Getting married in this recent French wedding was a long affair.  The service included Holy Communion and was conducted almost entirely in Latin, save for the vows exchanged by the bride and groom.  Four priests officiated.  Mass lasted over two and a half hours and included the Litany of the Saints, a long exchange between priest and congregation when a seemingly endless list of saints were named and prayed to.  The ancient church, dedicated to St Bernard, dominated the city, crowning a hill on the outskirts.  To hear the whole building swell with the voices of the hundreds in the congregation who had sung these verses all their lives was to want to kneel and pray.  I reflected that we had spent part of the previous weekend with our friends celebrating Holy Communion in Greek.  The beauty and universality of these ancient languages took us away from the here and now, stripped away our everyday concerns and left us with only wonder and awe.  Charpentier’s Veni Creator was God’s introduction.

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