Pause for Thought May2011

So – the wedding season is truly upon us!  By the time you read this, you will know exactly what the former Kate Middleton chose as her wedding g dress, whether the kiss on the balcony took place and even how the Beckham’s appeared!!  And what a relief it has been to find the newspapers full of good news and not to be confronted with war and disaster all the time. Truly, whatever your particular take on royal wedding, you cannot but have enjoyed a day off from the ordinary.

But this is not the only wedding that will take place this year and there are wedding plans in place all over the country and still, especially in the country, many people see the church as the ‘proper place’ to be married, even if they and their families are not regular members of the congregation. There is an important part of the marriage service which spells out what marriage is about:

‘Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God.
‘Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty which all should uphold and honour.
‘It enriches society and community.’
And that is just a short quotation from a much longer introduction, which spells out the solemnity and seriousness of the commitment the couple are making. The final words of this are
 ‘We pray with them that the Holy Spirit will guide   and strengthen them, That they may fulfil God’s purpose  for the whole of their earthly life together.’

After this the couple make their vows – but by this time they will have been well prepared. The church is the only place where you are married and serious preparation is undertaken. In our churches couples spend a whole day thinking about what the service means and about their life ahead – something they have little time for in the whirl of practical preparations. They will also meet with the person who is conducting the service several times before the marriage takes place – you may have read that Prince William and Catherine met with the Bishop of London to prepare for their wedding. Churches everywhere welcome the opportunity to marry couples – the regulations have been relaxed – if you or your family are thinking of being married do enquire about a church wedding and let the bells ring out!

At this point in time I am looking forward to watching the Royal wedding from start to finish in the comfort of home – I’m also looking forward to conducting Sally and Rob’s wedding in Bainton on 14th May what feast of happiness for this month!!