Outdoor Weddings

Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz
and this is Ascension Presents. So, people will ask me, on a regular basis, Father, if we can have all the sacraments outside like baptism outside and you could have a
whole Mass outside and you can have confession wherever and you can have
anointing of the sick wherever, how come I can’t get married outside?
How come we can’t do weddings outside? Great question, camper. The first reason is pretty much
historical and is cultural. And what I mean by that is this: if you ever seen
the movie Braveheart? Probably. Yes. OK. In the movie Braveheart, at one point, William Wallace gets married to Murron in the middle of the woods, which is awesome, because why?
Because there’s prima nocta that’s been established and if they get married in public, then something has to happen. and so like, let’s get married in secret, on the side. That’s great for William Wallace because
he’s a really upstanding guy, but it’s not great when you have not upstanding
people in the world Here’s William Wallace, see? He’s the bad guy,
he gets married in Scotland, then he goes off to battle in England.
He’s been secretly married. He meets someone in England, says,
“Hey, I’m not married. You want to get married?” “Sure.”
“We have to get married in secret.” So then he gets married in secret to two people. So, one of the reasons,
historically speaking, people did this. So, one of the reasons why the Church says, “No, you have to be married in the Church,”
is because it can’t be secret. It has to be public, so that people don’t get hurt.
That’s, in fact, one of the reasons why if you’ve ever seen the old-timey movies where it says, “Does anyone here know of a reason why this person can’t get married?” The reason they asked the question is not because someone can stand up and say, “Because I love her, that’s why!” It’s so they can stand up and say, um, because that’s
my cousin and he’s already married to da-da-da-da. That’s the reason why they asked that question.
That’s why the reason why they have it in a public space. So, you say, “OK fine, that’s wonderful, public space. What about the lawn at the local park? That’s pretty public.” OK fine, it is public, but it’s not connected to
what we believe about Christian marriage. What do we believe about Christian marriage, Father?
I’m glad you asked that question. You guys are so smart. We believe that if you’re called to marriage, you’re called to that vocation by God to live out your vocation to be a saint, that you’ve discerned this is the way that God has
called me to follow him as his disciple. In this marriage and the family that
comes from this is the way that God has called me to live out my
discipleship of Jesus. So it’s intrinsically, inherently connected to
your Christianity. It’s inherently connected to being a follower of Christ
is this vocation of marriage. And so it doesn’t make any sense to say, “Well, I’m gonna get married on the beach,” because why? Because it’s significant to me.
Well no, but this vocation is not about you. An example: I’m a priest. I don’t know if you could tell. My favorite place … one of my favorite places in the world is, my parents have a place on a lake. I live in Minnesota and we’re like, “We love the lake,”
right, so my favorite place in the world is to be on the lake, so how much sense would it have made, if I would have said, “Hey bishop, um, I know we have this ordination coming up. My family’s place on the lake is so important to me.
It’s so just really special to me. It would mean a lot to me if you could just come over and it would just be a couple people, some family, some friends and just ordain me on the … at the end of the dock because it would really be meaningful to me.” The bishop would say, “Um, no.” Why? Because Father Michael or pre-Father Michael,
your ordination is not about you. This is about the Church being given the gift of
your vocation to the priesthood. That’s the same thing for a wedding.
OK, this wedding, Jack and Jill, this wedding, it’s not about you. It’s about the Church being given the gift of your vocation to marriage in the family and what you’ve discerned is that you’ve discerned God is calling me to live out discipleship of him in marriage and family, just like I discerned that God was calling me to live out my vocation to be a disciple of his through the priesthood. So, this vocation is not about me and your vocation is not about you. It’s about following Christ in the Church. That’s why our weddings happen in the church to remind us at the end of the day, that it’s really about giving him glory. Yes, creation, give God glory. The woods, woods, give God glory. The beach gives God glory, but when you get married in a church, you’re not merely saying in a general way, my vocation, my marriage is meant to give God glory. You’re saying it in a very specific way. It’s about following Jesus and being a gift to
the kingdom of God, being a gift to the world. Your marriage is about being a gift,
not only to your spouse and to your children, but to the world in Jesus Christ. That’s why we get married in churches as Catholics and that’s why you should too, unless you’re called to be a priest or a religious sister,
in which case, do that instead. So, from all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name’s Father Mike. God bless.


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