No, I didn’t watch the royal wedding. (This is late, I know; I’ve had relatives in town.)
Ok, I googled some images to see the dress (and accidentally got some really awful, horrible hats, too), which was classy, beautiful, and modest. Some major website that should know better (I forget which) had an article on royal wedding dresses as signs of the times, going on and on about “springtime” and recovery being symbolized by the flowers on Kate’s dress: daffodils, shamrocks, roses, and thistles. *sigh* I’m not a royal watcher, at least not since my paper doll book of Princess Diana (many, many years ago), but even I know that roses stand for England, shamrocks for Ireland (or at least the part that didn’t revert to being its own country), thistles signify Scotland, and daffodils stand for Wales (you wouldn’t want to use the leeks the Welsh wear for St. David’s day because the leeks symbolize a specific victory, probably against the English, I’m guessing). In other words, it wasn’t some flighty wish for new beginnings for the country; the flowers were picked as specific symbols of the nationalities that make up Great Britain.
And I heard, in passing, that the archbishop said something in his sermon about marriage, in spite of the world’s view, not being all about you. It’s about making a relationship together and being dedicated to that relationship, not just doing your own thing all the time. DH wondered out loud if the archbishop was talking to the bride and groom or the groom’s father (and his second wife) and other divorced aunts and uncles.
What I did watch a lot of was the coverage of the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
FoxNews did a very nice job, even if they missed a few of the finer details. EWTN, as would be expected, had all the details covered: the vestments (Pope Benedict was wearing vestments made for JPII), the chalice (used frequently by JPII when celebrating mass in the last years of his life), who’s who among the bishops, everything.
And my local paper, as is to be expected, had a tiny photo with a caption mentioning that “thousands” showed up for the beatfication. As brother told us at mass, while explaining why any profit from the upcoming Springfest will be dedicated to a new carpet for the worship space, my parish has six thousand people in and out of its doors in a normal weekend. I think a few more than “thousands” showed up in Rome last Sunday, but don’t expect the local bastion of liberal group-think to admit it voluntarily.
EWTN was saying the estimates were running at about two million people present for the beatification mass. St. Peter’s Square was full, as was the boulevard that stretches several blocks down towards Castel Sant Angelo. Tiers of seats were set up all along the top of the collonade, and the helicopter view showed people packed in side streets and on the bridge over the Tiber, in addition to the crowds gathered in off-site locations.
More people may have attended or watched the royal wedding, but which event was more important? A hundred years from now, people will be saying, “Kate who?” but John Paul II will be remembered and admired for the holiness of his life and his witness to Jesus. We will remember this much-loved and admired pope as someone we hope to meet at the wedding feast in Heaven, someone who inspired people to embrace Jesus more deeply, follow Him closer, and find different ways to reach those unreached by the Gospel, especially those living among us. The idea of the New Evangelization, emphasizing the wise employment of the new electronic media for evangelization; the Theology of the Body, discussing why men and women are different and what it means for our lives, marriages, and faith; and numerous encyclicals, on faith and reason, women, relations among religions, and many others. Blessed John Paul’s effects on the Church and its relationships with the rest of the world will be felt for a long time.
I wish Will and Kate well, as much as any newlywed couple, but I skipped the royal wedding.
I’m waiting for the Wedding Feast, and the beatification provided a tantalizing taste of it.