We were married at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Brea, California.  Both of us have been parishioners at St. Angela for the past 5 years.  The Church is located one half mile SE of Mari's house, and one half mile NW of Jim's house.  The church is not only a spiritual center for us, but was also a geographical one.   We had a semi-traditional "Mexican" Catholic ceremony and mass, spoken in both English and Spanish.

Instead of the American tradition of groomsmen and bridesmaids, a Mexican wedding uses madrinas and padrinos who all have special roles in the wedding.  Various symbols, which are all secondary to the symbol of our vows, are brought forward during the ceremony. The madrina de ramo carries flowers for the Virgin Mary.  The madrina de laso carries a decorated rope that is placed around the couple as they say their vows, to symbolize their union.  The madrina de arras holds 13 gold coins that the groom presents to the bride.  These coins are given to the priest by a close relative, blessed, and later used in the ceremony.  Another madrina and padrino carry a book and rosary,  also used in the ceremony.   Fruit, vegetables, and rice are also presented with the offertory to the priest to represent a bountiful life together.


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