Four weddings and a funeral

Over the past few months, I have heard and read more times than I can remember the sentiment of my clergy colleagues who “would rather do ten funerals than a wedding.”* With two in a row the next two Saturdays, the phrase has been haunting me, and I have decided, emphatically, to disagree.

A few years ago, before I was ordained, I assisted at a funeral followed by a wedding for one family in one week. It was hard, on everyone. The wedding I am taking tomorrow could too easily have gone the same way, and I am more delighted than I can say to be welcoming this family to this wedding, and not to that funeral.

Of course, it’s not that I don’t get my friends’ frustrations, nor do I for a moment believe that they would rather see their people mourn than dance. Still, I am sorry that we seem to be all too willing to rob ourselves of joy when it is handed to us on a piece of wedding cake.

So this afternoon, on my Friday day off, when I head into work to run this wedding rehearsal, I will be ready to smile at foibles, shake my head knowingly at freak-outs, and laugh at the ridiculous and marvellous, gospelly naivety of people who promise one another a lifetime of love and fidelity when none of us knows even what tomorrow will bring. Then, tomorrow, I will place them in the hands of God to bless them (see what I did there?), and return home to my own spouse to wonder what on earth we thought we were doing half a lifetime ago when we made the same promises, with the same ridiculous hope and joy.

And maybe we will dance.

* If you have said this in my presence recently, please don’t be offended. This is not about you, personally – honestly, I have heard it so many times I’m not sure I know anyone who hasn’t said it. And I love you, and wish you stupid, naive, ridiculous joy.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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1 Response to Four weddings and a funeral

  1. Pingback: Day 306: on marriage | Epiphany's Bible Challenge

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