Musings of a 30ish Midwestern Catholic Improv Guy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006  

Wedding Readings

Top Left: Jane Claas (Amy's friend) reading from the Song of Solomon.

Bottom Left: Kyle Post (my youngest nephew) reading from Revelation.

Psalm 128 and the miracle of Cana rounded out the Scripture passages.

Amy left the selection of readings to me, although I did consult her. I was resolute on one thing, however:

No 1 Corinthians 13.

It's a beautiful passage, to be sure, but it's overused; and just the mere mention of "love" does not a wedding reading make. I was also skeptical about the guideline toward having the readings and everything else geared to "service".

Instead, I thought of Christ and His Bride, the Church when I picked the readings.

The Song of Solomon is manifold. It is about the Lord and Israel, Christ and the Church, Christ and the individual soul, and man and woman. All the imagery -- even the erotic imagery -- fits each of these aspects.

And then Psalm 128. A blessing for a family, with a hard working man, a fruitful woman, and many children.

The New Testament reading was a challenge. Besides the "No 1 Corinthians" rule, I also decided against Ephesians 5. (OK, I was a wimp.) But I also liked the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, since it continued the parallel between a married couple and Christ and His Church. I was also thinking of those who had gone on before us, who (I hoped) were celebrating in Heaven with us. Most importantly, the Eucharist is a foretaste of the Great Wedding Feast. I was so happy that Amy converted, and we could receive Communion together.

The Wedding Feast of Cana was a no-brainer. Jesus performed His first miracle by turning water into wine, to keep a party going...

More photos soon...

posted by Dave | 5:01 PM

Monday, April 24, 2006  

Wedding Music

John King on guitar, singing baritone.

Corrina Lynch on viola, singing mezzo soprano/alto.

John is the musician for the 4 pm Mass at St. Bernard's in Wauwatosa. Corrina used to be his partner until she moved to Rochester, NY. However, she graciously came back for our wedding.

We hired them on after I took Amy to Mass at St. Bernard's. She said, "This is what I want for our wedding!" And so it happened...

David Gardinier, parish organist.

We were required to have him there, since the Ordinary of the Mass must be played on the organ. John and Corrina acted as cantors for those parts.

All of them did a superb job. Amy and I received many compliments for the wedding music.

I highly recommend a guitar/viola combo, if you can get it. And appropriate music, of course.

The Wedding Music

All played by John and Corrina unless otherwise indicated.


I chose mostly English and Celtic melodies: "Kingsfold", "St. Denio", and "Slane" among them. "Melita", the tune for "Eternal Father, Strong to Save", was played last as a tribute to our fathers, who both served in the Navy.

Seating of Families

"Canon in D" by Pachelbel. A traditional standby.


"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by JS Bach. It fit the moment perfectly.

Psalm Response

"We Praise You" by Mike Balhoff, Daryl Ducote, and Gary Daigle. Corrina sang the verses, taken from Psalm 128. This is one of the few pieces by the Dameans that I like.

Gospel Acclamation

"Celtic Alleluia" by Finian O'Carroll. Played by David Gardinier. John sang the verse, adapted for the occasion.

Unity Candle

"When Love is Found". Words by Brian Wren, set to "O Waly Waly".


"Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life". Words by George Herbert, tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Sung by Corrina.

Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, and Agnus

Mass of Creation by Marty Haugen. Played by David Gardinier, cantored by John and Corrina. I chose this setting since it is commonly known.


"The King of Love My Shepherd Is". Irish melody, words by Henry W. Baker. Sung a capella by John and Corrina. This was absolutely lovely, and garnered the majority of the compliments.

Honoring the Blessed Virgin and our mothers

"Ave Maria", Schubert setting. Instrumental.


"Ode to Joy" by Ludwig von Beethoven. A fitting conclusion to a lovely wedding.

The Postlude I Wanted, But Couldn't Have, for a Variety of Reasons.

"Highway to Hell". Music and lyrics by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott.

