In an age that focuses on heavily on one’s relationship status, women everywhere can take heart. Single girls need not fear loneliness, and those who wait for Mr. Right can have that bridal experience even if he hasn’t arrived yet. Each little girl will have a wedding day. Each one can live her childhood dream of putting on a veil and bridal gown. Each one can walk down the aisle. Most every little girl internally hears the refrain of, “Someday my prince will come…”
My Prince came when I was 7 years old. It was my First Communion Day, my first wedding.
I had found the dress. It was simple white satin, with a big sash and adorned with tiny rosebuds all over the skirt. I had matching gloves, with lace embroidered cuffs and a little rosette near each wrist. My veil was held in place by a small comb of sparkly blue crystals, my “something blue”. I looked like a miniature Audrey Hepburn, but inside I felt radiant.
My family was all assembled, dressed to the nines and equipped with cameras. My daddy didn’t walk me down the aisle for this wedding. I got to walk to my Beloved on my own. As my fellow communicants and I lined up at the back of the church, we were each given a rose to carry down the aisle. As the procession started, tears began to prick and sting my eyes. I didn’t know whether to cry or smile, and I ended up doing a watery version of both.
I knew. I knew, in a moment of extraordinary grace, that Jesus was really there, in spite of the taste and appearance of bread and wine. I already believed this throughout all my First Communion classes, but this time I felt it. I knew He was there, waiting to enter my soul for the first time and overflow it with His love. My heart swelled. That’s the only way for me to explain it.
Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.Canticle of Canticles 1:10
When I finally knelt at the altar rail to receive my prince, the Prince of Peace, it was as if Father had said, “You may kiss the bride.”
Much time has passed since Christ’s first kiss to my soul (as St. Therese once put it), but every year, on May 3rd, I smile secretly to myself because I remember my first wedding.
Some women, like a friend of mine, will have second wedding in the form of religious vows, a true spiritual marriage with Christ. Others, who wish for earthly marriage and companionship, must, as I once read, “dance with God till He let’s someone cut in.” Not that He would matter any less, but more that He would want to share my heart with a knight of His choosing.
Religious life and the sacrament of Matrimony involve binding vows and the exchange of rings. Holy Communion is a blending of souls and an exchange of hearts. It is accessible to all. Jesus waits for you, specifically. He is there to love you in a way that is unique to all the idiosyncrasies of your soul. Can that not be called a kind of married bliss? No, sisters, we haven’t missed the bridal band wagon. And gentlemen, the union between Christ and your souls is just as special. In fact, it is there that He will train you to become the knights that we ladies are seeking! Or perhaps He’ll ask you to be a spiritual Jedi Knight (aka: priest)…. ; )
I might still be waiting for my knight, but I can rest in the love of my Prince, and say to Him:
“Happy Anniversary Jesus!”