Here comes the bride!

Where does Deacon Greg find these great videos? Do you suppose folks leave them under his Bench? Here's what he writes about this one:
I know I should probably be shocked and wringing my hanky into knots over this. It's clearly not what most of us would have in mind as the proper way for beginning the celebration of a sacrament. (N.B., it wasn't a Catholic wedding.)

But: I loved it anyway. I couldn't stop grinning. Married life is a dance, and this just fits. Beautifully. Bless 'em. And bless 'em, especially, for having such great friends to dance with them.

Once you've had a chance to take a look at this, I'd be interested in your response to a few questions:

1) What did you like and not like about this entrance procession?

2) What does a "standard" entrance procession accomplish at a wedding? What did this procession accomplish? In other words: how does a procession (and its style) function best in the liturgy?

3) Do you wish you'd been invited to this wedding or are you glad you weren't? And why?

4) What's the best, what's the worst wedding procession you've been in or experienced?

5) Other comments?

Update: A friend with far more sophistication in contemporary music writes, "The heavily Autotuned recording artist is Chris Brown. The track is from the 2008 repackaged album called "Exclusive: the Forever Edition." (It did not appear on the original "Exclusive" album when it came out in 2007.) "



  1. I have to admit I WAS grinning through the entire thing, and I marveled at the choreography (that must have been some wedding rehearsal!!) For me personally I would have preferred to see them enter the reception this way, in celebration of the sacred vows that had just taken place. I do think the commitment of their friends to this was a sign of their love and support.

    I think a "standard" procession in a wedding helps to lead us into the sacramental moments with a sense of the sacred; what is about to happen, the giving of one human to another in a covenant of love, is MOST sacred. There could, however, be a place for a liturgical dancer to lead the procession in a manner befitting the sacredness of the occasion.

    The best wedding procession I have seen is one where all of the ministers: bridesmaids, groomsmen, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, priest, bride and her parents and groom and his parents processed in and as when they were all in place in the sanctuary the assembly joined them in a gathering hymn.

  2. I loved it! It set the tone for an involved, spirited, happy, joyous ceremony. I defintely wish I had been there. I know that in our church, it is a sacrament but who is to say that this entrance is "disresepctful" or takes away from any of the meaning of the sacrament? Music is cultural and I believe it can add to any event. This particular couple was on the TODAY SHOW this morning and said that music and dance were part of their lives - so why not part of their wedding ceremony? I agree.

  3. This was great! I always try to encourage couples to understand the "tradition" behind what is usually expected in a procession by the bride (and bride's parents)and to consider making other choices. So I loved this because it was certainly different, and it showed the couple's individuality and creativity. The groom and the bride both processed, they were well supported by their wedding party. Nobody was "given away." I wish I was invited to the wedding because I'd like to be friends with this couple. As for sacredness, the creativity and uniqueness of this procession, as well as the time and thought that went into preparing brought joyful tears to my eyes. If that is not "sacred" I don't know what is!

  4. PS - I will admit the song was not appropriate for a Catholic wedding.

  5. Well no one can deny that it encourages full, conscious and active participation of the assembly! Also, most people at Catholic weddings have no idea that liturgical processions are metaphors for our perpetual procession toward the gates of heaven. I suppose we can be pretty stuffy at times with our rites. Even so, I would love to process into heaven dancing!

    The best,wedding procession I've been in was my own 25 years ago but in retrospect I would change it up a bit now. I would want to walk in procession with the person I am about to marry instead of my Dad who could still be part of the procession with my mother. I may choose to marry at a Sunday Eucharist and be included in a normal Sunday procession with all the ministers and Yes, including some talented liturgical dancers!!

    This video is spreading like wild fire today. Both my daughters, who dance, told me that they want to do this at their wedding. Ok, I said, but probably not in a Catholic church.

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  7. I like to think of myself as broadminded, but when I saw this at both Googling God and Deacon Greg's I was kind of turned off.

    Now that I have had all day to think about this and to read your post with its good questions and interesting comments, I am lightening up.

    One of the reasons that I did not like it was related to the opening of Anne's comment - about the metaphor of procession.

    I also am probably more than a bit touchy about the sacramentality of Catholic weddings, but maybe I just need to get over my bad liturgical snob self? I don't know!

    However showing one's individualism (or couple-ism) does rub up against me in a way that is antithetical to community. Why has this whole dance video left me feeling like such a fuddy duddy all day??? I sure sound like one, don't I?

    Now it is probably completely wrong for me to talk about how I loved the procession at my own wedding in 2007.

    I got married at 49, my parents were both deceased. My brother, who is 21 years older than me, walked me down the aisle. It was not so much a matter of "giving me away" as a matter of how I was moving from one community into another.

    I processed down to a version of this song played on piano and flute. Much thought and prayer went into this and I can even remember it all.

    As for moving from one community into another, I did not just marry my husband Mark and my stepdaughter Erica that day, but I married a whole parish, a diocese, that I was about to enter into in ways that I could have never predicted.

