Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dancing the Cotton-Eyed Joe in NYC

We're back from Queenie and Doc's wedding in New York. ( Aside for new readers: Doc is my nephew and Queenie is Portia's college roommate who met Doc almost 2 years ago when she came to Texas to be a bridesmaid in Portia and DK's wedding.)

Here's a quick wrap up of an unforgettable weekend:
  • The QG family became fast fans of Jet Blue after our first round trip flight on that airline. It flies out of the airport closest to our home in the Houston area and had beaucoups of leg room. It's the first time El Jefe and I can ever remember actually being comfortable for three plus hours in a plane.
  • When we arrived, the weather was perfect. Then a big heat-wave hit the area and it was actually cooler back home. The locals joked we brought the Texas summer with us. Sorry!
  • Queenie's family are part of the local Italian-Croatian community and could not have been more hospitable and friendly to everyone.
  • The reception was so awesome--at a beautiful club on Long Island Sound with panoramic views of the ocean.
  • Music at the reception was a country-western/Croatian mix. The Texans taught the Croatians to dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe! My feet still hurt.

And now for the Ave Maria review: it went very well indeed. Let me just say that one of the groomsmen told me afterwards that I "really nailed it" and many in Queenie's family went out of their way to tell me how much it meant to them. I'm sure your thoughts and prayers helped me a lot, too!

I do have a question about the ceremony that some of you may be able to answer. The officiant was a "deacon" and not a priest of the Catholic church. I'm sure the church has given him the power to conduct weddings, but I'm not familiar with this position in the Catholic tradition--it is clearly different from a Presbyterian deacon! Queenie and her family are Catholic and members of the church where the wedding was held, but Doc has not become a Catholic. Mass was not celebrated at the service, either, so a priest was not needed for that.

What authority does a deacon have in the Catholic church? Or can it vary by diocese?


Anonymous said...

In the Episcopal and Roman Catholic church the permanent diaconate is an ecclesastical order. A deacon receives a theological education and has the honorific of 'the reverend' before their name. They can baptize, marry and(in the episcopal church) serve the eucharist...but cannot consecrate...the sacraments. They can preach. They lead the confession and the great litany and sometimes the prayers of the people, They read the Gospel reading. They dismiss the congregation after the blessing. Not sure if they can do the burial office. the office of deacon in the methodist church is similar to that in the RC and Episcopal churches. What we call deacons in the presbyterian church, methodists call lay diaconal ministers. Not sure what the orthodox and lutheran church do regarding deacons. Baptist deacons are more like presbyterian elders. In the episcopal church deacons also lead and equip the people in areas of service by the church to the community. As you can see 'deacon' has many applications in different denominations. PresbyG

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry...i meant that deacons cannot consectrate the elements

Sounds like a fun wedding!


Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks for that very helpful comparison of the office of deacon in different denominations, PresbyG!

Purechristianithink said...

My sister-in-law's husband is a Deacon in the Roman Catholic church. Married men can become deacons, but if they are widowed after that they must remain single. What I found wierd about the process is that my sister-in-law had to attend all the classes and preparation work with her husband, but could not be ordained a deacon herself. Since his ordination he has officiated at several family weddings.

Kathryn said...

Here in the UK I get the impression that RC Deacons are the route by which the Church compensates for the shortage of vocations to priesthood which result from the ruling on celibacy.
Just to pick up on the first response, certainly in the Anglican (Episcopalian) church, Deacons can indeed conduct funerals...With us, it is often a transitional order en route to priesthood, with every priest spending their first year of ordained ministry as a Deacon. And at that stage, in the C of E, they CANT normally conduct weddings...
Oh such confusions! Glad it was a wonderful event :-)

Songbird said...

I don't know anything about RC Deacons, so this was very educational! I'm glad you had such a good time; it all sounds wonderful, especially your singing.

Anonymous said...

Hi QG,

Having been raised in the Catholic Church and attended parochial schools in the 50's and 60's, I had never even heard the term of Deacon until I came into the Protestant world. :o) I have heard of that Catholic Deacon business a few years ago and that totally blindsided me. This must have taken hold loooooong after I broke away from the Catholic tradition. I would hedge to say it must have had something to do with a priest shortage as per Kathryn's
entry. My Aunt was a Nun and I never heard her speak of Deacons.

QG......we miss you in choir!!!!!


Christine R. :o)

Quotidian Grace said...


I miss y'all, too! I'll be back when my Moderator gig is over.

I'm sure that you and Kathryn are correct that the office of deacon is a response to the shortage of priests in the RC church.

DogBlogger said...

Glad you "nailed it!" Knew you would.

Mark Smith said...

The short version - Catholic Deacon is close to PCUSA Commissioned Lay Pastor. Except that they usually don't serve on their own but are part of a parish clergy team.

The other commenters have hit the details well.

Good job on the Ave Maria!

Reformed Catholic said...

Christine & QC,

I did a Wikipedia search on Holy Orders and came up with everything you wanted to know about ecclesiastical positions:


Presbyterian Gal said...

Wish we could've heard you sing the Ave Maria!

Sounds like it was a wonderful wedding.