I wouldn't have done it, of course, but the look on Amy's face was worth it after I suggested it in jest...

posted by Dave | 8:31 PM

Another View of Old St. Mary's

I wish I knew how to make these pictures a bit larger, especially since I want to show you the altar painting of the Annunciation, donated by King Ludwig of Bavaria.

posted by Dave | 8:18 PM

Sunday, April 23, 2006  

I Know, It's Been Six Months...

...but we just uploaded all of our wedding pics onto the hard drive of our brand-new computer.

This pic is a nice view of the sanctuary of Old St. Mary's Church, located in downtown Milwaukee. I joined this parish in early '03, since it was handy to ComedySportz, didn't engage in liturgical fidgetry, and it's a lovely church, as you can see for yourself. Then I met Amy, and it was only natural that we would be married here.
We couldn't imagine a more appropriate setting for one of the most important days of our lives.

And now...the events of October 22, 2005 (aka Dave and Amy's Wedding, the Best Birthday Gift Ever, Hell Freezes Over), as documented and remembered by the Bride and Groom, and supplemented by many other sources...

Perhaps I ought to start with the wedding party...

Parents of the Bride: Mr. Marvin and Mrs. Ellen Seeger.

Parents of the Groom: Mr. James and Mrs. Judith Pawlak

Maid of Honor: Alisa Burdick (friend of bride)

Bridesmaids: Sherri Dahl (friend of bride)
Brianne Hammernik (cousin of bride)
Carol Kelley (friend of bride and groom)

Best Man: Lyle Sedlet (friend of groom)

Honorary Best Man: Brian Ekendahl (friend of groom -- serving his country in Iraq)

Groomsmen: Peter Seeger (brother of bride)
Eric McNew (nephew of groom)
Keith Boucher (friend of groom)

Ushers: Russell Owens (friend of bride)
Douglas Flahart (nephew of groom)
Scott Hammernik (cousin of bride)
Timothy Gename (friend of groom)

Celebrant: Fr. George Rebatzki (pastor of Old St. Mary's)

Concelebrant: Fr. Ben Benzinger, SJ (cousin of groom)

Readers: Jane Claas (friend of bride)
Kyle Post (nephew of groom)

Giftbearers: Pamela Hammernik (aunt and godmother of bride)
Diane O'Neill (sister and Confirmation sponsor of groom)

Musicians: David Gardinier (organ)
John King (singing, guitar)
Corrina Lynch (singing, viola)

Stay tuned to this blog and that of my wife's about the events of October 22, 2005. Pics, liturgy, anecdotes, and so forth.

posted by Dave | 9:45 PM

Monday, April 17, 2006  

Why Can't We?

I went with my father-in-law to Mt. Zion LCMS in Greenfield for breakfast and Divine Service.

Some things I observed:

A sense of reverence. This particular congregation is very "High-Church". The pastor wears a chasuble; the Sign of the Cross is made; the people bow when the processional cross (with corpus) passes them; and the elements are elevated during the chanted words of institution. Also, there are icons on the walls and even on the altar. And I wonder, why can't we be more like that?

Solid preaching. Pastor Koch preached a very well-put-together sermon about the truth of Christ's resurrection, beginning with a fisking of the "Gospel of Judas", complete with a citation of St. Irenaeus. Granted, I naturally won't agree with all of his content (especially stuff like this ), but it seems like your average Lutheran pastor can out-preach your average Catholic priest. And I wonder, why don't we do a better job on homiletics?

This isn't to say that we Catholics don't have our stalwart preachers. But they seem to be more the exception than the rule. Even if you're in a solidly orthodox parish, you run the risk of listening to a sermonette with little substance, or a poorly planned and poorly delivered ramble .

High-caliber music. I need not go into the condition of Catholic music; it's been gone over enough. But one still wonders, why does a Lutheran congregation of a few hundred have better music than a Catholic parish of several thousand? Mt. Zion has a choir of eight, and they did a beautiful job. The organist provided solid accompaniment, and the hymn selection was impeccable. Too often we Catholics seem satisifed with mediocrity. We refuse to challenge ourselves musically (and otherwise).

