Monday, January 28, 2008

First "Tridentine" Wedding at Grotto in 40 Years!

An extraordinary wedding.....

On Friday, January 4th, at 4:00pm, Assumption Grotto was graced with the Sacrament of Marriage in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (EF) for the first time in 40 years. You may recognize it by another name, the so-called "Tridentine" or "Traditional Latin Mass" (TLM).

I did not post the photos sooner because I was unable to connect with the bride and groom to get their permission to share the pics online (and I did not want them to learn about them via the web!).

Kathryn & Thomas Hulett became husband and wife at this majestic celebration.

Clicking on any pic should enlarge it on your computer. Bloggers: feel free to post any pics you want, but kindly provide a link back to this post (click the time stamp below for the url).

An Unplanned Shoot
I had gone to take photos during what I thought was going to be the First Friday Adoration for the Sacred Heart, which normally takes place from 9:30am to 6:30pm each month. We have adoration daily, save Sundays in the convent chapel. I also knew the Christmas decorations would soon be coming down and had not been able to take many pictures.

What? A Wedding?
When I got there shortly after 3:00, the Blessed Sacrament had just been returned to the Tabernacle and preparations for the wedding were underway. I was short on time and was planning to leave before the wedding until........the altar cards came out.

I was already feeling bad because I missed a wedding between Christmas and New Years that I had been asked to shoot some months earlier. I hadn't committed, and never commit to weddings because I have many variables in my personal life, especially my mother's ill health, and I would not want to blow the only opportunity someone has to have pictures of such a special day.

What? A "Tridentine" Wedding?
Seeing those altar cards, my first plea to God was, "Oh Lord, don't do this to me - you know I won't be able to resist this". A short time later, I learned who was getting married. I did not know the bride, but I knew her father, Mike, who recently passed away after a long illness. I met him in the school hallway of Grotto about two years ago when, seeing my camera, he introduced himself and asked if I was the same Diane who was active on the web in Catholic forums and blogs. We had some good conversations about the faith and the liturgy.

That was it. I finally realized that Mike's Guardian Angel was working overtime along with mine to get me to stay. How could I walk out now? I asked the Blessed Mother for her assistance as I so often do when shooting anything sacred (and because I really have no idea what I'm doing). Below is the result of that prayer.

I did not find out until the sermon that not only did I capture this beautiful wedding, I captured a piece of history for Assumption Grotto. Deo Gratias!

You may have noticed that the bride and groom where exchanging vows at the beginning, rather than mid-Mass. I thought this was awesome.

One thing to note for couples considering a wedding in the Extraordinary Form: Start kneeling daily for longer and longer periods until you can do so comfortably for at least an hour. There was no place for chairs in the Sanctuary and from what I'm told, this is the way it use to be.

I am speaking from experience when I tell you that if you can only kneel for 5 minutes today, with time and practice, you can easily work your way up to an hour over a period of time. I recall my first days at Grotto where I use to break a sweat kneeling for just 7 minutes or so during the short Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form (or New Mass).

There's one more thing about getting married at Grotto, either in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form (and you get to choose): No one escapes the pre-Cana classes by Fr. Eduard Perrone, Grotto's pastor. If you want to understand the beauty of marriage in the context of theology of the body, you will have your fill.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home


Jean M. Heimann said...

How beautiful! I don't think I have ever seen wedding photos so striking as these. You can definitely tell this is a Catholic wedding. Thanks for sharing.

God bless you!

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures! I almost wish I could sit in on these Fr. Perrone classes you speak of.

Phelony Jones said...


Red said...

The Extraordinary Form certainly makes it evident one is witnessing a Sacrament. Beautiful pictures Diane.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this amazing and beautiful event. The church is gorgeous and I love that the bride and bridemaids are wearing shawls. It's all so lovely. Thanks and God bless you, Liz F.

Tedster said...

Wow! Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

Emma said...

Amazing! I would love to witness a wedding like this!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!! How wonderful that they could have a mass like this.

Anonymous said...

Msgr. Sawyer must of been really pleased from heaven.

