1 Church, 2 parishes. I’m from St Francis Xavier (sfx), and he is from St Ignatius (stigs). I always felt that perhaps these 2 Saints have some secret pact in heaven to bring people from 2 parishes together. In their lifetime, Stigs was sfx’s mentor, and remained good buddies and companions in their life of mission.
In deciding which Parish to get married in, our process wasn’t quite as simple as we thought. Traditionally, it’s usually in the girl’s parish. However, planning a wedding has made us both consider a lot of these traditions, it’s roots and why people do it. People have different values and priorities they hold to, and for some things like these, there wasn’t a clear answer. Like in Ignatian discernment, we gave the options equal ground (‘Ceteris Paribus’) and tried to figure out where the wedding should be held.
Choosing locations aren’t actually too difficult. When it came to choosing our place for dinner, we scoured the Internet, went to our top choice, deemed it ‘cheap, good and not dodgy-looking’, and booked it on the day we were there. (Partly because we were too lazy to go down once again and check out more places. There just aren’t enough weekends for that)
Why is it that choosing the church is so much more difficult? When I sat down to think about it, I thought about what would feel better: Sfx has pretty stained glass, stigs has tv screens; Stigs has round seating, Sfx has a nice long aisle. I daydream about my wedding as much as any other girl, and when you grow up in a parish for over 10 years, that just becomes the aisle that you would imagine walking down.
No… this can’t be it, it felt like I was turning the church into a ‘material good’! But how else am I suppose to figure it out? I can’t say one parish was better than another. I also can’t say that I prefer Sfx just because I’m more comfortable there. It’s didn’t feel quite right.
“As long as there is the sacrament of marriage, that’s all that really matters right?” I nodded in agreement with myself as that thought clawed it’s way into my mind. However, like many decisions in life, just because my head made sense of it, does not mean my heart was convinced in the slightest.
What if I just let Shaun decide? I don’t think I could bring myself to decide without any biasness! Ouch. A pinch of pain in my heart, followed by a reassuring pat on my back, and I was out of the adoration room with an answer.
We spoke about it soon after. Mucus all ready to flow as I felt part of myself die. I told him I wouldn’t decide because it felt like I couldn’t and I didn’t feel called to make that call. You know how some times with this intangible God, we say we surrender some important decision and leave everything at his feet, “let it be done according to they will”? This was probably the most tangible experience in my life (at the moment) of what that would be like. The pain of dying to control, the sadness of unwanted possibilities, followed by the freedom from the traps within yourself and a trust in a decision made with love. It felt right.
*Not that I wanted to burden Shaun with a decision made alone ):, but we agreed that it’ll be okay for him to make the call. As much as it was a surprise to him, it is empowering for a man perhaps?
A couple days later, after adoration before my colleague’s wedding, he decided to have it at Sfx, I shook his hand and this chapter was finally closed.