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Orianna2000
01-25-2012, 07:41 AM
In France, 1881, two Swedish immigrants (mother and daughter) go to a church in order for the daughter to get married. The bride and her mother are Lutheran, but the groom is French and a lapsed Catholic. Right now, I have the mother-of-the-bride dipping into the holy water and crossing herself, but when I went to verify that this was acceptable for her to do, I found conflicting information. Some sources say that Lutherans don't cross themselves. Others say that they do. Still others say it's a personal choice. And some say it's different today than it used to be, which leads me to wonder what the practice was in the 1880s?

It's been a long time since I wrote the scene, but I'm thinking I might have decided to have the mother cross herself because she's been living in France longer and is perhaps more adapted to Catholic customs than the daughter. If Lutherans of the period didn't cross themselves, would a lapsed Lutheran be more likely to, in order to fit in?

Also, would I be wrong in saying there's a crucifix in the vestibule of the Catholic church, above the holy water font?

Any help will be appreciated.

thothguard51
01-25-2012, 07:57 AM
She could be crossing herself to show respect to the church's beliefs in which she is in or for her son-in-law...

I am catholic and my daughter got married in a Lutheran Church and I don't even remember seeing any holy water. Nor do they do confessions or communion that I am aware of...

Astronomer
01-25-2012, 08:38 AM
Crossing one's self is a ritual Lutherans have been known to do. But holy water -- though central to Catholicism -- is not a component of the Lutheran church or liturgy. Martin Luther was very specific about the water not having any special or holy properties. So no dipping for Lutherans. Even in baptism, which Luther retained, the water is merely symbolic in the Lutheran church.

frimble3
01-25-2012, 08:43 AM
If she really wants the marriage to happen, she might feel the need to 'fit in', and not make waves in front of the priest. I don't know what the attitude towards mixed-marriages was in that time and place, but she may have been feeling some pressure (for discretion, at least).

Orianna2000
01-25-2012, 09:49 AM
The priest isn't present at the time, she's talking privately with the bride before the ceremony. Nobody to impress, so I guess she's just being respectful of Catholic customs. If Lutherans don't believe in holy water, I can have her just cross herself and ignore the water.

nikkidj
01-25-2012, 05:52 PM
Some more conservative Lutheran churches do cross themselves, but not with any holy water. If this is taking place in the past, then I'd err on the side of conservatism and have her cross herself.

Just to correct a previous poster, Lutherans DO celebrate communion. It's just not usually a part of a wedding service.

CEtchison
01-25-2012, 07:12 PM
Agreeing w/ posters that Holy Water is only used as part of baptism in the Lutheran church. It is quite likely the mother would walk right past it not realizing the tradition, after all that's what I did the first time I attended a Catholic service. Lutherans often cross themselves, but it is at particular times in the service. After the Absolutions of Sins, after receiving the blessing at Communion, or if you are participating in the service, you might cross yourself as you approach the altar. But when you walk in the door, prior to being seated for a service, nope. I've never seen it happen.

My question would be if the Catholic church would have performed a wedding between even a lapsed Catholic and a Lutheran in their church. I would've guessed that in 1880 the Lutheran would have had to convert to Catholicism prior to the wedding. I know in the 60s my aunt, who was raised Lutheran, was required to convert prior to marrying my uncle whose family was devout Catholics (he had four aunts who were all nuns).

And neither here nor there, but I have attended Lutheran weddings were communion is given. Often it had to do with money (a communion fee would be charged) or whether or not the majority of those attendance would even partake of communion. I've also attended weddings where only the bride and groom take communion.

