Antosia and Jozef

How my great-grandmother was married, written by one of her daughters, Anne, my great-aunt.  For the non-Polish speakers, Babci = Grandma and Dziadzi = Grandpa.

In Easthampton, Massachusetts it was a Polish Catholic parish!  That was how the young people met.  With extra long work days, and so many church services, there was not much time for play.

-And so it was that Jozef eyed Antosia, inviting her to a first date to accompany him to Mass on a Sunday to hear the “banns of marriage” announcing their forthcoming marriage.

Banns of Marriage” were announcements made after a Sunday sermon to convey to the public that a couple was to be joined in marriage.  If there was to be an objection for any reason, the priest was to be notified before the wedding date.

Antosia and her girlfriends knew who Jozef was, or knew of him, but Antosia was not proposed to by Jozef – in fact, he had never spoken to her before that.  Apparently, he went to the rectory on his own, submitted his and her name, and assumed there would be no problem.

Antosia was flabbergasted to say the least.  She immediately meant to go to the rectory to explain the “misunderstanding”.  Her girlfriends preyed on her humility saying that she could not be waiting for a “Knight-in-shining-armor” to ride in on his white horse to spur her away! Even they knew those fairy tales of old!

They convinced her that she was so lucky to be chosen by such a handsome, intelligent, industrious young man.  Jozef’s plan for the wedding proceeded!  Antosia’s plan for her future was detoured!

The wedding took place on a Saturday (January 15, 1915) – party into Sunday –  Jozef went off with “the guys”, and Antosia slept in a rocking chair at his “Aunt’s” house waiting for her honeymoon.
Sixty years later, when Dziadzi began becoming “obstreperous” with the beginning of senile dementia, Babci reminded him of the honeymoon they never had!  She said – “and where did you take me for a honeymoon – Bermuda, maybe?”

On Monday, they all went back to work!  The whole male contingent of the bridal party went to the priest to “take the pledge”.  It was a vow not to use alcohol for one year.  I guess it was a common practice.


My great-grandmother had always wanted to become a nun!  Good thing for me, I guess, that she didn’t.  Still, reading this story makes me wish she didn’t give in to my great-grandfather!  Just a note for any potential suitors: I prefer to know in advance before the banns go up.


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