About that wedding on Saturday...

 A few days before the royal nuptials I posted on FaceBook that I had “little to no interest” in the wedding.  Many FB friends agreed, many disagreed.  The stronger responses came after the wedding, with many commenting on Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon on love.  Since then I’ve watched the whole wedding on YouTube with particular focus on the sermon.

Curry preached a strong and compelling sermon on love with a fervor I suspect was at least a little constrained by the occasion and setting.  Still, there was there was no room left to doubt the bishop’s personal faith and convictions - his sermon was a blend of testimony and proclamation, delivered with inviting warmth. 

One commenter on my post wrote that the “wedding was a great home run for bringing God back into marriage.”  It’s on this very point, however, that I would critique the sermon.  Speaking powerfully about love, the preacher made little connection with either marriage in general or the one being celebrated at the moment.  Listeners might draw lines connecting the sermon’s message with the celebration but little if any attention was paid to marriage as a sacrament of the very love being proclaimed.

One could not fault Curry for offering a potent message on the power of God’s love in our lives but I found myself waiting for him to help us see the union of the bride and groom as an icon, a living image of that love that binds us, the Church, as Christ’s spouse.

It will be interesting to see in what ways the royal ceremony influences the couples who approach their local parish to celebrate their weddings.  I was disheartened to see the ultimate expression of what I refer to as the “marginalized groom” approach to the entrance rite where, though two people are getting married, procession spotlights one and leaves the other in the margins. In fact, it’s not *her* day - it‘s *theirs.*

Will we be getting requests from engaged couples to program “Stand By Me” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odZ9GVuyfkc) as a musical selection for the ceremony?  It appears that Ben King’s song had earlier roots as a hymn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjro77BlcW8) but I doubt that’s the version brides and grooms will be asking for. On the other hand, it would be wonderful at weddings to hear royal couple’s choice of John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUfpgV8ZvI).

But, for the record, I love all things Rutter!

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