From a recent PRRI press release:
“New research by the Public Religion Research Institute has found that American Catholics are in fact more supportive than any other Christian tradition when it comes to favoring legal recognition for same-sex couples, and while there’s still some division over whether that recognition should be civil marriage (43%) or civil unions (31%), only 22% are categorically opposed to any form of recognition. This is just one among many findings that show Catholics favor gay rights much more than perhaps thought.”
I am a trained Life-Cycle Celebrant and Wedding Officiant. I perform wedding and commitment ceremonies for couples who are committed to loving each other. And I am also a person whose spiritual family of origin is the Roman Catholic Church. Until reading the results of this research, I thought my support of same-sex couples put me in a minority among American Catholics. Apparently, I am not in the minority. And I couldn’t be more pleased!
The other day a friend sent me a link to a video of a wedding ceremony in which the best man tripped as he was stepping forward to deliver the rings. It happened at that wonderful, tender moment, just after the bride and groom have exchanged marriage vows, and just before they offered their rings to one another. Not only did the trip and fall look painful for the best man, he took out the bride and the officiant on his way down. To make things worse, they were standing on what looked like small concrete platforms over a pool of water, much like you might find here in the Missouri Botanical Gardens. So not only did the bride and the officiant go down, but they fell backwards into the water. Yikes! Talk about an awkward moment…
Note to self: Never perform ceremonies standing with my back to water.
In doing a little background reading on the Navajo Wedding Vase, I decided to research a popular blessing chosen by a number of couples with whom I have worked. It is most commonly called “The Apache Wedding Prayer,” but I was wondering if it was really Apache in origin, because it has also been known as an “Indian Wedding Blessing.” According to author Rebecca Mead, the earliest version of this prayer was written in Western novel Blood Brother, by Elliott Arnold. In 1950 it made its way into a film adaptation of the novel called Broken Arrow, written for the screen by Albert Maltz and starring Jimmy Stewart. Alas, the popular prayer is not from Apache tradition, but has its origins in fiction and in Hollywood.
Nevertheless, feel free to use it if it speaks to you! Here is the version most couples I know have used:
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each will be warmth for the other.
Now you will feel no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there are three lives before you:
his life, her life, and your life together.
May beauty surround you both
on the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion
to the place where the river meets the sun.
Go now to your dwelling
to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
As we approach another Valentine’s Day, I offer a quotation attributed to author Daphne Rose Kingma, and used at a recent St. Louis wedding:
“For it is in loving, as well as in being loved, that we become most truly ourselves. No matter what we do, say, accomplish, or become, it is our capacity to love that ultimately defines us. In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”
Today’s crazy winter weather reminds me of Jamie and Dan’s recent wedding at The Conservatory in St. Charles
http://www.gardenwedding.com/. We had freezing rain the night of the rehearsal, causing some members of the bridal party to take rooms nearby, rather than risk the slippery trip home. But on the night of their wedding, it was 20 something degrees outside, clear and cold. Inside the beautiful and heated tropical glass gardenhouse, all were warm and aglow with the joy and love of the newlyweds, captured so beautifully by Ryan Gladstone Photography
Congratulations, Jamie & Dan!
If you want to have a lovely garden wedding in the St. Louis area any time of year, one of your best options can be found at The Conservatory in the Historic District on Main Street in St. Charles. The staff is friendly, courteous, and professional. And the surroundings are simply gorgeous! It is especially lovely to be warm and cozy inside surrounded by lush greenery, while the weather outside is doing its cold, wintry thing.
I took this picture just before a ceremony this past Saturday. For more photos and information on this charming wedding venue, see
Whether or not the weather will interfere with your wedding plans is always an issue to one degree or another (pun intended). Of course, if you are planning an outdoor ceremony weather automatically becomes a more significant factor, whatever the season. But during the winter months, weather can become a challenge for anyone’s wedding plans because of nasty things like freezing rain, ice storms, or simply your basic blizzard. Your guests may end up waiting in airports, stuck in hotels, or unable to get out of their own driveways. So why plan a winter wedding?
The reasons can be many and varied, but here are a few. Sometimes it’s just a timing issue related to many other complex factors in the couples’ life together. Other times couples choose winter because they can get reduced rates on just about everything during “off season” for the wedding industry, having their dream wedding for a fraction of the cost of a spring, summer, or autumn wedding. And then there are those who just love winter and want to celebrate their love for each other during their favorite season.
Since no one I know has figured out how to control the weather, couples who want to plan their weddings for the winter months should just roll the dice and take whatever comes their way. In St. Louis, although you could get freezing rain, an ice storm, or a blizzard, chances are you could also get one of those crazy winter days with lots of sunshine when the temperature hits 50. Either way, it is good practice for married life, where couples agree to hang in there with each other with no available accurate forecast for what the future will bring!
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As another Thanksgiving rolls around, I find I have much for which to be grateful. As far as my Celebrant work is concerned, I am deeply appreciative of the fifty-two couples who entrusted their wedding ceremonies to me this year. Each one unique, each one a delight. Do I have an amazing job, or what?
And, speaking of weddings and Thanksgiving, my husband and I were married the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1983. Of course this means that our anniversary falls on Thanksgiving Day from time to time. So, this Thursday we will celebrate our twenty-seventh year of marriage. Time does fly, when you’re having fun!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.