What is the etiquette regarding this matter? We certainly don’t want anyone to feel that my son and his fiancee are wanting heaps of gifts and money, especially when these family members and friends “showered” him with gifts the first time around. — Vexed Mother of the Groom
DEAR VEXED: First-time brides are entitled to wedding and shower gifts, regardless of the groom’s prior marital history. Of course, shower invitations can be weighted toward her family and friends, but also may include close family members and friends on the groom’s side. Guests who feel overburdened with shower gifts do not have to attend. And while wedding gifts are always appropriate, those who sent gifts for your son’s first wedding may wish to give a more modest gift the second time around. The intention is to invite people to share the celebration.
DEAR ANNIE: I read the letter from “Frustrated Son,” whose mother was insisting that he be confirmed in the Catholic Church. As the director of religious education in a Catholic parish, I deal with this issue frequently. The choice to be confirmed is the son’s.
A good first step is for the son to talk to his parish priest, who might very well agree that he is not ready to receive the sacrament of confirmation. If that is the case, he absolutely should not be confirmed at this time. He cannot be forced, because any sacrament given against someone’s will is not valid.
Both my children said early on in their confirmation training that they did not want to be confirmed. We compromised that they would go to the classes, do the volunteer work and go on the retreat. If, after completing the two-year training, they still felt that they did not want to be confirmed, it was their choice. — Boston
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.