Set me as a seal a seal on your soul...
Such were the words sung by the wedding party as they walked forward in the wedding procession. How fitting that the bride and groom, both lovely singers, chose bridesmaids and groomsmen with beautiful voices to proclaim their love and dedication as the ceremony began.
It was a warm afternoon, shadows started drifting over the audience as we began and with no rain, all was well. Song of Solomon 8:6 set the stage for as spiritual a wedding ceremony as could be planned on this earthly stage. A stage of His own creation -- a woodland cove and grassy meadow, inhabited for the hour by His people, joined to celebrate the sacred trust of marriage. A serene bride stood with her father and a gentle groom waited patiently as the best man and maid of honor spoke of marriage commitment and duty. A groomsmen led us in the singing of "The Sands of Time," starting with the verse:
"The Bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land."
The father of the bride delivered his remarks, then Luke and Sarah read the vows each had written. It was easy to recognize that Luke based his on 1 Corinthians 13, and Sarah engaged the wisdom of Proverbs 31. Sarah's father sweetly lifted her veil and handed her to Luke. We sang another hymn: " God Is a Fountain Whence." At this point the father of the groom finished presiding over the ceremony.
Luke's father was overheard to say later that it was very hard to do your own children's weddings...this makes his second. He did very well, though; choosing as the basis for his thoughts the love theme of Song of Solomon to match the wedding's beginning. He did forget the next hymn on the program, "For the Beauty of the Earth," but that was certainly a small matter. How sweet to see him grin and say, "Well, son, kiss your bride." as he closed.
Throughout the ceremony, prayers were offered by special men: an uncle of the bride, the groom's father and grandfather. All transpired with reverential praise, faith and hope. A once in a lifetime event for a very special couple ... now happily joined in marriage.
A joyful reception followed and with the singing of "Blessed Be the Tie" the newlyweds departed on their great adventure of a new life together. How exciting!
MY HEART LEAPS UP
And yet, and yet....I must confess there was a part of this day that was more thrilling for me than this lovely wedding. As happy as the events of the afternoon made me, there was joy beyond measure through the morning that preceded.
The dawn broke with lovely birdsong in the wedding cove; I sat on the benches, soaking up His glory and their praise; then dared add my own prayers of thanksgiving, petitions for blessings on us all. Later, friends and family of the bride and groom (around 60 in number) met together with the church in Clendenin - an hour of song, scripture reading and prayer followed by our regular Sunday morning worship service. The rafters rang with the glad voices - among whom were all but four of our own (those four being well represented by the two oldest siblings of their clan). Our youngest son guided the services, one grandson preached, several other sons and grandsons took leading parts as needed. No feeling can compare to gathering with children in spiritual communion.
My cup runneth over ... to God be the glory!