Life leads us on odd, but often interesting paths.
Almost four years ago, one of my dearest friends, a brother now,
really, asked me if I’d be willing to officiate his wedding service. I
thought he was joking. A person just didn’t become a minister overnight.
You needed credentials, training, religious and/or political authority.
As it turns out, you don’t need very much. You need Google, of
course, and about ten dollars. After that, and with very little worry,
you can perform marriages in a variety of states, cities, and
municipalities within the U.S. Nifty, huh?
My friend footed the bill, and on 8.9.2010 (get it?) I officiated a
wedding for the first time. Since then I’ve performed two other
weddings. One here in Maryland for very dear friends, and now, most
recently, in Cincinnati for Fox’s cousin.
Public speaking doesn’t make me nervous anymore. I suppose I’ve
taught often enough that I’m good so long as I’m prepared. I think I’d
be a bit shakier if I had to go all impromptu, but I usually enter into
speaking engagements with at least some notes. For Fox’s
cousin’s wedding, I knew that bride and groom wanted a relatively short
ceremony, and I hope that is what I gave them. I chose a few key
quotations, some lovely bits of J.R.R. Tolkien’s musings on matrimony
(the bit about soul-mates is perfect), and, of course, my favorite – 1.Corinthians 13 -
no greater passage about love exists in all of scripture, and perhaps
not in all of literature, although some Shakespearean sonnets give Paul a
run for his money.
They had the wedding in Cincinnati’s Bell Event Center
– a cavernous and gorgeous place, full of, well, bells, and stained
glass depicting apostles, scenes from the New Testament, and a variety
of symbolic lambs. Yes, lambs.
The boys behaved themselves, and now I wait for the next wedding
request. No more marriages on the till, but you never know when someone
will need a reverend, minister, or Grand Poobah.