Yesterday's wedding at Battersea was a bit odd. First of all that it was in the church entrusted to the Salesians was quite encouraging. I said to myself, like Roshni my sister-in-law saying, 'tick'... another place visited!
Fr John later told me that this was the Church - and of course, the Salesian presence in Battersea itself - which was built during the time when Don Rua (late 19th century) was the Rector Major. And he had a huge contribution, especially financial in this venture.
There were a few bouquets at the first few pews, one big one on the altar, and a couple more on the first two pillars from the altar. There was a service sheet printed, containing the hymns. However, half way through, I realized that it wasn't the Mass. It was a service. Neither was there any audible response from the congregation at any time. Only later I was told that only the girl was Catholic and the boy did not practice any religion. So much so, his parents had refused to come to the Church altogether. They relented only in the morning!! Whew!
Then the whole "half-hearted" service made sense. I realized, it was a delicate event. One part of the marriage wanted to make it spiritually solemn, the other wanted to have nothing of it. Therefore to gain a balance was a real tight-rope walk. To make it meaningful and special, after all it is their wedding, and yet not make it so pious and 'spiritual' that it leaves a bitter taste.