In regards to confessions, Lutherans have an "Absolution of Sins" which is part of the service. In other words, just as I've told my Catholic husband, we confess our sins and receive absolution as a group, whereas Catholics get stuffed in a box solo. :P

Orianna2000
01-25-2012, 09:08 PM
Lutherans often cross themselves, but it is at particular times in the service. After the Absolutions of Sins, after receiving the blessing at Communion, or if you are participating in the service, you might cross yourself as you approach the altar. But when you walk in the door, prior to being seated for a service, nope. I've never seen it happen.
What about in response to something you want forgiveness for? She's forced to have the "wedding night" discussion with her daughter in the vestibule and I thought it would make a nice touch if she crossed herself as she began speaking, because she's uncomfortable talking about s-e-x in a church.


My question would be if the Catholic church would have performed a wedding between even a lapsed Catholic and a Lutheran in their church. I would've guessed that in 1880 the Lutheran would have had to convert to Catholicism prior to the wedding.From the research I've done, interfaith marriages were permissible. They required only that the non-Catholic person be a baptized Christian, preferably confirmed as well, but that could be overlooked in certain cases (such as this one, where they're giving the priest a substantial donation to perform the ceremony).

Also, it should be noted that this wedding is taking place in the middle of the night, without the banns being read, and without a civil ceremony first, so everyone involved is aware that it's not going to be a legally-binding marriage, but a marriage in God's eyes only. With that in mind, and given the size of the "donation" he's been given, I think the priest is going to be pretty forgiving of any rules that might be broken.

CEtchison
01-26-2012, 02:34 AM
What about in response to something you want forgiveness for? She's forced to have the "wedding night" discussion with her daughter in the vestibule and I thought it would make a nice touch if she crossed herself as she began speaking, because she's uncomfortable talking about s-e-x in a church.

In all honesty, if you wrote it that way, I wouldn't get all up in arms about it simply based on the fact it is a historical. Just because in current times Lutherans most often cross themselves (if they do) following prayer doesn't mean they didn't do it regularly in 1880. Maybe she gives a silent shoutout... "Dear Lord, help me to survive this discussion without exploding into flames..." prior to crossing herself. Yeah, I'd totally buy that. LOL


With that in mind, and given the size of the "donation" he's been given, I think the priest is going to be pretty forgiving of any rules that might be broken.

Heh. Many believe money does solve a multitude of sins which is how the Lutheran church came to be in the first place. :)

Orianna2000
01-26-2012, 03:50 AM
It's first-person from the daughter's POV, so I can't show the mother praying, but it seems reasonable that she might offer a brief, "Lord, forgive me," before speaking about certain things in the vestibule. I'll delete the holy water, then, but keep the mother's crossing herself.

Thanks for the help.

latourdumoine
01-26-2012, 05:23 AM
Also, if she's been living in France for a while, presumably she's been to church a few times. Maybe she does it automatically, too. I've seen people do that a lot. At the Lutheran services I've been to in Finland, you do communion halfway through and anyone can go. If she wants to fit in, she'll do everything she can think of and beyond. In that case, why shouldn't she make the sign of the cross upon entering. Everyone's Catholicism is different, but here's what I got from my mom's side (and we'd go to services every Sunday), plus some of her relatives were really religious. For the record I'm French, but please, don't take this to apply to all Catholics. This is merely what I can remember off the top of my head in my family. Feel free to ask more. I can look into it.

1. My aunts (born between 1910-1950) would do the sign of the cross when talking of the dead, their deceased husbands for instance. Some wouldn't even discuss The Act Between Husband And Wife in church, too sacred. Some might make the sign of the cross, as someone said earlier, to gain strength, some might do it to make sure God wasn't mad. Though I can't for the life of me imagine those aunts talking about It to me, too prudish. They wouldn't even say "intercourse", it was always circumscribed as "when she lived with him."
2.The more religious variety would make the sign of the cross whenever they saw a church. As a sign of respect towards God (or to ward off evil).
3. I've seen Catholic Gypsies in Hungary make the sign of the cross when they saw something scary, men and women alike.
4.Again, going by the relatives, some would expect her to make the sign of the cross upon entering the church, some wouldn't. Though you stated that she was alone in the middle of the night. She could either do it "just in case" or else, she could be doing it out of habit (if she's been to a few services, I could also see her doing it as good luck gesture to her daughter.
5. Re money. I've also seen altar boys standing by the altar with baskets, basically implying that if you don't throw some coins in there (though a note would be preferable), you had no business going up to the cross touching it on Easter Sunday. Not saying all churches are like that, just this particular one.
6. Confession is very important in Catholicism. As my mom put it, "it's basically psychological, like therapy." My Catholic relatives had the following guidelines for themselves: you decide when you go to confession (i.e. if you haven't been to church on Sunday, that's a sin), but you decide for yourself. But if you haven't been to communion once, you can't just go again the following Sunday, you'd have to go to confession first.

