Sunday, September 6, 2015

For Spencer and Caitlin, on the Occasion of their Marriage

I went to a wedding on Friday, for two people dear to my heart.  I have known Spencer since he was nine or ten years old, when he was collecting coins and taking piano lessons and reading the Harry Potter books.  He won my heart by liking whatever I cooked, and by being interested in almost everything.

I've known Caitlin for just a couple of years, but she has won my heart as well.  First of all, she loves Spencer, and that would probably be enough.  But she is also a woman of both substance and style, vivacious and earnest and funny.

Their wedding was an expression of the individual personalities and their relationship:  full of music and original style, held in a funky old warehouse.  Everyone came as themselves, no one simply playing a part.  The officiant struck a balance of warmth and originality.  Of course, the bride and groom wrote their own vows.  There were tears.  There was dancing.  The word "unique" came to mind.

I am glad about that.  I am glad that this wedding was unique, but I am also glad that, in the midst of all of the special and unique words that I heard, I also heard a few that resonated, a few that I recognized from other weddings, words about faithfulness, words about staying together in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

Caitlin and Spencer, I celebrate your uniqueness, and this unique expression of your commitment to each other.  I celebrate your style, your music, the light that I see behind your eyes, and when your eyes meet.  But I also celebrate the promises of marriage, promises that are not unique, but which have been made by millions of couples for eons and ages.

It takes courage to get married.  I think it has always been so, but maybe not always for the same reasons.  It takes courages to pledge your life and your love to another unique person, to say, "from now on, we are in this together.  It takes courage to get married, if for no other reason than that vow you make, "till death do us part."  You love, and someday you will grieve.

Caitlin and Spencer, I celebrate your style.  I celebrate your music, I celebrate your love for each other. But most of all, I celebrate your courage.  You stand in a long line of people who have taken the leap, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live.

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