samedi 3 juin 2006

We walked up to the church, Saint Julitte, which was begun in the 14th century. It is quite charming. We were early, so we waited outside awhile for the priest. It gave us a few moments to relax and talk to some of our guests. Then the priest appeared and the guests were able to enter the church.
The processional started, first Alain and his mother, then his father and my mom, then Rudy and Manon, and finally dad and me. Rudy and Manon did a great job. Since we had already had the civil ceremony and Alain and all the guests had already seen me, I felt very relaxed and excited about the ceremony, not nervous at all. The priest started by welcoming all the guests. Then I was supposed to translate what he said into English for all of the english speaking guests. But at this point all of my (ahem) FORMIDABLE French skills had completely left me. After a few umms and ahhs I thrust the microphone at Alain, who couldn't really translate it either. Luckily we had written a Welcome speech, so we got that out. (Here is it, in case the people who were there couldn't understand my garbled murmurings.)
"Your presence here is very special to us. We would especially like to thank the following- M l’Abbe Delignère who has helped us prepare this wedding and celebrate today our union. Our parents who have surrounded us with their love and encouragement. We would like to remember those who are not with anymore but remain forever in our hearts. Leah, Lucie, Olivier, and Guillaume - you are the witnesses of our engagement and are here accompany us in this important step of our life. And finally all of our guests who have come to share with us this happy moment. Thank you."
I tried to read it but got too emotional at the "We would like to remember those who are not with anymore but remain forever in our hearts." part so I thrust the microphone back at Alain who finished it up.
Leah did the first reading, the "Love is Patient, Love is Kind" speech.
Next Olivier and Guillaume alternated English and French for the Psalm reading.
Then the priest read the Gospel (The Beatitudes) and gave the Homily.

Next was the exchange of vows and rings.
Megan, veux-tu être ma femme ?
Oui, je le veux. Et toi, Alain,
veux-tu être mon mari ?
Oui, je le veux. Megan, je te reçois comme épouse
et je me donne à toi pour
t’aimer fidèlement tout au long de notre vie.
Alain, je te reçois comme époux
et je me donne à toi pour
t’aimer fidèlement tout au long de notre vie.

Then we had to read another prayer we had written. Alain did fine but I got all choked up. He kept telling me "It is okay dear, Breathe" and I could hear his mother saying "It's okay Megan".
Then the Our Father, the Nuptial Blessing, the Prayer of the Faithful (read by his sister Lucie and Aunt Shari in French and English). We had the final blessing, then presented a bouquet of white flowers to the Virgin Mary, a Provencal tradition. So I exchanged bouquets, we walked down the aisle and to the side altar where the priest spoke to us for a bit, I placed the bouquet on her altar, then we came back to the front altar. Then there was the next signing of the register, again by us and all the witnesses (four of them).
Then all of the guests filed past us, giving their congratulations and went out of the church. After everyone had left, we came out and everyone threw lavender on us. The bells were ringing like crazy, which I loved. Right after us, there was a baptism to take place. (and that morning a funeral). The church was full of flowers, mostly white according to tradition.

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