What Would You Have Done? What Should I Have Done?

The question of the day is:

"Whether" can mean "which of two." Present two alternatives for your readers.

I was born and raised as a Catholic.  I chose to marry someone who was not Catholic and agreed to have the ceremony performed by the minister in my fiancés  church.  The minister agreed to have a priest preside along side of him, but I could not find a priest who was willing to do that.  According to the  Code of Canon Laws of the church, because I did not marry within the walls of a Catholic church and since  the sacrament was not performed by a priest, my marriage was not considered to be valid by the church.  I was essentially ex-communicated and not allowed to receive an other sacraments, including communion. 

This text was taken from the "Code of Canon Law; Title VII Marriage Chapter VI:

      "It is forbidden to have another religious celebration of the same marriage to give or renew matrimonial consent before or after the canonical celebration according to the norm of §1.Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the Catholic who is assisting and a non-Catholic minister together, using their own ritesask for the consent of the parties." 

That marriage took place 43 years ago.  (We have since divorced).  Since then I have been to church only to attend the marriage, baptisms, or funerals of others.   

When attending a mass under those circumstances, I will adhere to and follow the various postures of the mass, i.e.: standing and sitting when instructed to do so.  But since I am no longer familiar with the etiquette of the rituals of the mass I am more of a respectful observer rather than an active participant. 

Last Saturday I was asked to give a eulogy for my Uncle at a memorial service.  The service was held in a Catholic church and was part of a mass.  I noticed that as others went up to the podium to do a reading, they would pause and genuflect while facing the alter, before proceeding up to the podium.  

As I waited for my turn to go up to the podium, I struggled with how I should proceed.  Should I try to follow the example of the others by genuflecting. Was there more to the ritual that I was not aware of?    Would it be disrespectful if I did not perform the ritual in the correct order or manner?   Would it be hypocritical for me do attempt to follow the ritual? 

What would you do?   What should I have done? 

I will reveal what I did in tomorrow's post.

Here is today's entry from Anna's Diary:

Wed. March 13 1929

Girls met in Arlington at Mrs. Saps. Corinne & Ted for supper.  Went to church play Gladys M. was in.  There was dancing afterwards.  I did  not dance.  Met Elsie & Dick. Mr. & Mrs. Wittenburg there.

Click here to see the post where I introduced Anna's Diary.


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