Saturday, June 30, 2007

Church, a Wedding, The Fair, (Part One)

We had worship at Mt. Olive this morning, with Saturday School and Confirmation class.
Got home about 11:30. I went over to get some things ready for the wedding.

The entourage had started to arrive and were primping and preparing themselves. Gotta get the right nail gloss on the flower girls. Then, make sure they don't mess it up while it is drying.

The entourage trickled in between 11:30 to 1:30. At that time the photographer came, so they were all supposed to be ready.

I got a few cameo photographs for Shawn and Becky during this time. No one else was taking pictures. I thought they might like them.

And I got a shot or two of the photographer taking some pictures. Mary had to leave with the kids for the fair at 2pm. She took the camera with her, so I have no photos of this wedding or the reception. But that's ok. I was only taking pics for them if they wanted to use them.

The wedding was at 3:30. Quite a packed house. The wedding went well. I had to stop for a moment after the Scripture readings. The groomsmen, who were all very good at keeping their knees bent and moving around a little during rehearsal, all of a sudden became tin soldiers.

Let me put it this way. The groomsmen were all wearing rather warm tuxedos. While the temperature in the main part of the church was ok for people who were sitting, it became stifling hot up front. When I looked up after the Scripture lessons I noticed how ramrod straight they were standing and that they had red and white blotches from the heat. I said, "Ok, we have to pause a moment here folks." To the groomsmen, "Guys, I appreciate how quietly you're standing, but that pew a few feet from you is right where your head will hit if you pass out. Bend your knees, move around a bit, it's ok." They relaxed after that and did well.

Shawn and Becky's fathers are deceased. They had two candles in memory of them. For their Unity candle they lit their own candles from their "father" candles and then lit the unity candle, snuffing out their own individual candles. It is a symbolic ritual that is quite popular in American culture.

Some churches prohibit the ceremony and claim that it comes from ancient pagan sources. Fooey. The first documented Unity Candle was by Allan and Kathy Chattaway of British Columbia in 1969. But people began to like the ceremony when they saw Luke and Laura use it on General Hospital in 1981. It's not an ancient pagan ritual, it's a modern invention popularized by a Soap Opera. I suppose some might think this makes it even less worthy of emulation.

Nevertheless, the ceremony does no harm and may be used very well to show symbolically the statement of Genesis 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." It can also serve as a reminder of Christ's words in Mt. 19:6 "So then, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." It is easy to snuff out a candle. It is easy to snuff out a marriage. Marriage requires the persistent attention of not only the Bride and Groom, but that they be united in nourishing their marriage against all those who would snuff it out.

Let's see the liturgical Nazi's come out of the woodwork on this one.

My rendition of Bach went ok, except that they went so quickly through the lighting of the Unity Candle and greeting their mothers that I was only about 2/3 the way through by the time they were done. Nothing goes quite as it's practiced. So I wrapped it up and concluded the service.

Remember, Mary has the van, and my car is in the shop? How do I get to the reception? I hitched a ride with the mother of the bride.

The wedding reception was in Trail, Minnesota (pop. 63) where my congregation of Mt. Olive is located. Yes, that's where I had worship this morning. It was a lovely evening, cooling in the air and just enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes away.

Mary picked me up around 7pm for the next reception.......

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