Singing Priest at Wedding: well beyond the liturgical problems

You’ve no doubt seen the video or heard the story about the priest who sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah!” at a wedding.

Praytell blog makes a good point and asks a thoughtful question.

On Facebook, I have many friends who are liturgists, music ministers, youth ministers, and clergy. There, I’ve noticed that those who are liturgists mostly cannot stand what this priest did in the video. Those who are youth ministers tend to be much more enthusiastic about this. Music ministers and clergy seem to be on both sides. Yet most all agree that the priest has a lovely voice and sang this song very well. And almost everyone I know loves the original song by Leonard Cohen.

I’ve already tried to explain to my Facebook friends why this is not an example of good liturgy. But the arguments I hear back from those who are overjoyed at what this priest did are not about what constitutes good liturgy but about what brings joy to the assembly. I lament that we’ve gotten to the point where for some, “good liturgy” equals joyless liturgy.

The social media conversation around this video is very telling. Liturgists (myself included) have not done ourselves or others any good by beating people over the head with rubrics. Yet rubrics do have value, as does human emotion. How can we bridge the divide?

So, without recourse to “It’s against the rules,” what is a helpful way of explaining why this is so inappropriate?

Well- I think you have to toss out all the liturgical explanations, and questions of style, or even questions about secular music in church in order to get at the root of it. Those things are all important, but the atrocity being committed here is much deeper than that, I think.

Let’s even lay aside questions about the theology of the song (which is a bit sketchy), since people don’t tend to care about that sort of thing (and God can withstand stupid things being said about Him).

The first big problem is that the wedding liturgy is about the couple, not the priest. (It’s about God, first. But, whatever, right?) The singing drew attention away from the couple and directed it toward the priest. This is selfish and narcissistic, and robbed the couple of what is rightfully theirs.

Priests tend to forget how a wedding functions in the life of the couple. For a priest – he may preside at hundreds or possibly thousands of weddings in his lifetime. A couple gets married only once. It doesn’t matter if the priest is bored, or has heard all the prayers before, or has to do this same thing again tomorrow. Each wedding is a unique event in the life of a couple, and a priest should not impose his own personality onto that.

Which brings me to the second point, the really disturbing one.

In singing this song in particular, the priest is not just intruding on the wedding celebration, but is intruding on the couple’s relationship. If the song has little meaning for them, the intrusion is only annoying. If it has real meaning to them (which, according to the social media advocates of this nonsense, it does for many many people), the intrusion is profoundly disturbing, even creepy.

Does anyone listen to lyrics anymore?!

It’s really a profoundly moving song, but its not even remotely appropriate to a wedding. It’s about the ways that lovers hurt each other and the glory that can be found even in that pain.

Love is a lot of things, including sometimes a cold and broken “hallelujah.” But a wedding is specifically about the “victory march” of love.

Because of its focus on the private aspect of love (hidden pain and secret joy), and not the public aspect (celebration) it is a remarkably intimate song, with the speaker of the song addressing it to his (or her, I guess) lover.

From a liturgical standpoint, you could fault the lyrics for their vagueness. But that misses the point. The mystifying and pseudo-biblical imagery allows any couple with a shared history to write their own meaning into it, to put fleshy details into the cosmic and romantic poetry. Any couple who finds this song specifically meaningful has a meaning in it that is unique to them.

It is really beyond inappropriate for a priest to publicly insert himself that way into a couple’s private story, taking on the vocal role of one of the lovers. Honestly, it creeps me out a bit, and makes me wonder about that priest’s personal life and his own private longings and struggles in a way that the public should not ever be privy to.

More than a violation of rubrics or good taste or even theology, it is a violation of the sacred rites and private stories that bind lovers together, like a confused idiot stumbling unaware upon two people sharing their first kiss, and not knowing enough that he should turn back around and let them be.


EDIT
The priest apparently did not sing the original text of the song. I didn’t know this because I honestly could not bring myself to listen to it.

The problem with that is that everyone already knows the original lyrics. The song is embedded into our culture, and the story that we each associate with it- whatever that story is – cannot be separated out just by making it more “optimistic.”

Either the song is meaningless to the couple, in which case there’s no point in doing it, or the song has meaning to them, in which case this is an intrusion into their story. Changing the lyrics just makes it worse. And, since the priest didn’t ask the couple ahead of time, or give them any indication it was going to happen, he had NO IDEA whether the song was meaningful or not to them, no sense of whether he may have been intruding.

