21 October 2007

This is my solemn vow

I officiated a marriage yesterday afternoon at Our Saviour in Trenton. I am solidly with the vast majority of my clergy colleagues in detesting weddings. Even I have to admit, however, that this one was different.

The bride and groom, in their late 50s and early 60s respectively, were radiant. The bride's three adult children presented her for marriage and the three of them offered the prayers. In that quiet, lovely, long-prayed-in space with the afternoon sun streaming through the clear windows on the west side, familiar words lingering in the air, each of the six of us fought tears, some more successfully than others.

Very occasionally I remember why I do what I do. Those events mark red-letter days. In my book October 20th 2007 is crimson.

I had the camera and tripod with me. This photograph was taken before the bridal party arrived. A parishioner, related somehow to the bride, for the sheer joy of it put the flowers on the altar. The fragrance of the lilies was transporting. The bride, tearful on her arrival, was unable to stay composed in the face of the tenderness of the gift. They took one arrangement home to enjoy over the weekend; I took the other and delivered it to a parishioner this afternoon in the nursing home when I delivered her weekly communion.

These other photographs came after the litury was finished and before I turned out the lights OR turned the air-conditioning back up. There's something about sunlight on wood that I find hard to resist.


At 12:51 PM, Blogger Living in the Moment said...

Janet - I read this post w teary eyes, having feelings for all involved - Red Letter Days - Yes, The day I got married, The day I lost my brother, the days my nephews were born - I can so relate - Beautiful Post & Pics! ~Kristine


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