Marriages evolve, pastors adapt

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By Cathy Gerig

It is time to recover. Much of the marriages canceled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic will be celebrated this summer. But, over the past decade, ceremonies have changed a lot.

Pastor Louis Pernot’s agenda will be busy this summer. Weddings, from 10 to 20 years old during a typical year at the Temple de l’Étoile, in Paris, will be more numerous in 2022. Since 2020, due to Covid-19, many ceremonies have been postponed. Also, the end of health restrictions is the time to catch up. The pandemic “Has complicated many things for the newlyweds”, comments the parish priest. While many start by getting married before having a baby, some have reversed their plan. “Anyone who has a baby on the way or is very young no longer necessarily wants to get married. The child becomes their main concern. “

But there are also those who are more inclined to party. Some have already had to postpone their union twice, when everything was ready. Almost experts in organizing weddings, their mission is not easy. The shepherds’ diaries are bottled up, and many rooms are already reserved. “Some are surprised because the parish priest is already taken on the date of their choice”, confirms Louis Pernot. So this year it will unite the couples “On a Monday or another day of the week. Friday was already done, but it was rare “.

Nine out of ten marriages in the province

Over the years – and well before the pandemic began – the parish priest of the 17th arrondissement observed the emergence of new trends. Partly due to the rental price of the venue and accommodation, weddings celebrated in the capital are increasingly rare. Nine times out of ten, newlyweds now prefer provinces or even more spectacular places like Greece. “Today, young people want to get married in an environment that makes them happy. It could be the region where they go on vacation, regions where the weather is nice “says Louis Pernot.

When he has the opportunity to go back and forth throughout the day, he generally agrees to make these unions. “We need to be able to offer Sunday worship. But, in one day, we can go far. It’s fun, but it’s tiring “points out the one who was in Barcelona in 2021 and will soon go to Corsica.

The rise of outdoor weddings

At the same time, the pastor also witnessed the emergence of another type of ceremony: those outdoors, as in the United States. “Catholics refuse, because marriage must take place in a consecrated place. I accept”. However, weddings of this type which take place as in a dream are an exception. “Outside, it’s rarely the ideal temperature. It’s too hot, cold, raining, windy, mosquitoes, etc.., lists the pastor. Some are fine, but it’s getting more and more complicated “. However, they have increased in number over the past decade.

What about the preparations with the multiplication of distant marriages? Some are done remotely, by videoconference or by telephone. These cases generally arise when the newlyweds “Did not have an intense religious practice between their confirmation and marriage. They are looking for the pastor who confirmed them, while now they live in London or Brussels “. A situation that poses a problem: the relationship of trust is established only with one of the spouses. However, it is important for the minister to understand who his loved one is in order to unite them in the way that suits him.

“A real relationship”

“Creating a real relationship only on video is more complicated. There is no heart-to-heart contact. On this side there is the frustration of having made a marriage with a distance preparation. And the recovery observed in 2022 means that shepherds have less time than normal times.

If he does not know if marriage preparation helps to live together, he sees in it a means to lay solid foundations. “The preparation is more practical and less theological among Catholics. Among Protestants we reflect a lot on beliefs, values, etc.remembers the parish priest. “Get married in the temple!”concludes.

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