The people who advocate a “liberal/progressive” (for lack of a better term – I know it’s not a good term) liturgical paradigm, and/or the people who promote creative adaptations to liturgy and bemoan adherence to rubrics, those people tend to scream about sensitivity, about personalization, about the needs and longings of the individuals. This event, and all events like it, are contrary to all those values. It is ham-handed and awkward. The couple in the video may have been delighted, but the next couple may be appalled, embarrassed, hurt, or just annoyed.

It isn’t the violation of rubrics and theology that primarily bothers me. It is the potential violation of the couple’s relationship that I find so appalling.

76 Replies to “Singing Priest at Wedding: well beyond the liturgical problems”

  1. Chill man, and listen to the actual words that he sang and look at the delighted response of the couple. Dry rubrics and "pure" liturgists just kill all celebrations.

  2. Just one small point, which might or might not be relevant to your critique: As best as I could tell, the priest did not use Cohen's original lyrics; he made up his own, which seemed much more "optimistic" and geared to the context of a wedding service.

  3. Do we really need a priest here after all? Better to go back to the good old days when RCs could be married by the court clerk or justice of the peace. It sure beats listening to this papalistic pap from this "celebrant" who seems all about projecting his role and couldn't care less about the couple.

  4. The fact that the priest didn't sing the original lyrics doesn't make things better in the slightest. In fact, it ups the creepy factor exponentially—he customized the song to the couple.

  5. The couple in question have just been on national tv in Ireland, speaking from Mexico where they are on honeymoon, thanking the priest for making their wedding so special.
    The clip has been watched over 10 million times on utube.
    Fr Ray Kelly himself is currently being interviewed on live television.
    He has done more for promoting a positive image of church and the church's liturgy than all the liturgists who want their form of liturgy and nothing else, sadly for most it is a remote cold detached form of worship unrelated to the lives of 99.9% of people.

  6. >>Detached, cold liturgy.
    >>Singing stupid songs.

    THOSE ARE NOT THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS!

  7. So would it have been appropriate enough had the priest asked for permission or had the couple even requested it? I wouldn't really have a problem with this had it been a wedding outside of Mass. For all I know, it was. If it was a Mass, it's inappropriate for the same reasons it's inappropriate at any Mass, not because it's a crime against the couple.

  8. How about a joyful, yet sober liturgy celebrated in obedience to the church, and a nice reception afterwords where you can sing as much as you want?

  9. I have mixed feelings about this.

    The liturgy side of me, and heaven knows the hymn writing side, think it's ridiculously inappropriate.

    The evangelization side of me, which includes part of my hymn writing side too, thinks, "If this weren't Ireland, and if it weren't 2014, this would be nothing more than a cheap stunt. But, Ireland needs emergency surgery at the moment, and maybe this is it."

  10. Personally, I couldn't care less about the hoopla and/or infamy surrounding this video.
    Regarding Ireland, this only reinforces the general inattention of Irish clergy regarding liturgical innovation and propriety over decades/centuries as catalogued 20 years ago by Thomas Day.
    What ought to be considered as disturbing is that this accretion was a calculated action on the part of people who should know better. Ten million YT "hits" doesn't validate the incredibly weird decision to disrespect nearly every aspect of the universal liturgy, AND the misappropriation of the Cohen song, which does carry textual and emotional baggage. If Father wanted to associate his very good balladeer's talents, then why not go back to when songs such as "Annie's Song….Longer….Since You've Asked…How Can I Tell You….Run, River, Run et al were an actual part of the wedding liturgical culture in the "peace love and understandiing" era?
    Disingenuous and ill-considered logic can't possibly truly serve true evangelism, tho' I get Kathy's ambivilence.

  11. Is there any serious reason why the priest could not have held off his surprise for the reception?

  12. With all due respect to Father Kelly, after seeing the video, a couple quotes come to mind: Both by Popes and one of them happens to be a Saint. Here they are: “It is not fitting that the servant should be applauded in His Masters house” Pope St Pius X —- "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. " (Spirit of the Liturgy p. 198)

  13. Omiwerd, endtimes, y'all.
    CMAA-ites and Praytellers are in substantial agreement!

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  14. "It's against the rules" is no longer a a satisfying response. it may be correct, but it doesn't change hearts, or educate. We are a society now that does not respect obedience. Obedience is the last ditch effort to keep people in line these days, not the first.

