Dear Father Bernard,
I'm so sorry that it took us this long to get back to you with a thank you. I have to tell you, that I was completely caught off guard by your readings- they were beautiful. I have never attended a wedding where the words of the readings have impacted everyone so strongly the way yours did. You spoke of such a true and real kind of relationship in today’s world. The lesson taught that I took in the most was when you spoke of the importance to always take your spouse first-- to never put anyone above him(her). Greg and I swore our vows with real feeling after the words you spoke. I am so happy that we found you and that you were the priest to perform this very unique and personal ceremony. Thank you so much for your words and your blessings.
Sincerely, Judy and Greg C.
Dearest Father Bernard,
Both Jim and I want to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude for all you did for us on Saturday. Our wedding ceremony was not only one of the most beautiful services I've ever heard, but it was without question the most meaningful and touching event in my life. I have to be honest with you; I was somewhat cynical about the whole idea of another marriage ceremony and especially the reception. Jim and I are very private people and our first wedding in December was just that - a quiet, civil ceremony with only my eldest sister, her husband and two sons as our witnesses. We never meant to offend anyone and we were both taken aback when we received negative reactions to what we thought was our "happy news". We love our friends and family dearly and it was never our intention to make them feel excluded, but without realizing it we did. That's when we started to talk about a "party", and the whole idea kind of snowballed from there.
I really try to avoid the spotlight at all costs, and the thought of being a traditional "bride" was an intimidating prospect, to say the least! I can't imagine agreeing to go along with it for anyone other than Jim! I truly love him, and I also wanted to respect his father's wishes for a religious ceremony. That was never an issue for me, but we simply didn't realize that the difference in our faiths was going to be an obstacle for some churches. At times I was completely exasperated by the red tape we encountered and wanted to give up altogether. As far as I was concerned, we were already married and if that wasn't good enough, well, that was just too bad!
I believe that things happen for a reason and I believe with all my heart that Jim and I were meant to find you. I browsed a number of websites relating to interfaith marriage and nothing really moved me until I read about you. You were the only priest I contacted. I suppose I should have asked you more questions but somehow I knew it was the right choice. When Jim spoke to you on the phone he agreed, and that was that. I don't think I knew how much all of this truly meant to me until we were facing you this weekend. Your words went straight to my heart, Father Bernard. I wasn't standing up there merely for the sake of appearances or to appease the family; it was something I truly wanted to do. If I had trouble getting the words out it was because I finally understood how sacred they were. It was totally different than our civil ceremony. It took me completely by surprise - I had no idea that it would mean so much to me.
Everyone commented on what a stirring service you performed. From what I can tell, you had a rapt audience! We were all honored by your presence and delighted that you and Paula agreed to join us for dinner. My only regret is that I didn't get to spend more time with the two of you. Four hours flew by in the blink of an eye! It's funny how I anticipated, even dreaded, the approach of the day, and once it was happening I didn't want it to end. It was wonderful to be surrounded by the love of our family and friends, including the two of you.
Thank you for sharing our special day. God bless you both -
Jayne and Jim Murtha