Paul said...

Really nice, shame about the immodesty and the server being on the wrong side at the consecration....

Anonymous said...

Ive been reading these comments and smiling because of how nice they are but that last comment bugged me. There was absolutely no immodesty in the dress, all the girls wore shawls that covered their shoulders and the dress came plenty far about the chest. If Father Perrone had an issue I believe he would have made it known. And the server behind Father at consecration is well trained in the Tridentine rite so I think he knew what he was doing, again, if it was wrong I do believe Father would have said something.
beautiful pictures!

Paul said...

On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council, by mandate of Pope Pius XI, issued emphatic instructions on modesty of dress to all bishops, directing them to insist on these prescriptions:
"We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows..." (or the back..)
As for the serving:
"When the priest spreads his HANDS over the chalice, give one double ring with your BELL.Then go up the steps without genuflecting in the center, and kneel close to the priest a little to the right."-Handbook for Altar Servers
by the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen...
Being a serving instructor myself for the past five years one of the first things to learn is the server as a rule must ALWAYS kneel to the opposite of the missal, rubrics are important, each and everyone has a deep and profound meaning.Especially at the consecration when being on the right hand side of Christ takes on whole new meaning.... all that said congrats to the couple theyre well lucky to have the traditional Mass on their big day!

Anonymous said...

Truly beautiful photos.
Reminded me of our wedding Mass of almost 50 years ago.
Things started to change for the worse back in the early '60's.
I pray that I'll be around a few more years to see a return to Tradition.
Thank you for the great pictures.
God Bless You!

~~JennD.'J.M.J.'~* said...

Diane ~ Lovely photos...I well remember going to Holy Mass @ Assumption Grotto quite often when we lived in Detroit. (Thankfully, we are now in a parish out here in the suburbs where the Traditions of Holy Mother Church are well-preserved!)
Anyway, I see that you also include a link to the OA, of which I will happily be a member this April ~ I love your Blog!
God bless ~ Jennifer, (My Musing).

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why people have to comment negatively AT ALL. Ok, so the altar server made a mistake, no need to publicly chastize him as if you knew more than everyone else on the earth. I understand the importance of every action made on the altar, but considering we're all human and make mistakes, I'm sure God can forgive it.
As far as the dress goes, we live in 2008 and maybe it would be nice to comment on how the bride actually wore a shawl AT ALL. Seeing as how hard it is to find a dress these days that is not strapless or up to the neck.
Its irritating that so many people have to act holier than thou and only comment negatively on things that they shouldn't even care about because it doesn't even concern them.
People should be so lucky as to have such a beautiful wedding mass, it is so rare in this day and age. God Bless Assumption Grotto and any other traditional church who does allow it.

Diane K said...

There are two negative comments, both made by someone named Paul.

I don't think it is so much the observations made, but the tone of those observations.

I am afraid that some people want everything to change right now, today. The reality, is that things will work in baby steps.

It is true that today it is difficult to find bridal dresses that are completely modest. I think the shalls were a dignified solution.

Also, I would like to point out that what is considered "modest" is highly subjective. I know people who think that any part of a woman's arm showing above the mid-forearm to be immodest.

If we want to change what is considered modest, then we need to work at discussing it in ways that are non-confrontational, and with charity. In some future post, I may introduce this topic for discussion. For now, it may be a good topic for discussion in the bridal forum I mentioned here.

I'll close the combox to further discussion of attire since that is not what this post was to be about.

As to the server being on the wrong side, I can tell you that the young man who served did so with the utmost care and dignity. If it was an error, I am sure no one regretted it more than he. I have serious doubts that Our Lord holds it over him. However, I shutter to think how the Lord may cast judgment on those who think harshly of anyone finding himself mistakenly out of place.

We can learn many things from Pope Benedict. One thing we might ponder, is the tone in which he discusses the most serious of matters. He always considers the dignity of the individual and is constructive in a caring way. He never takes shots to make his point. I hope the tone in some comments here will continue along those lines.