Better-versed Catholics and confirm or deny this but if they're getting married, the issue of communion should come up, in that the priest will give it. I might be wrong here though.

Oh yeah, make sure the wedding's not on a Friday, bad taste and bad luck because that was the day Jesus died (again, this is according to my relatives. I'm just putting this in here to give you an idea of how the Catholics I know see it). Also, you can't really serve meat on Friday, it's strictly fish. And it can't be on Ash Wednesday either, you're supposed to fast then.

I really love the idea of the holy water though, don't take it out :)

And Swedish immigrants in France in 1881, you've hit on another passion of mine. I'm dying to find out what on earth you're writing about :)

sk3erkrou
01-26-2012, 06:02 AM
Lutherans do have communion with the wine and a wafer, but they do not cross themselves, with or without water. I was raised in, and a member of, a Lutheran church for 20 years. The only time there was ever any water used was for baptism, and like other posters have said, it was merely symbolic. There are no "holy" things used in Lutheran services. Yes, the pastor may bless the wine and wafers before communion, but they are not trying to make them into holy wine or holy wafers. Whenever I did go to a Catholic church, my grandparents were Catholic, they would cross themselves with the holy water, but I would not.
Also, not sure if this has been said, but if the mother is already in the church, the water for dipping and crossing oneself is right next to the main door to the church, so this would not even be an issue.

Orianna2000
01-26-2012, 06:36 AM
Also, not sure if this has been said, but if the mother is already in the church, the water for dipping and crossing oneself is right next to the main door to the church, so this would not even be an issue.
They're in the vestibule, near the door. The men have gone ahead to wake the priest, so the mother takes the opportunity to speak with the daughter privately. I plan to mention the holy water, but not have her use it.


Also, if she's been living in France for a while, presumably she's been to church a few times.
Would she? Even if it was a different religion? If I was stuck living in a country that didn't allow my religion, I wouldn't attend services of the local church. I would just do my own thing in private.


Confession is very important in Catholicism.
This does come up. The priest asks the groom to give confession before the ceremony, but he flat refuses. (He's not best pleased with the Church.) Nonplussed, the priest asks the woman if she'll confess, and she admits that she's not Catholic. This leads to the discussion of whether she's baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran, and whether or not the priest will permit the marriage to take place. (She is baptized, but not confirmed, but the law only requires that she be a baptized Christian in order to marry a Catholic, so he agrees to perform the ceremony.)


Better-versed Catholics and confirm or deny this but if they're getting married, the issue of communion should come up, in that the priest will give it. I might be wrong here though. From what I've read, he would omit the mass and communion because the bride is not Catholic. The groom was never confirmed, only baptized, so it shouldn't be an issue. Plus, one of the two witnesses is Islamic, so I'm sure he'd appreciate the omission.


Oh yeah, make sure the wedding's not on a Friday, bad taste and bad luck because that was the day Jesus diedThe day of the week isn't really specified, though Friday would probably be the most logical, given that it takes place the same day as the premiere of a new opera at the Garnier. Although, it's after midnight by the time they get to the church, so it would be Saturday by then.


I really love the idea of the holy water though, don't take it outI liked it, too, but if Lutherans don't use holy water, she'd be likely to ignore it. I don't really like the idea of her shifting over to Catholicism just because she's been living in France for a few years.


