Friends wed today: Maureen and Andrew Walther

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Friends wed today at Saint Mary's Church (New Haven, CT). What a perfect day to go to a nuptial Mass to pray for friends as they wed each other with other friends. Maureen L. Hough and Andrew T. Walther are now husband and wife.

The Sacrifice of the Mass with the Rite of Marriage was celebrated by Dominican Father Paul J. Keller with the Schola Cantorum of Saint Mary's. The Mass celebrated by Father Keller was beautiful and prayerful, doctrinal and sacred. Everything was fitting in order that God might be glorified. Maureen and Andrew chose today to wed because it was the closest day they could find to the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). Both are close to Our Lady under this title. Maureen was beautifully dressed and Andrew wore a smart tux.
In his homily Father Paul Keller spoke eloquently on the line from Gospel of Saint John where Mary tells the servants at the wedding feast, "Do whatever He tells you." These words are not sentimental; they're not meant to be a "nice" way of getting along. The point to obedience and fidelity in all of Christian life no matter what one's vocation is, but here Keller drew our attention to the moment: the Sacrament of Marriage. Here natural love is elevated to a sacramental grace: the glorious task that the newly weds --indeed all married couples--  have in urging each other to heaven: to obey Christ and by good example of prayer, mutual fidelity in the context of family life. The two no longer stand alone; together the two now are a sign of Christ's love for the Church, domestically and universally. The giving and receiving of a sacrament indicates a living sign of heaven (the beatific vision of the Blessed Trinity). Marriage as a sacrament is a living desire for God. And see this living desire in so many places but eminently in the Incarnation of the Son of God.

Too often we forget a central point of Christian life: we, at Baptism we are consecrated to be God's adopted children. We are set apart and brought close to God. Moreover, God desires our happiness and human flourishing more than we could ever imagine.

Today, the day before the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and we hear in the gospel (John 2-1-11), Mary stands as a prophet of God that her son, our Savior, would do something magnificent: he cared.

In a Catholic understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage we are bold in our urging each other unto a relationship with Jesus Christ --to live in grace, having the confidence to transform all who see the married couple as Christ transformed water into wine. Something new is made. So that, just as Christ transformed water into wine, He transforms nourishes us with bread and wine transformed into His Body and Blood, viaticum (Holy Eucharist). It's Christ who is doing this work of transformation: the 20-30 gallons of new wine in each of the 6 jars of wine is a certain sign of abundance of grace.

One special feature of the Mass was Maureen's own beautiful and brilliant composition of the Kyrie Missa Parva. Other pieces of music included Jacques Boyvin's Plein Jeu, Maurice DuruflĂ©'s Ubi Caritas, Andrea Gabrieli's Sanctus and Agnus Dei. For Communion Rene Clausen's Set Me As a Seal and Hernando Franco's Sancta Maria e yn. The Processional was the Offertoire Grands Jeux by François Couperin.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page contains a single entry by Paul Zalonski published on December 11, 2010 4:00 PM.

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