Okay, the wedding was AWESOME. It went off perfectly, with yours truly only making one unnoticeable blocking error and one much more noticeable but funny slip of the tongue right during the vows. “Place the Bill on ring’s finger…” But everyone had been laughing a lot already since Bill and Joe’s personal vows brought down the house. So I just laughed and started over.
Anyway. The music at the ceremony was heavenly, with so many of their incredibly talented friends singing and playing for us. Younger relatives read moving poetry selections. My four-minute comments went over well (see below), everyone thought I was actually a minister. And some asked if I do weddings regularly! Maybe a little side business? Haha…
My daughter and I went to the reception, where we danced for four hours. The entire event was so filled with love and joy, I’m floating on it. It was a celebration of friendship and family and community and love. I wish everyone could have such an amazing wedding.
I thought I’d share what my comments were in here.
My heart is filled with gratitude today that my dear friends Bill and Joe are entering this most mysterious of realms—marriage.
There are many kinds of love in the world—that of a parent for a child, that of a friend for a friend, that of a student for a teacher.
Then there is the love when two people so need each other that they willingly choose to bind their lives together and to cherish and support, withholding nothing. The profound and irresistible nature of this love receives its sanction and society’s support in the institution of marriage.
These two have chosen to marry because they know they can do more together than they could do apart. They are agreeing to partner to achieve a third thing—the strong, happy marriage that blesses not only them, but their friends, their families and their community.
And it is my hope that they will find through this new commitment that secret place only marriage can provide. Marriage gives a special opportunity like no other for growing closeness, for progressive unity. To know, really know, that your chosen one will be there for you always, that the commitment is mutual and permanent, allows you, in the safety of this sacred space, to bring a trusting openness to all that closeness has to offer. How often in life are we truly able to be open? How often is it in our power to love unconditionally? Today marks a new beginning for our friends Joe and Bill, as they embark on this adventure of total openness and trust.
As you may know, these two have been together for eleven years. They’ve grown in grace together, supporting each other’s dreams and working through the hard times that threatened to tear them apart. They both made the choice that this relationship was the one they wanted—this is the love of their life. Choosing to place their relationship before all else, making it their shared priority, has brought them before us today.
Bill told me when we were discussing the ceremony that marriage is something he never thought he’d have. He said, “All through my teens when I was struggling with orientation, part of the sadness was I thought I’d never be able to get married. Now that I can, it fulfills that desire I had long ago to find someone and get married and spend the rest of my life with him.”
Joe shared with me his concept of marriage. “It's a commitment of two souls,” he said. “It's the good and the bad, taking care of each other when ill, struggling through when poor. It becomes more important to you when it’s something you've been denied—you don’t take it for granted. With our marriage, we’re saying to the world that we’re ready to be acknowledged as being together. Marriage is knowing that I can grow old with someone who will always be there for me. I don't have to go looking for someone to share my hopes and dreams and fears with, someone's going to be there with me to do that.”
As we heard in the readings from I John, “God is Love.” The divine Spirit, who fills all space and created us in His image and likeness, is the originator of all love. There is no love that is not sourced in the Divine. There is no love that is not sanctified by the Divine. All love is sacred, all love is holy. Where there is love, there is the divine spark that animates and sustains.
And here, my friends, we have love. We have the love that Joe has for Bill, the love that Bill has for Joe, and the love we all feel for the two of them. This sanctuary is filled with the holy light of divine Love, we are resting in it and moving through it.
Today, as Bill and Joe take each others’ hands in marriage, we can join with them in acknowledging that love. From this day forward, we can picture them, moving forward together in Love.
Let’s take a moment to silently rejoice in our friends’ new life in Love. Hold them in thought as surrounded by Love. Keep this understanding in mind whenever you think of Bill and Joe in the years to come.
There was a few moments of silence, then we recited the Lord’s Prayer.
After the vows, I got to say the pronouncement: “And now, by the power vested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you legally married.” Very poorly concealed glee in my voice, that’s for sure. And they then got a standing ovation.
*Sigh.* I’m oh so happy for my friends this morning. May you have as much love in your day today.
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