It has been an interesting couple of months.
Amanda asked me to officiate at her wedding to Matthew. I should have seen it coming...but I was a little distracted. I promised her that if there was any way I could do it, I would. And I did. It was very interesting. It was a medieval wedding. Matthew dressed in some of his own armour, and came through an arch of swords as he came in. Amanda arrived in a carriage, and was escorted through her arch of swords by her sisters. I'll try to find some pictures to illlustrate this blog entry, so please drop in again in a few days
This is what I said.....
Good Afternoon my Lords and Ladies.
Two noble families have gathered here to witness a wedding.
More than that though
They will witness a marriage.
Please be seated.
There are several symbols you will see here today.
Some involve swords!
Some involve armour!
Most can understand the beauty of an armour
And see its beauty AS a symbol.
After all, Matthew will invoke his role as the armour of his family.
Both personally with his new wife,
And in his new, larger role as he prepares to armour TWO families
against the winds of fate.
It is good to have strong members of a family.
I think Matthew qualifies.
The hardest part for Matthew's family was to slow him down.
Now Amanda's family will share that... (pause) burden.
Why swords though?
Well, a sword is not a very good weapon.
It is too delicate.
They don't work as well as the movies say they work
And we know!
We play with these things every day!
Not like a battle axe, or a war hammer.
Now THERE'S a weapon!
Even Robin Hood carried a better weapon than a sword.
He also carried a sword.
He was an Earl and a knight.
and therefore carried that badge of his rank.
Outlaw or not, he was a knight, and believed in,
and followed knightly virtues.
Swords make better symbols than weapons.
We are back to symbols.
We all KNOW these symbols.
I am just pointing out why they are here today.
These are the knightly virtues:
(pause between each virtue for effect)
Honour Courtesy Courage Faith Grace Committment
Honour. Of COURSE Matthew will honour his new bride
And her family as he has honoured his own.
He has brought honour to everything
I have ever seen him do.
Courtesy. Well, this is a credit to his family.
(gesture to family)
Courage. It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing.
What ever that "right thing" might be.
Faith. Such a small word for such a big virtue
Faith is the sincere belief that things will turn out all right.
Amanda's grace and beauty are evident today as they have been
since I first met her. She brings out the best in those around her.
Grace and courage define her.
These qualities are priceless.
When we first met Amanda, it was at a Sword Fighting Class.
Matthew had brought her there to show her "what he does".
Everyone who came in later asked "why is it so bright in here?"
"Oh, its Matt! He's beaming!"
We had never seen him so happy
Except possibly for today....
(Audience chuckles and nods knowingly)
Amanda's courage to take up a new peer group
and move to a new city CLEARLY demonstrates
the virtue of courage.
And I am more than pleased to consider her to be just as much
a knight as any here.
Marriage is the bringing of two families together.
And believe me, you will need them and every ounce of
assistance they care to share with you as you go forth from here.
Especially when there are little Mattys and Mandys running around.
(pause audience chuckles)
The value of family is ALWAYS overlooked at the beginning.
Matthew and Amanda do not need this ceremony to have a happy
and contented life together.
This ceremony is not the marriage.
I am not marrying you.
You are marrying each other
Your families are marrying each other through you.
That is why we are all here today.
Today, we will witness something very special.
Today, Matthew you will give yourself to Amanda to
share your life with her.
Today, Amanda, you will give yourself to Matthew to
share your life with him.
Every Single Day
This is easy when things go right.
It is imperative when things go wrong.
Together you are more than twice as strong as you are apart.
And you will call on your families to make you stronger yet.
That is why we use swords and armour to symbolize
a GOOD marriage.
(audience spontaneously applauded at that point!)
(pause...short pause between each line of the poem which follows.
Love is patient. Love is kind.
It is not jealous. Love is not pompous. It is not inflated.
It is not rude. It does not seek its own interest.
It is not quick tempered. It does not brood over injury.
It does not rejoice over wrong doing.
But rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things
It believes all things
It hopes all things
It endures all things.
Love never fails.
Matthew and Amanda, now it is your turn
Matthew, here is a copy of your vows,
I am sure you have memorized them, but nervousness
will make the best speech fly away in the wind!
(Amanda had her lines down cold.)
(Amanda chose to say her vows first)
(Matthew said his vows second)
(It is not appropriate for me to publish them here.
Suffice to say, they were delivered clearly and well)
Now is the traditional time to exchange rings
These are of course, are the symbols of committment to each other
I call upon Malcolm S. , the father of the Bride to come forth
He wishes to welcome Matthew to his family.
(Malcolm presents a sword to Matthew)
The groom wishes to present a token to his bride.
(Matthew presents a fine dagger)
The bride wishes to present a token gift to her groom
(A box which cleverly concealed a war hammer was brought forth)
She clearly wants him to have a serious weapon!
Didn't we all agree earlier that you want a good weapon, a war hammer is it!
(Audience enthusiastically agrees. It is very pretty!)
Now the part you have all been waiting for.
My Lords and Ladies....I present to you Lord and Lady. G.............
You may kiss the bride.
(crowd goes wild.)
(I take the dog from Matt's mom)
(we all go through the arch)
Ceremony is over. I go to de-compress in the bushes with the dogs.
It was a bit rough...the energy level went to below 10%.
Every body else goes on carriage rides.
The poem I chose lends some tradition to an admittedly off the bubble
ceremony, and many of the family members on both
sides of the aisle beamed as they recognized this poem from their own
weddings! It is a passage from Corinthians. The "Paul is, of course,
St. Paul, and he first said these words in a delightful grotto in Malta.
I will try to get some pictures of this wedding and post them here.
Later on, during the feast, Matt and I paused, got into our best
Slavic shirts. (mine was a little tight...but then all my clothes
seem to have shrunk in the closet the last couple of years)
and drank a toast to "I represent those who could not be here today"
and I said, "I represent those who have gone on before."
We stood face to face...saluted...crossed swords.
Drank the toast.
Then lowered the swords slowly down,
I actually heard somebody saying
"with the going down of the sun we shall remember them."
That toast choked up more people than I expected it to.
We had some specific people in mind....
Ursula and Tom could not be there...she is fighting her own
battle with the Crab. Through this toast, or course, she was there.
But EVERYBODY has somebody who has gone before
that could not be there that day.
We got to do this salute with the swords that Tom had made.
Well, there you have it. I officiated at a wedding.
I was more than honoured...I was flattered AND honoured.
And I got to keep the dogs over night!
A perfect end to a perfect day.