)
  • The Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6)
  • Ascension Day
  • Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday, even if the feast is transferred to Sunday as is in the USA)
  • Birthday of St. John the Baptist (June 24)
  • Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 29)
  • Feast of the Most Precious Blood (July 1)
  • Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15)
  • Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (Sept. 29)
  • All Saints Day (Nov. 1)
  • All Souls Day (Nov. 2; or 3 if 2nd falls on Sunday)
  • Patronal feasts of a nation, state, city, diocese, cathedral church, or parochial patron
The feasts above are all Doubles of the First Class. In Medieval times they where all Holy Days of Obligation (including The Immaculate Conception, which always falls during Advent; and Ash Wednesday, St. Joseph's Day, and the Annunciation, which pretty much always fall during Lent.) 

Catholics are to marry before a Nuptial Mass, period.