Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mike and Kerri

I don't officiate at many weddings in the Middlesex Cluster. At St. John's in Waterbury I would do 12-18 a year. But the Cluster churches are small churches with not a lot of 'marrying age' folks. But I've officiated at two in the past month--one at St. James and today at Emmanuel, Killingworth. Both weddings were lovely and moving.

Today it was Mike and Kerri who married each other. They had two Yale Music Students play cello and violin for the music. Mike's two best men surprised Kerri with a rendition of "Grow old with you" that got a standing ovation at the offertory. The bridesmaids dresses were of the same fabric but in unique designs. Cool.

Mike is the great-grandson of the Rev. Gilbert, who founded Emmanuel in the early 1900's.  His grandparents and parents and now he and Kerri were all married in Emmanuel Church. Remarkable!

I have a different attitude toward marriage and baptism than may Episcopal priests. My commitment is to people who want God involved in their children's lives or God involved in their marriage. Wanting to get married in a church is enough for me. Mike and Kerri aren't members of Emmanuel, though Mike's heritage is intimately tied to the congregation. But they wanted to be married there and I was delighted.

In this super secular age, I am always delighted when anyone wants the church and God tied up with their lives. Some priests I know lay down a lot of hoops to jump through for people who want children baptized or to get married. Not me. All I ask is a chance to get to know them. And that I do. The thing that is not even in my mind is to question their desires or set up boundaries. The sacraments belong to God, not to the church, and certainly not to priests!

I officiated at many weddings at St. John's when the reason the couple gave for wanting to be married there was, "it's the prettiest church in town." Good enough for me.

You see, I really take the sacraments seriously. I think they mean something 'deep down' and folks who experience them are touched by God in ways they...and even I...don't and can't realize.

Why would anyone deny the blessings of God to anyone else? That's my question.

My theory is this: give the blessing of God to anyone, any where, who wants it, for whatever reason. The rest I leave to God.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.