Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A prayer for your wedding....

"May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar
to turn the water into wine and to give to
human life an inspiration by which man's spiritual
and eternal existence may be discerned.

- Mary Baker Eddy

Someone I care for dearly is being married this weekend.  This has inspired me to revisit the above statement from the Chapter "Marriage" in Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and ponder its message, not only in reference to their marriage, but to all marriages -- including my own.

At a time when reality television offers us a peek into the best and the worst of weddings -- through programming as sweet as TLC's A Wedding Story, to the most uncharitable kind of voyeurism through the lens of Lifetime's Bridezilla -- this statement provides a spiritual grounding that brings me peace as I ponder this step for any couple.

Eddy's prayer - and I like to think of this statement as a prayer - asks that Christ be present at
every bridal altar.  From simple vows taken and given in a silent chapel, to the elaborate drama of a hollywood gala with helicopters circling.  From one performed in the dust of an African village, to one officiated in a Scottish castle.  From a first marriage with the bride and groom having dated only each other - since middle school, to the fourth marriage of an octogenarian who met her beloved while in a wheelchair aerobics class.  

Each and every bridal altar deserves the benediction of Christ, Truth.  Each bridal altar is an opportunity for Christ to be present --  turning the water into wine.  Turning the purity of new love - which has refreshed hope and cleansed the palate of the past -  into a laboratory for enriching and un-selfing our better selves.  New opportunities to live with another - in communion and cooperation - as husband and wife.   

This week, I have been thinking about what makes
every bridal altar so deserving of this prayer.  And my prayer have led me to one word -- hope.   It takes remarkable hope to approach the bridal altar -- at any stage in one's life.  Hope that self can be subdued by love.  Hope that grace will reign in our hearts and  homes.   Hope that our lives will be an inspiration of hope to others who may feel gun-shy or weary.  Those who may have given up on their dreams,  or are protecting tender hearts from another hurt. 

So today, I am celebrating hope.  Not only with this dear couple, but with their  children who hope that their parents have found their "one true love." -- again.   I am celebrating with parents who are hoping and praying that their sons and daughters will be cherished and supported in their dreams and desires.  I am celebrating with the friends and families who hope that their loved ones will be "
in love" forever and ever, amen" as Randy Travis sings.

One of my favorite lyricists, Don Henley, sings his prayer in, "
For My Wedding,"  It's a song that he wrote for his own marriage.  This song speaks to the hope I pray we all bring to the altar -- as brides, grooms, attendants, officiants, guests, parents, friends, and the children of couples who have found fresh hope.  it has been my prayer -- each day since the first time I heard it on the radio a few years ago:

To want what I have
To take what I'm given with grace
For this I pray
On my wedding day

For my wedding, I don't want violins
Or sentimental songs about thick and thin
I want a moment of silence and a moment of prayer
For the love we'll need to make it in the world out there

To want what I have
To take what I'm given with grace
For this I pray
On my wedding day
On my wedding day

I dream, and my dreams are all glory and light
That's what I've wanted for my life
And if it hasn't always been that way
Well, I can dream and I can pray
On my wedding day

So what makes us any different from all the others
Who have tried and failed before us
Maybe nothing, maybe nothing at all
But I pray we're the lucky ones; I pray we never fall

To want what we have
To take what we're given with grace
For these things I pray
On my wedding day
On my wedding day

Dearest ones -- on your wedding day, when you are making a "sanctuary of your heart,"  I pray you are blessed with many things -- great love, profound kindness, deep faith, persistent patience, abiding tenderness, laughter -- but most of all -- hope.

Recently someone share this definition of "hope" with me: 

"to trust an unknown future to a known God"

For this I pray -- on your wedding day.

with all my love,


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