DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have seen a number of weddings on television, and each time I am surprised to see the ceremony end in applause. For what? For whom? For the adorable couple, I assume, and yet I feel upset that the solemn moment is treated as an entertainment. Does this surprising ovation occur in a church, too, or in a synagogue, or a mosque? I feel that applause is more appropriate in a theater.
What is your opinion about the practice of clapping loudly for the newly wedded pair?
GENTLE READER: That it is hardly surprising, now that weddings have turned into show business extravaganzas, fashioned to dramatize the personalities and courtships of the principles rather than to witness their entering into the tradition of the society.