Of course, none of these things are going to make me desert the Barque of Peter. That being said, I'd love to videotape Mt. Zion's service and send it off to certain people, with a note saying, Why can't we?

posted by Dave | 9:39 PM

Saturday, April 15, 2006  

Seems like there's no good news...

In our world: Iran defies the world. More deaths in Iraq. Tension between Chad and Sudan.

In our country: Discontent with the government. High gas prices, and they'll keep getting higher. Immigration issues.

In Milwaukee: Loss of jobs. The Frank Jude trial ends with a not guilty verdict. The bodies of two boys, missing since last month, are discovered in a park lagoon.

And yet...

Think back to the events of nearly 2000 years ago. There was no Passover joy for eleven men huddled in an upper room in Jerusalem. No joy for a handful of women. No joy for one woman in particular. They had lost a teacher, a friend, an only son. And he had died in the most degrading way known in that time.

What hope did they have, this frightened band of man? One of their own had betrayed their Master. They were sure the authorities were looking for them. One was still bitterly regretting his cowardly threefold denial. Just like many other times, his words had got the best of him. But this last time was the cruelest. The others were just too afraid to do anything else but hide. Even the youngest, wise beyond his years, the only one brave enough to stand by his Master's cross, must have felt his heart quail within him.

What did the women -- Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mary mother of Cleopas, and the others -- feel? They had lost a good friend and cousin. Jesus had turned Mary Magdalene's life around. Just a few days earlier, she had shown her gratitude by anointing his feet and drying them with her hair. And now he was gone, his battered, wounded body lying in a borrowed tomb. The best she could do was to do him one last service, and anoint him again, and properly finish the job so hastily done on Friday afternoon.

What did Mary feel? I will not say she felt despair. But even so, the was just like what Simeon had predicted so many years ago. She had held him in her arms then, and she had again held him in her arms the day before. How did this all tie in with what the angel had told her? She could only wait, and hope beyond all hope.

But what happened for them the next day happened for us. When all seemed bleak and hopeless, in the shadow of the cross, the dawn brought an empty tomb, the tidings of angels, and the return to life of One who was dead.

In these seemingly bleak and hopeless times, we cling to the Cross, an instrument of shame become a symbol of triumph. In the midst of death, we look to the empty tomb. In the hearing of bad news, we also hear the Good News. And we will always have our Risen and Glorified Lord, Who is with us in the Eucharist, and Who will come back to us in glory.

A happy and blessed Easter to all of you.

posted by Dave | 8:44 AM

Monday, April 10, 2006  

What's Been Going On...

I'm writing from our new computer, which we got last Saturday. My nephew Kyle (aka the Family Tech Support) set it up for us. We took him out to breakfast, and will be treating him to Japanese food Saturday after next.

Amy had her wisdom teeth pulled today. She's miserable. I hope she'll be able to enjoy her post-Easter-Vigil ribeye steak...

I've got a lot of different topics I want to write about, but time gets in the way. Someday I'll write something with a bit more substance...but not tonight...

posted by Dave | 8:37 PM

Wednesday, April 05, 2006  

I Got My Revenge

Remember how my wife did something unspeakable to me two weeks back?

Well...I made her watch Kenny Rogers perform on American Idol.


posted by Dave | 8:20 PM

Monday, April 03, 2006  

Go Brewers!

The Brew Crew came from behind to win today's home opener, beating the Pirates 5-2. It was very nice. Solid pitching, clutch hitting (Jeff Cirillo's pinch-hit single put the Brewers ahead for good), homers by J. J. Hardy and Carlos Lee, four well-turned double plays by a young infield, and a lot of hustle from everyone...this team is exciting.

I'm not going to put my hopes up for a playoff spot just yet. But barring injuries, this ought to be a much better club than last year...

posted by Dave | 8:15 PM