DRACUT – The wedding rehearsal went smoothly, but Dana and Brittany Francis’ wedding ceremony the next day deviated from the script with a loud noise and a poetic twist.
Barbara Francis, the groom’s mother, says she had an attack of nerves on Sept. 27, as she rehearsed her reading for her son’s big day on Sept. 28. She asked for everyone’s prayers that she might overcome those nerves for the ceremony.
Last Saturday afternoon the wedding party and guests assembled at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Dracut. Dana Francis is a Lawrence firefighter so naturally many of his colleagues were there. In addition, both he and his wife Brittany served in the National Guard.
Barbara Francis rose to give her reading. “My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,” she began, but stopped short as a fire alarm sounded in the building.
“When it went off, my son jumped into action,” she said, although his initial reaction was that his fellow firefighters were playing a prank.
But Rev. Seán Maher, church pastor, quickly put an end to that notion.
“This is real,” he warned the gathering. “The alarm went off and told us to evacuate the building at the beginning of the second reading. The bride and groom were good about it.”
The Lawrence firefighters took immediate action and started checking the building. The cause of the excitement was a kitchen heat sensor that went off as volunteers prepared a meal to serve the homeless at the Lowell Transitional Living Center.
Dracut Engine 2 actually answered the alarm and later the fire engine served as the backdrop for many of the couple’s wedding photos.
The newlyweds declined to comment. They were married in a civil ceremony several months ago and spent their honeymoon in Hawaii.
When the ceremony resumed, Barbara Francis again walked to the pulpit and did her reading without hesitation. Perhaps, the alarm was an odd answer to her prayers.