Wednesday, November 16, 2011

last saturday's wedding homily

Wedding Homily

On this beautiful autumn Saturday afternoon we are privileged to share with ____ and ____ their moment of supreme joy in the new life they begin together. Many poets and commentators have written that weddings are not for the bride and groom but for the guests, and to a certain extent that’s true. However, the focus and the hour of exultation is theirs.

Still, I would speak of new hope for them. ____ and ____, in the years ahead I hope for many things. That your wisdom will be steadily increased. This is in addition to the increase you hope to see in your family size as you move from two individuals, each with your own natures and wants, and with ____ children ____ and ____, into a single unit, complete with a home together. You have already begun that journey.

____ and ____, I hope for you too that you always apply tenderness and strength. Marriage today is a hard proposition, and while it may not be any harder than it’s ever been, many people still find being two people in marriage harder than being two people in love. There’s no way you could have known those years ago when you worked together, dated briefly, came apart and then rejoined, that this is a day you would eventually experience. You may have hoped for it, may even have dreaded it—after all, marriage is a frightening prospect, as any big change in a person’s life ought to be frightening—but together you accepted the prospect, planned for it, faced conflicts, issues and setbacks, and still, today, here you are. Joining together as husband and wife.

____ and ____, you have shared with one another and with me some of your concerns and some of your hopes. It will seem at times in the future that the hopes will have disappeared while the concerns and fears have taken up residence. That’s human nature. But the hopes never go away. I charge you to keep them in your hearts. But don’t keep them only there, silent and secret. Share them. Share them with one another. Share them with ____ and ____. After all, the four of your will constitute a new family. Times change, of course, and what seem like problems today will be jokes tomorrow. Never lose sight of your love for one another, any of you. Never allow changing customs and fashions and fears to dull the sense of loyal love and utter devotion you share.

____, you shared with me that “With ____, there’s always something there.” I submit that when the new life that is your marriage is added to the fellowship of the home you will make together, you give thanks for the blessings of relationship and love. Human beings long to be in community, yearn for companionship, but keeping it is never easy. In the years ahead there will be times of conflict and sometimes of trial. That is as it should be. There will also be times of joy and exultation. That is always as it should be. I will hope for you that the joys will outnumber the trials. The two of you are become a union. The four of you are become a union. It is your responsibility to keep your union strong.

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