    So, CKH points out a very fine quote by Cardinal Ratzinger which really drives home the pope. The fact is we are in crisis. It is devastating to know that priests don't have enough faith in the liturgy the Church gives us that they have to interject their own personality. That is the sad part, or, equally sad, that we have such egomaniacs as priests that they feel everything relies on them. This is the sad part.

    They're cheapening the Liturgy, they're cheapening their own priesthood, they become fools because they have taken a promise of celibacy to be an entertainer and motivational speaker (even if they don't live down by the river!). I presume these priests are well-meaning. But this is just another part of the crisis of identity in the Church today. We are still in free-fall, and we know the Church will live as it is founded by Christ, but we don't quite know what will be left.

  15. As I have heard some mothers explain to their teenage daughters: That isn't the kind of attention you want.

  16. Sober, obedience, nice – all fine sounding but for far too long such combinations have overshadowed and killed the joyful celebration bit.
    The human element is important, people have feelings and emotions that have to be engaged. Impersonal "celebrations" of sacraments performed correctly according to rubrics and the rather legalistic grim GIRM make no sense to the vast majority of people if they do not engage them in a holistic way. The first task is to engage, then maybe the hearts and minds will follow.
    Liturgy is for people, not people for Liturgy

  17. That's not a fair analogy, but still, if it were not a church in steep decline, and if this weren't something worth getting attention for (Catholicism cool? Weddings cool? CATHOLIC WEDDINGS COOL?), I would say piffle.

    As it is, I hope the church in Ireland gears up to take advantage of the pr.

  18. As I see it there are three real issues here:
    1) the effect of the sensationalism on the marriage, which is sacramental and of lasting importance, and which should be protected from sensationalism,
    2) the horrific but-not-yet-realized possibility of multiple copycat incidents,
    3) the actual fact that this has already happened.

    I think Adam is right to focus on 1), and I would guess some very special follow-up ministry is probably in order for the couple involved.

    Liturgists are mainly concerned with 2), and rightly so.

    Given 3), my question is, how do we make capital out of a weirdly successful outreach to the unchurched?

  19. >>Given 3), my question is, how do we make capital out of a weirdly successful outreach to the unchurched?

    "…and if you thought THAT was meaningful, you should hear our actual prayers!"

  20. That!

    It's Lent. Nothing in the church indicated that: flowers everywhere including ON the altar, no violet anywhere in sight.

    Other things that struck me: glass Chalice, unity candle (blech!).

    Fr. Kelly has done this at least once before, there's a video to prove it. He also has albums to sell.

    Oh why can't they just limit themselves to doing the red and saying the black?!?

  21. Except what happens when a couple expecting this kind of thing runs into a parish priest who does the red and says the black? Then he becomes a big meanie because he is obedient to the Church and is not making the Mass about himself.

  22. Perhaps not 'our actual music' because that is not edifying in most parishes I've attended over the years. Maybe, 'the music we're actually supposed to use'?

  23. I can't imagine at what point in the marriage rite this is inserted, and what is that unity candle or whatever it is doing on the altar? I agree it is creepy.
    So is the Rite of Marriage and Celebration of the Eucharist about making it special for the couple and a celebration of their love? Or is it about coming before God and making vows in the context of celebrating the Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and praying that the couple will be an example to the world of His sacrifial love?
    Underneath all of this innovation is anxiety that there are unchurched folk out there and we need to find a way to bring them back. This is not going to work. Who do you know who has come back to church because of attending a service like this? No matter how much innovating we do, they will always need more. Just do the Rites and do them well.

  24. Frankly this isn't very new. Think of "Sister Act" (1992) and "A Change of Habit" (1969). The notion that "groovy" music will save the Church is a meme that has been around for about 50 years. What is new is the technology (the internet) and the fact that a priest – and an Irish(!) priest at that – is doing the singing. I'm basically with Janet. How many of those 10 million who pressed "like" for this video – and who aren't already going to Mass – will return to church? And of the few who will, how long will it last when they find out the local curate doesn't have a voice like Leonard Cohen? My generation was inundated with guitar Masses in the 1970's. We kids loved it in high school, yet many of my contemporaries are no longer practicing Catholics.

    It didn't work then, and it won't work now – unless there is some actual conversion experience that happens at the same time to which the music is accidentally related. In those cases, if the conversion is solid and sticks, the person eventually grows up and realizes that there is an actual sacred music which better matches what they have committed themselves to. Otherwise it is just people "liking" ephemeral fads.

