In Japan, “Christian” weddings are all the rage. There’s a high demand for them. Are missionaries suddenly acquiring converts by the hundreds? Is the dream of St. Francis Xavier being fulfilled? Not exactly.
Though Christians account for less than 1 percent of Japan’s population, a Christian-style wedding is the ceremony of choice for a majority of Japanese couples.
“It is of course not a religious experience that people seek in a Christian-style wedding, but to make a fashion statement,” said a spokeswoman for a Tokyo-based wedding service company, the Japan Times reported. ...
The arrangers argue, however, that while the Christian-style weddings follow a traditional form, neither the participants nor venues—hotels and wedding halls—actually want the ceremony to have religious meaning.
“The celebrations are no more than a white wedding dress, bouquet, the ‘virgin road’ [aisle] and all the other fashionable elements of a Western-style wedding,” the spokeswoman of the wedding service company said, according to the Times.
We may be shocked at first, but then from what I’ve seen, it’s not always that different here in the US. When I lived at my parish’s rectory, I was amazed at the number of couples coming in who weren’t looking to express their faith by uniting in marriage before God. They were looking for a nice backdrop for the pictures. And of course, they would tell my pastor, they don’t want the ceremony to be too long so they can get to the good part… the reception, of course.