Monday, November 23, 2009

The marriage ceremony

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I haven't done anything for my wedding (researching pretty pictures doesn't count) since confirming all the locations. And i'm so happy about that! I'd like to think there's more to my life at this point other than THE WEDDING. So after feeling guilty that i should have been doing more for my wedding, and subsequently feeling guilty that i was feeling guilty cos i shouldn't have been feeling guilty since all the busyness stopping me from doing my wedding was mostly church time or people time or God time. Anyway, since i have a little more time to myself now, it's a good time to think about the wedding.

The next coupla things on my list now, is the ceremony program and finalizing the guest list. One more important than the other. People who get cut off from the guest list or not will live (despite the inevitable grumbling, yes they will live) past my wedding, but the ones who attend hopefully don't miss the message in the ceremony. So we turn to the faithful work of the English Reformer, Thomas Cranmer who wrote and compiled the Book of Common Prayer. The solemnization of matrimony seems to be good enough, although i think we will be not using it lock stock and barrel. This is the 1662 version, not the current one available in our local churches.

Here i highlight something interesting that i never thought about before til i heard Philip Jensen's Love, Sex and Marriage series of sermons. The following is taken from the BCP1662:

If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Curate say unto the Man,
WILT thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
The Man shall answer, I will.

Then shall the Priest say unto the Woman,
WILT thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer, I will.
Did you know that nowadays it is commonly asked as "Do you take this woman..." and replied with "I do"?
But in the wedding ceremony, you don't ask the couple to say "I do", you ask them to say "I will".

Paraphrasing Philip Jensen from Love,Sex and Marriage,
"There's a world of difference between saying  "Do you love her?" and "Will you love her?" (On your wedding day) Do you love her is not the question, every man in the room loves her, she's dressed up beautiful, everyone loves her that day. The question is the old Beatles question, "Will you still love me when i'm 64?" Marriage is made of that commitment to WILL to love one another."
Now, this wasn't a show of my obsession with accuracy. This is a show of things we all glaze over without considering the meaning in all the things that we do, without caring whether our wedding day glorifies God. It's sad that we don't remember God on the second best day of our lives. How can we presume to remember him on the worst day? Everyone cares about the dress, the flowers, the beauty of it all, the darned guests... who cares about God? Who cares what God's saying in the sermon, as long as the preacher keeps it short? Who cares how much skin the bridesmaids are showing, as long as they all look good in pictures together? Who cares whether the locations are good for preaching, as long as it looks grand and our guests will not think we're el cheapo mondo?


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