And Swedish immigrants in France in 1881, you've hit on another passion of mine. I'm dying to find out what on earth you're writing about
It's actually a rewrite and sequel to Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. I got tired of all the poorly-written, self-published fan-fiction that's out there, so I'm trying to create a novel that's faithful to the original book--not based on the movie or stage show in any way--as well as being historically accurate.

Blurb:
Christine Daaé is torn between the love of two men: her childhood sweetheart and her vocal instructor. She knows where her heart lies, but it isn't an easy decision, for the man she desires has been accused of murder. In the end, she makes a heart-rending decision--and must then face the fact that all of our actions have consequences.

Sofie
01-27-2012, 03:19 AM
I can't be sure of the traditions of 1881, but as a Swedish Lutheran I can confirm that it's okay for us to cross ourselves! The Swedish Church's website states that though it's not as common as in catholicism, it's a tradition that has survived (which to me seems to indicate that it was probably even more common for lutherans to cross themselves back in the 1800s).

Orianna2000
01-27-2012, 03:30 AM
I can't be sure of the traditions of 1881, but as a Swedish Lutheran I can confirm that it's okay for us to cross ourselves! The Swedish Church's website states that though it's not as common as in catholicism, it's a tradition that has survived (which to me seems to indicate that it was probably even more common for lutherans to cross themselves back in the 1800s).
That's good to know, thank you.

latourdumoine
01-27-2012, 06:18 AM
Would she? Even if it was a different religion? If I was stuck living in a country that didn't allow my religion, I wouldn't attend services of the local church. I would just do my own thing in private.
Depends on what kind of person she is. If she really wanted to curry their favor, I could see her do it. Me, I'd do the same as you. But if someone asked me, nicely, to come along with them, I'd do them that favor. I could also see her observe Catholics just to see what exactly makes them so different and would this difference perhaps explain why they won't allow my religion? So it really depends on how she sees things. But I'm spinning this into another story already :)




This does come up. The priest asks the groom to give confession before the ceremony, but he flat refuses. (He's not best pleased with the Church.) Nonplussed, the priest asks the woman if she'll confess, and she admits that she's not Catholic. This leads to the discussion of whether she's baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran, and whether or not the priest will permit the marriage to take place. (She is baptized, but not confirmed, but the law only requires that she be a baptized Christian in order to marry a Catholic, so he agrees to perform the ceremony.)

From what I've read, he would omit the mass and communion because the bride is not Catholic. The groom was never confirmed, only baptized, so it shouldn't be an issue. Plus, one of the two witnesses is Islamic, so I'm sure he'd appreciate the omission.
Do not take what I say as gospel. I haven't attended a Catholic mass in ages. :) What you just wrote above sounds accurate to me. I know of cases where the priest wouldn't give someone confession because he was "living in sin." Stable family, lovely parents, only "problem" is, they never got married, didn't feel like it but were living together. But for the most part, the priests I met were pretty okay, good sense of humor, easy to talk to, able to see things from different angles.





The day of the week isn't really specified, though Friday would probably be the most logical, given that it takes place the same day as the premiere of a new opera at the Garnier. Although, it's after midnight by the time they get to the church, so it would be Saturday by then.

I liked it, too, but if Lutherans don't use holy water, she'd be likely to ignore it. I don't really like the idea of her shifting over to Catholicism just because she's been living in France for a few years.
Damn, I wish someone who really grew up with all the customs would weigh in here. :) It's beginning to bug me now. I have this thing stuck in my head that I posted elsewhere but that couple got married on the Thursday before Good Friday because it was a) Good Friday and b) Friday, 13 (didn't do them any good in the end, and they weren't even Catholic).

