As we drove down Main Street and neared the church, the children had all kinds of questions... about the town, about the church, about how we decided to get married there, about who married us... I parked, and as we were walking up, I could kind of see them scrutinizing the place. And I was not surprised:
It's a big church, kind of stadium-style, and architecturally (and many other ways) completely different from our traditional, old, brick, steepled church home. But I love visiting different churches, and this one in particular holds many special memories for me. Not only did Todd and I get married there, but I also received my early sacraments of baptism and First Communion. I recalled hours of religious education, choir, and summer festivals.
This is a good place.
But not very pretty.
In my humble opinion, the esthetics of the place leave a lot to be desired... I have even thought that looking back on our wedding photos-- the most beautiful shots were taken against an exposed brick wall or outside. Theater-in-the-round, my MIL calls it.
pews fan out on the other three sides and up to a second level. Truly, a special place in many ways-- just ugly.
Our children did not agree.
We no more than entered the sanctuary (we were early for mass) than one breathed, "Oh, now I see why you wanted to get married here." What?
They were completely uninterested in the large gathering space, the community room, and the classrooms, which was fine because they were built in a post-our-wedding addition. Inside the sanctuary, however, they marveled at everything. One loved the organ pipes. Another thought the side chapel was precious. They all adored the baptismal font trickling holy water. And they all wanted to tromp up to the balcony (my favorite vantage point, too, as a child) and try out different seats in every corner.
Then, it was time for mass to begin and I know their wheels started turning about different hymns and this different priest's style and message. That's good. I aim to expose them to many contrasting experiences, to keep them thinking and asking and considering what and how they truly believe.
It was a sweet and sacred stroll down memory lane.