Here We Go Again…

invitacion de bodaI’ve playing piano and organ, and helping sing for a wedding tomorrow afternoon. Weddings are always a beautiful thing, when it comes right down to it, but I’m usually not that excited about the preparations. Brides are fussy creatures, by nature, and they naturally want things to turn out well on such a special day. They’ve got ideas about what they want, but they’re not always too savvy about the specific rules that govern Catholic weddings, even if they are Catholic, and woe betide the bride who isn’t Catholic, but is marrying a Catholic groom in a Catholic ceremony! I just have to shake my head and pray a little bit more.

Tomorrow’s wedding is even more interesting! Not only is a non-Catholic bride marrying a Catholic groom in a Catholic ceremony, but she is “Anglo” and he is Hispanic. So half of the wedding party doesn’t speak the language of the other half! Fortunately, it’s not a large wedding, and the couple is pretty easy going!

Maybe it’s not so bad living in a small town.

Stuff Catholics Like: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 001Oh yeah, bring on the Palms. It’s the craft of crafts, for the King of Kings! Hosanna!

Back when I was a kid, and went to a Catholic parochial school where actual sisters taught, there was a whole palm crafting culture going. Nowadays, most people just seem to take them home and tuck them behind their crucifix or portraits of dead relatives.

But not I! I actually make stuff out of palms—the way I was taught in a small way, but mostly the way I taught myself. A couple of years ago, my old priest, Friar Mark Weaver, OFM, Conv., called for old palms to burn to make the ashes used in the Ash Wednesday service. Most were just that—old palm leaves. But some were really cool—like flowers and intricate braids, so I asked him if I could keep them and figure out how they were made. He said sure and so I went to town. I’ve now elaborated on the braid and turned the top into a cross. I’m excited, but there’s such a short window of time to make things like this before the palms get too dried out. I’m trying to find a distributor so that I can get enough for myself to really learn some things. Naturally, the church only gets enough for people to wave at the start of the service.

But there are still a lot of cultures around the world that make things out of the palms that we get. Slowly, year by year, I’m increasing my repertoire. I’d like to do a class on it next year. We’ll see.