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that she'd cross over, just dip her hands in. I've had friends attend the Catholic service with me and go to communion to experience it. And they'd dip their hands in the holy water. I think that's what I was thinking of. Love the idea of them sneaking out to get married and it's still Friday in a way (I think after midnight is okay but again, everyone would have a different take on it. I'm pretty sure my grandpa wouldn't do it. He wouldn't condemn others for it, it just wasn't something he'd do (he'd read fortunes on Sundays with my mom, which is a huge no-no, so he wasn't exactly dogmatic about religion [/QUOTE]





It's actually a rewrite and sequel to Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. I got tired of all the poorly-written, self-published fan-fiction that's out there, so I'm trying to create a novel that's faithful to the original book--not based on the movie or stage show in any way--as well as being historically accurate.

Blurb:
Christine Daaé is torn between the love of two men: her childhood sweetheart and her vocal instructor. She knows where her heart lies, but it isn't an easy decision, for the man she desires has been accused of murder. In the end, she makes a heart-rending decision--and must then face the fact that all of our actions have consequences.
I have one question about this now: When will it be ready? I love, love, love that story, always cried buckets over it. Have you read Susan Kay's Phantom? You know I never read the fan lit. I read the book first when I was a kid and it's been my favorite ever since. The music's great, too, but I can totally separate it from the book, if that makes any sense. I think I see what you mean though with the fan fic. And it really sounds like you're having fun with it.

Orianna2000
01-27-2012, 05:20 PM
I have one question about this now: When will it be ready? I love, love, love that story, always cried buckets over it. Have you read Susan Kay's Phantom? You know I never read the fan lit. I read the book first when I was a kid and it's been my favorite ever since. The music's great, too, but I can totally separate it from the book, if that makes any sense. I think I see what you mean though with the fan fic. And it really sounds like you're having fun with it.
I know what you mean about separating the musical from the book. To me, they're two separate stories, because in the book, she actually loves Erik. (At least, she does if you read the right translation. I prefer Leonard Wolf's annotated translation, personally.) But in most versions of the musical, she despises the Phantom and can't wait for Raoul to save her. (The 25th anniversary performance was different, I think because ALW was trying to lay the groundwork for the sequel.)

I adore Susan Kay's Phantom. It's one of my favorite novels. I once had a beta-reader ask why I didn't fill out some of my novel by exploring Erik's past, and I was like, "Because someone else already did that, far better than I could ever dream of doing! I'm not going to step on Susan Kay's toes."

psyche_13
03-27-2012, 11:31 PM
I don't know if you were fully satisfied with your answer, and I know this is a bit late but my mom & family are Catholic, while my dad and family are Lutheran. When my dad was Lutheran (he converted eventually), he would come to Catholic church, but he wouldn't take communion, genuflect when passing the altar, or use the holy water.

Also, whenever we said grace before meals at a dinner with my dad's (Lutheran) family, my mom, sister, and I would be the only ones who crossed ourselves!

Orianna2000
03-27-2012, 11:48 PM
I don't know if you were fully satisfied with your answer, and I know this is a bit late but my mom & family are Catholic, while my dad and family are Lutheran. When my dad was Lutheran (he converted eventually), he would come to Catholic church, but he wouldn't take communion, genuflect when passing the altar, or use the holy water.

Thanks for joining the discussion. I think that's pretty much how I've written the scene--they go to a Catholic church but they don't do communion or holy water. It seems to work, so that's how I'll be leaving it.

Spy_on_the_Inside
03-28-2012, 04:41 AM
Have her pay attentions to how people take communion. Going small details differently could tip them off. I've been to friends' Lutheran churches and to Catholic churches, and communion is really quite different.

Also, the steps to crossing ones self, you always go up, down, left, right when in a Catholic church. In the Eastern Orthadox church, it's up, down, right, left. Of course, they also cross themselves three times, but if she doesn't follow the order, it will be noticed.

Orianna2000
03-28-2012, 05:40 AM
Also, the steps to crossing ones self, you always go up, down, left, right when in a Catholic church. In the Eastern Orthado church, it's up, down, right, left. Of course, they also cross themselves three times, but if she doesn't follow the order, it will be noticed.
That's interesting to know, thanks!