  25. "Oh why can't they just limit themselves to doing the red and saying the black?!?"
    Grim GIRM. Flowers on the altar, during Lent etc etc etc. Does it really matter? Not to me, but obviously to some.
    Why the need to be so rigid and legalistic?? It's a big church, room for us all.

  26. Actually, the first task is to worship God in the way he desires, and the second task is to engage the people.

  27. As I mentioned over at PTB directly, and obliquely here, the upshot I take away from this distraction is that though the gates of hell will never prevail over Holy Mother Church, clericalism is giving hell a run for its money. As Jesus might've quipped, "The in my persona Christi's will always be with us."
    It's not up to me, but I'm divesting any further interest in this event and topic as it is of no avail.

  28. Oops, I'm breaking my own pact already in less than a minute.
    I now have an earworm of a celebrant in spiked hair in the orans chanting "Muh muh muh muh muh muh muh MY PERSONA!" Apologies to the Cars.

  29. Obedience matters alright but who benefits? Sorry, but obedience for obedience sake has led the church into a very very sorry mess. It's a great pity far more people did not scream and question when all the abuse and cover ups were going on.
    No, for me there are far far greater values. But as I say thank God it is a big universal catholic church with room for us all.

  30. Having sat through another version of this song as the Pastor's homily on Good Friday (yes, including the "Hallelujah"), having it now requested over and over in a version of Psalm 23 at funerals I am personally jaded by this whole experience … but the Pastor isn't. To him, this is what we should be doing … giving the people what the want!

    To me, so much is wrong in so many ways … including the headline "Priest Stars at Couple's Wedding" which is the link my Pastor sent me … which is why I have withheld my name (sorry).

    Please stand and join in our gathering hymn, "Stairway to Heaven." 🙁

  31. Does anybody REALLY sit around at Mass and think, "GAH, that rubric really sucks!" Or, "Oh, that horrible by-the-book liturgist is really killing the celebration, man!" How lame.

  32. Cop out. So if you and I were having a conversation about when the best time to open up the food pantry for the day is and we get side tracked and I say, "Well, getting back to the task at hand…" you'd say, "The fist task is to love God and neighbor!" Well, obviously…

    My point is that your point is beside the point and is so blindingly obvious as to not be mentioned and I think the only reason you mention it is to draw attention away from what is being talked about.

  33. If we are all about love, then our hearts are ordered to loving God first. Our worship is of the Holy Trinity, and should be focused on praise due to God. Our love for each other flows from this love of God.

    With respect for Fr. Kelly, he made a poor choice in distracting the focus of worship by singing a song that would have been an ok choice for a reception.

    With regard to Kathleen's third point, we can make the most out of the good pr by gladly embracing our roots, and allowing people to be drawn in to authentic, God-centered Christian liturgical practice **and** by publicly living as caring, open, joyful, humorous Catholics. Evangelization through distracting gimmicks during the liturgy, however well-intentioned, is a kind of trickery. It is also unsustainable and inauthentic, and does not bear lasting fruit.

  34. "[W]e can make the most out of the good pr by gladly embracing our roots, and allowing people to be drawn in to authentic, God-centered Christian liturgical practice **and** by publicly living as caring, open, joyful, humorous Catholics. "

    Precisely.

  35. It's definitely early ALZHEIMERS, it took me three hours to remember it wasn't the Cars, but Doug Fieger and the Knack. Mmmmmmm my Sharona!

  36. Yes. There are indeed. It's probably the only violation of the Chesterton axiom of "anything worth doing is worth doing badly"

  37. a remote cold detached form of worship unrelated to the lives of 99.9% of people.

    Never occurred to you that "the people" could be wrong, eh?

  38. Part 1 – The Church in Ireland is utterly ruined by raving mad new age ideology. It has been led by lunatics for years.

    To understand the progressive establishment of the Church in Ireland, and the destruction they caused to the Faith, here is the bizarre and sordid story of Micheál Ledwith. For 17 years – this man was in charge of the theological formation of priests in Ireland. As you can read below, what goes on now in the Irish Church should be of no surprise.

