Couple Marries at St. Michael’s, Austin, in Livestreamed Ceremony

Luis Rivas, student minister at St. Michael’s, Austin, and his fiancée, Marie Chatfield, got married on Saturday, April 25, at noon. The wedding ceremony, which followed appropriate social distancing procedures, was livestreamed via Facebook Live and on the church’s website. The Rev. John Newton served as the celebrant and the service performed outside in the St. Michael’s courtyard.

The couple had originally planned on a large wedding in the sanctuary with a reception to follow, but the COVID-19 outbreak with the subsequent stay-at-home orders required an evolving backup plan that involved much prayer and patience. Though frustrated, the couple

handled all with grace. Luis and Marie decided on the small ceremony and a shorter honeymoon, in Austin instead of Spain. The couple noted “We are so excited to begin our life together as husband and wife—truly in sickness and in health.” Their solution of a virtual service was a wonderful solution enabling many to share their joy during a time of anxiety.

A much-needed morale booster for the St. Michael’s community, the Facebook metrics show that at one point just over 400 people were “in attendance” as viewers. The chat feed was full of blessings and good wishes for the couple; thankfully there were not any trolling comments.

Next year, Marie and Luis plan on celebrating their first anniversary in a big way—with a ceremony blessing their marriage followed by a reception, with family and friends present on the St. Michael’s campus with lots of photographs, hugging, dancing, and cake. They are thankful “for all the support” the community “has shown as [they] begin this lifelong journey together.”

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