The Wedding of the Year (almost true - I have had only one convalidation and no other weddings this year!) took place on Saturday, September 24th, at midday. Miss Jane Marie Oliver was joined in holy wedlock to Michael Wilson with all the pomp and ceremony of the Catholic Church, ceremonies which have been performed only once in this church in the last forty years.
The church was filled with family and friends. The bride was nervous but was escorted up the aisle by her father, and the wedding took place at the altar rails. The rings were blessed and placed on the fourth finger (the old ceremony envisages only one ring - but we managed). Bride and groom were led to the registrars (one teaching and one novice) and the occasion was properly registered in the Marriage Register. A soloist sang the Ave Maria during the signing.
When the bride and groom had taken their places on the sanctuary, the procession of servers and clergy went to the altar for the beginning of the Solemn High Mass. Father Shaun Swales was deacon and Father Michael Brown was subdeacon. The choir was a combined group from St Mary's regulars and St Dominic's (Newcastle); they sang St Cecilia's Mass. I preached a short sermon on the subject that the couple had been chosen by God from all eternity for this very moment.
The whole ceremony, I understand, entranced the congregation of Catholics and nonCatholics alike; the two registrars, who decided to stay when I told them that this kind of ceremony had not happened for about forty years, were also caught up in the 'magic' of the whole thing.
I hope to be able to publish photos some time soon.