    Ledwith (laicized in 2005) currently travels the world lecturing with a New Age cult (reported to be in Arizona) called Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. The school was established in 1988 by a woman called JZ Knight, who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old being called Ramtha the Enlightened One. The school's "teachings" are based on these channeling sessions. Knight proclaims that in 1977, an entity named Ramtha began channelling through her. Ramtha, it is claimed, is a being from an ancient civilization who has been teaching through Knight about how reality is created and how human beings can create their own personal reality.

  39. Part 2 – Ledwith was ordained a Catholic priest in Ireland in 1967. After a promising academic start he ascended rapidly in the Irish Church. In 1977 he began a 17-year stint in leadership of the main Catholic seminary in Ireland at Maynooth. In 1977 he was appointed to a post in Dogmatic Theology at St Patrick's College at Maynooth. Advancing quickly up the ladder, he served a term as Dean of the Faculty of Theology, and then assumed the Chair of Systematic theology and later was appointed as College Vice-President. In 1985 he was appointed to the post of President of Maynooth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and member of the Conference of the Heads of Irish Universities. The Presidency of Maynooth, at that time, was a senior position within the Catholic Church and considered the gateway to glowing career. Ledwith, appointed at 44, was seen as a rising star. Described on Wikipedia as “Intelligent, urbane and charming he was regarded within the church as a progressive and it was expected that he would soon be appointed to a prominent Bishopric.”

  40. Part 3 – In 1994 Ledwith suddenly resigned from his post, arousing much controversy in Ireland, involving suspicions of sex abuse with seminarians. The matter festered unresolved due in part to one or more confidentiality agreements involving Ledwith and others. In 2010 the appointment of an Apostolic Visitation from the Holy See to the Irish Church was charged, among other things, with investigating all Irish seminaries, and Maynooth in particular.

    The Church in Ireland was infested with lunatics and charlatans. That's why it fell into ruin.

    The whole story makes me think of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who when he joined the Church and started observing it from within, expressed concern about the priests in Ireland because they were so poorly educated in the faith.

  41. George: "And God only desires GIRM???"

    From what His Son told us, here is what He desires: "Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven." (Matthew 18:18)

  42. I am so glad to read this. My first response when I saw the video was "how inappropriate!" Needless to say I was bashed to smithereens by all the 'progressive, inclusive,creative" Catholics. They just don't get it.

  43. Not quite. In the "Good Old Days" there were marries by a priest, unless something extra ordinary occured, after which they were married by a priest.

    I think that this song, & sung at the Nuptial Mass is many steps up from what has passed for "contemporary Sacred Music" over the past decades, Including "Polka Masses".

  44. If this Priest is allowed to burst into song during the Sacrament of Holy Marriage, why not the Sacramento of Confession or, even better, who could object to him spontaneously breaking into Dies Irae as he administers the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?

    And those clowns applauding in church; I'll bet the majority of them would have had their Da's threaten to ake a shillelagh to their kidneys if they had made caused such a ruckus when they were kids

  45. Having enjoyed a number of chants at this site, it is extremely disappointing to witness the negative comments about Fr. Kelly singing a portion of the Mass.

    Should the Pope not say Mass in St. Peter’s at Easter, since he may be the center of attention? In reality, the Pope is the center of attention.

    How is it, we have Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, sung by Protestant soldiers in the 100 Years War, included in Catholic Hymn books, & Cohen’s melody is bad?

    [Edited comment for the sake of politeness.–admin]

  46. The celebrant who gets ordinary attention by fulfilling his role according to liturgical norms is different from the priest who performs non-liturgical or even anti-liturgical acts and makes himself a spectacle.

    As for Luther's hymn, I'm sure some of the writers on this site would oppose using it in a Catholic Mass: not for any unorthodoxy in the text, but because of the historical association you mention. Similarly, Cohen's melody is associated with that song's lyrics about King David's adultery.

  47. "It's against the rules" is not a sufficient response, no: we have to be able to articulate why those rubrics exist and connect it to what we profess to believe.

    There are just so many points at which liturgical abuse simply deviates from those beliefs, and how it undermines the confidence of the faithful in the Church's liturgy. But for now, they can pretty much be summed up as: either Catholicism can speak to the whole of the human person, or it just can't. And if we profess to believe that it can, then why do we think that we know better than the Church's Magisterium when it comes to what's appropriate or not appropriate for Mass? What do we even think Mass is?

