Christian marriage

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Today, since the arrival of the priest, we have this sacred marriage ceremony. The priests taught the Crees this new European way of marrying and you see men wearing suits. Even though someone is not used to wearing a suit, they force him to wear one. The priests and nuns insisted on this new marrying practice on the people here in Fort Albany. But that is not appropriate having to wear a suit, even the women must wear something pretty like the white wedding gown. But when you have a second marriage, and the wife having had children, the wedding dress is not formal, no white gown. This is the preferred way of the priest. And around the time of my youth, when I was about 10, and living in Peawanuk, there used to be dancing for entertainment. The Hudson’s Bay manager used to hold dance nights and the priest was very upset at seeing anyone dancing. The priest used to say that the dancing act was immoral and evil. And so, when elders went to the dance, and even just watched, this “sin” could not be forgiven even at holy confession. First, it was required that you had to write a letter to the holy Pope, and 3 days after, you were granted forgiveness. Forgiveness was granted only after you wrote a letter to the pope who lived across the ocean. I wonder what was used to get the letter to the pope and back so quickly. So dancing was considered very immoral and evil. And sometimes after the church marriage, there was a dance. However, one committed to the faith would attend the dance. Sometimes I would not attend the dance because the priests did not like it. So, when I got married, I announced that there would be no dance after the marriage ceremony, only a wedding feast. Since it was viewed as immoral, and having heard in Peawanuk you couldn’t repent at confession even just watching the dance, I did not include the dance at my wedding.


Christian marriage by Emile Sutherland


Marriage priests dancing sin

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