Several times, heated discussions between my mother and I nearly ripped me apart. She continually told me how painful my wedding day was for her.... After these discussions, I would go home and cry for days afterwards. Oh that I could only tell her how painful that day was for me! But I had to keep up a strong front for the church, so I thought, and I did. To this day, I cry and sob every time I see a wedding on television or movies, a wedding where the people who are married are surrounded by loved ones in a special, exclusive celebration.
After my daughter was born, I got a glimpse into what it must have been like for my mom to be on the outside while strangers attended my wedding. I knew how special my daughter was and how much I wanted to share as much of her life as possible. I realized my mother must have felt likewise for me. It was much later that I shared with my mom that a temple wedding is not a real wedding as non-LDS people know it. I feel as if I had no wedding. It is a simple, generic, impersonal ceremony in a wedding factory. There are no candles, no flowers, no music, no bridesmaids, no decorations.
From the time of the Revolution, Bolshevik funerals were deliberately designed to replace their Christian predecessors, sometimes borrowing the same imagery and applying the same customs. When Lenin was buried in Red Square... his corpse was displayed as if he were a living god.... These memorial rituals were so strong, and so emotional, that they were voluntarily incorporated into other celebrations. Few Westerners who visited the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and 1980s could fail to be surprised by the frequent sight of brides in white dresses laying flowers at memorials to the war dead, their new husbands beside them, their wedding guests in a solemn semicircle behind.
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