Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wedding Preparations

Any time I am afraid about the coming out process (which, you understand, is undertaken at a snail's pace and with a good deal of hesitation) I believe I will come back to the comments of the last several days. This community has given me such a gift of love and support; I can barely express the depths of my gratitude. May I be worthy.

I am doing something fun. I am presiding at the wedding of a (straight) couple in my church in the not too distant future. In the context of our conversations we have been looking at the traditional language for the service and for the vows, and I have been asking them to be very clear about what they want, what feels "right" to them. In my denomination we have a great deal of freedom with these things; there is no required order of worship. All that is required is that the ceremony, indeed, be a service of worship of God.

There is a portion of the ceremony in which a theological statement is given on marriage, its meaning, God's role in it, etc. As we were looking it over, once again I checked in: How do you like this? Is it ok? Do you agree with it? They are an interesting pair, well-educated, living off the grid, in a sense, very green in their outlook. They are older, and I simply love doing the weddings of real grown-ups (yes, I do realize young 'uns can be grown up. But often in the context of weddings.... everyone is about 6, on a good day.) They looked at one another. Finally, the bride said, "Well, we have gay friends who are coming to the wedding. But we've already warned them, that some of the ceremony would be very traditional. That they need to brace themselves."

Reader, I leapt... like the long-jumper with an inch to gain and the roar of the crowd tickling the back of her neck. "I would be very happy to rewrite this portion of the service... I see no reason why it can't be made inclusive, so that any couple hearing it, gay or straight, would know that God blesses their union."

They beamed, they slumped in their chairs, leaning towards one another, their body language suggesting massive relief flowing through them. It was one of my favorite moments in ministry thus far.

15 comments:

more cows than people said...

i have a reworked statement that i adapted and reworked from somewhere. do you want to see it? or are you eager to rewrite?

yay for this moment.

Saintly Ramblings said...

Brilliant!

ymp said...

Thank you for sharing.
I am so glad that moments like this happen.

KJ said...

An incarnational moment.

Choralgirl said...

FanTAStic, Cecilia! :-)

My partner of 10 years became my wife also, 5 months ago. As part of the invocation, a pastor friend said the following, which won't exactly fit your situation but might be delicious food for thought:

Toni Morrison, in her book, Beloved says that the only grace we can experience is the grace we can imagine. If we can’t see it, we can’t have it. In that spirit, let us gather our thoughts, our imaginations and our prayers together. O gracious and everlasting God, who is the author of all creation, the granter of life, the great singer, trickster and empowerer of us all, look lovingly we pray upon these women who love each other deeply. They are ready to start a new journey today with all of us gathered here. We pray that as they seek your blessing, you might assist them with your grace that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make today. In your precious and holy name we pray. Amen.


Shalom--
Jodi

Jan said...

That is so good, esp. as my daughter and her partner are planning a wedding for next year, minus a minister though.

Jennifer said...

The Spirit of God is alive and moving through your ministry and your life, Cecilia. How blessed we are to stand as witnesses and supporters....

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "Any time I am afraid about the coming out process (which, you understand, is undertaken at a snail's pace and with a good deal of hesitation) I believe I will come back to the comments of the last several days. This community has given me such a gift of love and support; I can barely express the depths of my gratitude. May I be worthy." Dear Cecilia, when and if that"coming out" day arrives, if its possible, please give a "heads-up". I want to be there, in my collar, with my partner, clapping and calling, "You go, Girl" and cheering you on. Thanks for the good words. Blessings. Janaury736

LittleMary said...

yeah. it is pretty fabulous, no? what a privilege, every single day.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

That brought tears to my eyes, Cecilia. Moments of grace, indeed...

Barbara B. said...

That is so awesome!!!

Rev SS said...

Awesome!

Hope said...

I can only imagine how you felt at that moment. Truly awesome!

Jane R said...

Wonderful!

Those are the graced moments in ministry -- and to have it be simultaneously a graced moment in your own journey is grace upon grace...

Diane said...

wow. looking forward to reading what you write...