Marriage, Personal History, Weddings

Wedding Nightmare

This Saturday will be my first wedding since I started at NYCC last September, and my first since my marriage ended, and I’ll admit that preparing for it has been challenging. After all, who am I to say whether a couple ought to get married or what they need to know to make it work? But then I remind myself that history is full of people who never married yet provided the same sort of counseling from a spiritual point of view, and I remember that in neither case did I actually get that, because the clergy involved were a relative (first time) and a friend (second time), neither of whom seemed to feel it necessary.

Clearly, it was.

Furthermore, every sanctuary is different and thus while the ceremony remains essentially the same, the logistics vary. Tonight I went out to the church and two deacons (thanks R and P!) helped rearrange the furniture, so to speak, because while standing where the Communion table usually sits worked for a 6’3″ man pastor, being at the low end of a sloping sanctuary isn’t such a great spot for this 5′ tall preacher, and besides, the couple heard we had a carpeted set of stairs that could come in, and that’s what they wanted, so I suddenly have a different sanctuary than usual.

I feel discombobulated.

When I last officiated at a wedding, I didn’t know all the things that led to the decision to end my marriage, but I did know things were badly, sorely amiss. Writing words to speak to a young couple came painfully, for I suspected that the vows I had spoken did not mean to my spouse what they meant to me, and I was lifting up the promises they would make, focusing on the value of those promises when times are challenging.

I still believe that.

Last night I dreamt that the wedding took place in an auditorium, and I was standing on the steps, rather than the stage, trying to conduct the ceremony, and no one would listen to me. There was ongoing revelry better suited to a fraternity party than a religious ceremony, a regular bacchanal. I woke with a gasp, needing a drink of water.

My words went unheard.

8 thoughts on “Wedding Nightmare”

  1. I still remember the bundle of feelings inside me as I officiated the first wedding after my marriage ended. Praying for strength and peace to be yours.

  2. Oh, Songbird. I've read this three times now. Gone away. Come back. I feel for you in so many ways. Not pity, but ache for the character-building experiences you could have done without that are swirling around you. People get married and have their own work to do. The church blesses them in that work and offers support, but doesn't promise salvation to the individuals or the marriage. May you know the peace of participating in the blessing and the comfort of your own jubilee.

  3. This must be very hard for you. Prayers!Not to make light of your anxiety, but your dream reminds me so much of my annual back-to-school nightmares. Just exchange the auditorium for a classroom full of people taller than me.

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