    That is what the procession has turned out to be.

    (P.S> For clarity - I was in the process of moving from NYC to Albany and while I had attended St Edward's frequently and arranged to be married there, it was my wedding that demarcated the line of me fully becoming so involved. And here I am today!)

  8. Oh how I wish I'd been invited to this wedding! I watched this with, yes, a grin but also moved to tears by the obvious exuberance and love between and among all participants and observers. How delightful.

    I loved how after the bride styled her way in, she and her groom met and then walked with suitable dignity arm-in-arm to the altar. I could not help but get beyond feeling into deep conviction that this is a couple bound together in many joyful, faithful ways.

    Thus, I think this procession accomplished everything a wedding procession should. The psalmist's words, "Come into His presence with singing..." is still ringing in my spirit.

  9. Leave it to Meredith to help me see this with new eyes!

    Thank you Meredith Gould!

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  11. Several years ago I went to a minor league baseball game in Lowell, Massachusetts.

    Before the game a young couple got married at home plate. Lowell’s mayor performed the ceremony. Near the end, she said to everyone assembled, “If anyone here knows a reason why this couple should not be wed, speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

    The crowd of 5,000 was silent for about three seconds. But then the predictable happened. Someone seated down the first base line screamed, “Don’t do it!” Then someone on the other side of the park yelled, “You’ll be sorry!” More comments came quickly and loudly. From all points around the ballpark people were shouting: “Sucker!” “It’s a mistake!” “It’s not too late!”

    The shouts built into a cacophony that showed no signs of letting up, until the mayor said, “Having heard no objection, I now pronounce you husband and wife.” The boos turned into cheers, and the happy couple embraced.

    I have thought of that occasion often. I felt privileged to have witnessed it. I think I would have felt the same had I been a guest at the wedding on the video.

  12. "On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
    No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
    To chase the glowing hours with flying feet."
    ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

    What a joyous entrance for this couple and this wedding, and true gifts of friendship from their witnesses. I heartily hope they are blessed with many, many happy years. There'll be plenty of time for somberness--it finds its way into our lives soon enough.

  13. Hey there, Austin!

    How'd I find it? A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page and I thought it was irresistible. She told me it was the wedding of a friend of a friend of hers.

    We could all use more friends like that, couldn't we?

    I stand by my original assessment. I think it's full of life, and hope, and love. It's not to everyone's taste, of course. But it brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my heart.

    Thanks for spreading it around!

    Deacon Greg.

  14. I loved it. Music and dance make people happy. Maybe we should have a mass once a year when we all come down the aisle dancing to our pews. Then you can come out with your baseball cap and do your rap to the creed. :-)

  15. I did enjoy reading all comments and must admit, I also grinned all through the video. Would I want that at my wedding or at my children's weddings? Hmmmmm....don't think so. "Come into His presence singing" are words I love and would rather have a more upbeat and joyful hymn than the dance. However, that said, wouldn't it be a wonderful way to come into the reception! There was an elderly white haired woman (Grandmother?) sitting down front on the right and I wonder what she felt!

  16. I don't know...I think it was kind of charming and I'm not particularly critical of it but yet, since marriage is such a challenging commitment in today's society, I wish young people would enter it fully mindful of that. I would prefer a processional that puts everyone in a frame of mind of that seriousness of commitment. My favorite processional is one in which the bride, groom, and immediate families processed with them. I found that very moving and symbolic of their joint commitment.

  17. My 25 year old daughter saw this on facebook, showed it to me and said that she want's to do this at her wedding!
    At first I was shocked, but I think it would be fun and a great way to start the celebration of a marriage.
    Things today are so serious, and as long as she and her husband identify with the sanctity of marriage, I see nothing wrong with it at all.

  18. Father Austin...Chances are,since this video has been spread about all over, you could have a request at some point from a Catholic couple. What do you say given the liturgical instructions we have in place? What satisfactory pastoral decision can be made without sending a couple away disappointed and looking for a church that would allow it?

  19. I fear that I am in the minority on this. I think the whole thing seemed ridiculous.

    When it is time to baptize (christen) their first baby, are they going to create a water park with slide?


  20. I thought it was great. What a joyous expression of beginning a life together. I have to admit I've not been to many weddings and those I have been to were happy ones. But I would have love to been part of this one. The exuberance and joy were evident in everyone--the wedding party, the congregation, the minister--a great testimony to the joy of love.

  21. The sheer joy of this procession just blew me away. I sat here in my cubicle at work with a grin on my face and tears coming into my eyes. Had I had the priviledge of being there, I would have been full-out crying at the exhilaration of these people's expression of their love for the couple and the couple's love for each other and delight in celebrating the sacrament they are celebrating.

    My one fear about how this is spreading is that people who cannot dance may try to do it now. These young people were decent dancers and did a good job. Not all people can or should dance down the aisle!


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