Brazilian charismatic Catholic singer Adriana tied the knot with an attorney named Fabiano this weekend. Her occasional singing partner Padre Fabio de Melo officiated.
There's an "official" video of the event here, but it leaves out the most interesting part. In the video below we see Adriana and Padre Fabio singing part of their famous and rather romantic duet "Humano Amor de Deus" as the groom looks on.
This blog is not a gossip rag so why are we posting this video? I may be liberal but I believe in the sacrament of marriage and I cannot imagine anything more inappropriate than the priest and bride singing a "best friends/soul mates" kind of duet as the bridegroom watches. Pe. Fabio has a certain amount of integrity and common sense and I can only hope he had a "what was I thinking?" moment as he watched the replay.
As more videos of this ceremony are posted, we later see Adriana singing another song directly to her husband but the whole thing feels like show biz.
Marriage should be about two free and equal individuals making a commitment to each other before God to unite and remain together and faithful for the rest of their lives. If one partner upstages the other from day one, it does not bode well to me. As for the priest, his role is minimal. As we learn in catechism, he is not the author of this sacrament.
Adriana's friends in the Christian music industry should have provided all the music needed and Pe. Fabio should only have been the lead vocalist while chanting the Eucharistic prayers. Adriana only needed to be holding a microphone for her vows to Fabiano, if at all.
But there's more. This kind of "made for DVD" wedding sends the wrong message to our community. How many times have we heard couples tell us that they never married in the Church because they could not afford a wedding? Our society has fed them the illusion that weddings must be lavish affairs to be meaningful so they content themselves with remaining "casados por civil".
Once again: Marriage is not about impressing your friends and family with your ability to entertain. It is about a lifelong loving commitment made before God. And, in my experience, the meaningfulness of the ceremony is almost inversely proportional to the amount of money invested in it. Too many couples spend more time worrying about gowns, cakes, photographers and limousines than in serious pre-Cana reflection on how they will negotiate the inevitable differences in their married life.
The most beautiful ceremonies I have witnessed have involved very little money. Instead, friends and family have come together to support the couple and provide what they need for their big day. Money should not be an impediment. No Catholic priest I know has ever refused to marry a couple because they could not afford to rent the church or pay a stipend.
So don't hesitate. Talk to your priest about finally making your union legitimate in the eyes of the Church. Bring God into the equation and in the end, the only adornment you need is the joy in your eyes as you look into your partner's eyes and say "I do".