    We're so fond of saying things like "actions speak louder than words." But somehow or other, we think this doesn't matter at Mass, and end up misrepresenting what Mass is, ultimately, what Catholics believe. That man is matter and spirit, and that God became Man in order to wonderfully restore Man to God is fundamental Catholic belief, and what we do with our bodies doesn't just apply to certain hot-button… "pelvic issues" (though I suspect that if we aren't fully rooted in any sense that man is matter and spirit, and not either/or, then we'll have a jolly hard time being convincing on those pelvic issues and much else, also, including why liturgical rubrics exist for a reason).

  48. I forgot to add the following: the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us has certain implications. So is it ever true that as long as we "get the words right," form and function don't matter?

  49. We kids loved it in high school, yet many of my contemporaries are no longer practicing Catholics.

    Yeah. I was one of those.

    I came back to the Catholic Church– and nearly left again, because bad catechesis, bad liturgy, and a combination of strict adherence to "rules" qua "respectability" combined with doctrinal and dogmatic laxness ultimately makes for a potentially lethal combination. What convinced me to stay and want to be Catholic was Ratzinger, Waugh, Chesterton, Palestrina, and Gregorian chant, among others. It's because I now know that the Church does have a viable, rich, living tradition that can take me far, broad, and deep, I can do my best to charitably put up with a lot, knowing that people are doing their best and are sincere.

    But I think we can legitimately question the direction of best efforts and sincerity– in other words, where is it pointing, ultimately? Effort is absolutely essential. But nobody ever lives life coherently just by making an effort. That effort must have an ultimate purpose and direction.

  50. Agreed. There's room for Christian pop in the Church, I think, but this admission rather begs the question of what we mean by "Church."

    The Mystical Body of Christ is not meant to be confined by the four walls of the parish church.

    Perhaps the best place for Christian pop of the kind we often hear at a youth Mass is in outreach and evangelization– but the core and heart that feeds those efforts, we cannot afford any confusion on, or even our best evangelization efforts will atrophy.

    Having the fullness of the Truth means both being able to meet others where they are while knowing in which direction to point them, knowing that we are ALL pilgrims on the way to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

  51. It was tacky, inappropriate and so obviously self-promotional !
    God save us from such poor examples of the great gift of Christ's Priesthood.
    If he had had any ounce of decency, modesty and respect for both the couple and the Sacrament of Marriage he would have offered – not imposed – his "gift – (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) at the reception.
    But then, that would not have given him as big a bald-faced grab at this narcissistic exercise in self promotion.

  52. Please folks, this singing was AFTER the marriage ceremony, he definitely did not use the original lyrics, and it was his gift to the couple.

    I don't believe he was trying to glorify himself, just to give the couple a musical present to start their marriage.

  53. Well, the ceremony isn't done until the final blessing is given and the couple leaves.

    Of course Fr. probably sings this as a well-intended gesture. According to comments posted on the net, he does this often at weddings. Reportedly the couple didn't expect it because they are not from the parish.

    It's still problematic, because it's a message from him personally. But that's not what he's called to do. In the wedding ceremony, he presides not as an individual, but in the name of the church to witness the vows; and he acts in the person of Christ to bless the couple and their marriage. He's there as an icon, not as himself. To give this very personal – even intrusive – message is to step out of his role, so it's a non-liturgical act.

    It's not wicked, it's just wrongheaded.

  54. The post of Raymond G is my sentiment as well. The ceremony had ended I.e outside of the Liturgy (like announcements) and it was a gift to the couple. Did not seem to me that the priest was trying to call attention to himself but rather he was reaffirming the response and support of the Church (the Mystical Body of Christ) , to the couple. I think it was a sign of the joy in heaven over the couple. :). And I'm a strict believer in adherence to good Liturgical practice.

  55. For goodness sake! That couple will never forget the special gift he gave them on their wedding day. There's nothing like a bit of inspired courage to get us uplifted.

  56. The Irish clergy has perpetrated so much evil in the last hundred years. I find it very strange that people get so upset about a priest singing while remaining silent about those dreadful acts.

  57. My 'AMEN' was meant for George's comment , liturgy is for the people.'

  58. Wrong.no statement given thus far proves that the 'priest was making the Mass about himself' merely because he beautifully donated to them this memorable tribute.

  59. And what in the Almighty 's name makes you think that the Holy Spirit is not choosing to bring such a welcomed gift to the smiling couple, the celebrant, and guests. This is not a 'human achievement' as propensity for all such blessings are from God. The essence of liturgy has not 'totally disappeared' because of this. Instead perhaps it's essence is made while joy flows through the souls of all there.

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