next year to a nonCatholic, may I say how heartily I endorse Mrs. Goddard's letter on the mixed marriage ceremony. My fiance's family are sincere Methodists, w onderf ul fairminded folk who have raised no objection to our marriage. I shudder at the idea they will receive of Catholicism at our wedding — I have seen these affairs, rushed, unfeeling ceremonies, performed by disapproving priests, who, after all, are taking the place of Almighty God! Would this really be His reaction?
As if having to forego the happiness of a Nuptial Mass were not enough, we are made to feel unwanted by the Church itself.
To my mind a wonderful opportunity is being missed to show non-Catholics some of the splendour, beauty and happiness that a Catholic marriage with God as a witness can bring, How can unity possibly succeed under these conditions?
Elizabeth Fay, Walkden.
Sin—It would help so much if, at a mixed marriage, there could be one or two psalms sung, or one or two really good hymns, with candles on the altar, and a sermon from the officiating priest. For the parties themselves it is a terrible introduction to married life to have a hole and corner ceremony which seems to say: "With God's grace anything is possible, hut it's going to take a miracle of grace to make this particular marriage work." Then there is the dreadful effect on non-Catholic guests who are loft with the idea that the Catholic Church is cold and hard, without majesty or beauty in its expression. On these occasions one can almost cut the air — the general sense of embarrassment is so great. And there is so much encouragement for people sitting on the benches to chatter in a way that takes all the grandeur out of the occasion.
The point surely is that, if the Church has in fact granted a dispensation, it should then act in such a way as to make the nonCathol'c party feel really welcome, After all, it is extremely hard for. some Catholics to find a Catholic partner. .1. Lancing, London, N.W.3,