I'll allow those I deem to be charitable and reject those that clearly lack charity. You can always get your own blog.

Paul said...

In hindsight, the comments i made although they were true, did also truly lack charity, youre totally right, the Church and the world isnt going to change over night,wouldnt it be a lot worse if they didnt get married in the old rite at all, or if they werent trying to be modest,im a young man and prone to saying things without thinking, i knew this as i was writing them and it was a mistake to do so.. I apologise, and i thank you for the charity to point out my lack of it.. and of humility in this situation, may God Bless you....Paul

Diane K said...


Thank you for exemplifying humility.

I'm sure you didn't mean for it to come across in the tone that it did, and that you meant well.

The topic of modesty I think is a good one.

I recall when I stood up for my brother's wedding many years ago, how uncomfortable I felt in the strapless dress I had to wear. It was out of character for me.

However, I felt the pressures of society which made it feel "ok" to bear that much skin and cleavage.

That was about 17 years ago. Today's young people have grown up with low cut, sleeveless tops and it does not seem immodest. There is no intent on the part of many people to be immodest.

I have witnessed even chastity programs, where young people are dressed much like the secular world expects them to.

For this reason, I was very glad just to see the shawls in use, which is a step forward.

Pastors need to approach the issue with prayer, and with charity. What is considered modest needs to be redefined. At the end of the day, I think it is going to be young Catholics who bring back a far greater sense of modesty than we see today. But, it will take time, patience - much patience, and dialogue.

~~JennD.'J.M.J.'~* said...

My own daughter will be getting married this July in Sweetest Heart of Mary church...and she and the bridesmaids will also be wearing shawls. I think it is a lovely and practical solution, also...and a shame that present-day fashions are so dictatorial.
My son was married in the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in October, 2006, and my daughter-in-law wore a fur shawl over her shoulders. She was so pleased with the "added protection" that she wore it for the remainder of the evening, as well. :)
God bless!

Anonymous said...

I am planning a Tridentine wedding, and seeing these pictures is getting me very excited! It is so hard to find pictures of a TLM nuptial mass! :-) Thanks.

Anonymous said...

When I read Paul's remarks about immodest dress, I thought it was about one of the guests, not of the bride.

The dress of that guest stood out to me right away as not conforming to the "Mary Like" standards of the traditional rite.

I am very glad that there are more people becoming aware of the beauty of the Tridentine Mass, and one of the most important things is the Grace imparted through it.

God blesses those that try to do His will sincerely, even if they make some mistakes in the learning process!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Geremia said...

These are amazing photos, and it's good to see that young people desire Tridentine weddings. I would love to see a movie posted on YouTube of the actual Tridentine marriage rite. Maybe one exists already? I've only read it my 1962 missal. Kathryn and Thomas Hulett, and others like them, have set a wonderful example for more Catholic couples to follow. Deo gratias!

Paulus said...

The exposed backs of the bride and the bridesmaids can't be considered modest according to the Mary Like Standards:
'1. Marylike is modest without compromise, "like Mary,” Christ's Mother.

'3. Marylike dresses require full coverage for the bodice, chest, shoulders, and back; except for a cutout about the neck not exceeding two inches below the neckline in front and in back, and a corresponding two inches on the shoulders.'

As for the altar server question, in either photograph of Consecration and Elevation, the server in the picture DID kneel at the right, I mean correct i.e. the left, side. All the rules that Paul was stating only apply to serving the Low Mass with only one altar server. Even without the help of earlier photos, any experienced server or "serving instructor" should be able to tell, by the way in which the server (acolyte #2) lifted the chasuble, that he was not the only altar server. The other server (acolyte #1), who was not in the either picture of Consecration and Elevation, was kneeling at the epistle side of the lowest step ringing the bell! Had there been only one acolyte, he would have been kneeling at the right of the celebrant, ringing the bell with his right hand, and lifting the chasuble with his left.

We need to humble ourselves lest we become "know-it-all" super experts.

Geremia said...

I agree. Their clothing is not Mary-like.

Amberdawn said...

Wow, really beautiful.