I've been to tired to get up for church these past few Sundays, and I haven't come up with an ecumenical church-going plan (I've learned not to assume that all Protestant churches have 10am Sunday services), so I just went to CAUMC.
Trelawney and Eric did a duet of the African-American spiritual "I Will Trust in the Lord" [the song from when Eric proposed] with verses like "Sister will you trust in the Lord..." and then adding ones at the end first in question form and then in affirmation form about "will you love me... I will love you..." 'Twas lovely. Also would have made a beautiful photo 'cause they were framed by that wooden like doorway behind the altar with the blue cloth.
Attending a liberal church on Labor Day Sunday is probably not something I'll repeat. (Honestly I was reminded why I dislike attending liberal churches, period. And they weren't even being all "The Administration is evol;" it was totally legit "people dying is bad... poverty is bad..." I just have like an allergic reaction -- an analogy I quite like because it's about your body overreacting to a threat.)
The call to confession was Amos 5:11-15 [though more poetical than the NIV which is my default linkage]. The Words of Grace included "despite our sin and our participation in structures of sin."
Gospel Lesson: John 6:5-24, 26-27 (You must work for the food that lasts) [He actually only read 5-13 before skipping to 26-27.]
Sermon: "Our Worth, Our Work"
Talking about how we tend to define our worth (and that of others) by our work (or their work, as the case may be) and ja, that's bad. He had some other points, too, and I didn't really have any argument with his points -- though I had some quibbles with how he argued some of them -- but I really wasn't impressed by the sermon either.
I was not in a headspace (soulspace?) wherein I had any interest/desire to take Communion, but they had a loaf of dark bread which you tear plus intincture, so I was mildly curious to try this new combo. [As soon as I saw the table set up when I walked in I considered avoiding going to church anywhere on the first Sunday of the month -- when Protestant churches usually do Communion -- and was immediately amused recalling how different this is from some of my friends... for example those for whom it so important to get Communion every Sunday.] Trelawney held the cup and said "poured out for you, Elizabeth," which is one thing in favor of the non-communal way of doing Communion (i.e., not passing the tray around amongst yourselves) at least in a congregation where the clergy know everyone by name.
NewRoomie organized the pots&pans&etc. under the counter -- including getting rid of the lids that match nothing, etc. Woot.
The wedding was at 4pm and I got home c. 10pm. The wedding was beautiful. And one fab thing about attending weddings is seeing what terrific ideas exist that you can steal for your own event if you ever have one.
The roses were all light purple and pale yellow which surprised me -- I'd been expecting deeper richer colors, but it was certainly lovely. The bridal party all wore dresses matching that purple (and white filmy scarves, and white elbow-length gloves that were mostly open at the hands, which I thought was very cool; the little girls wore dresses of some combination of white and light purple), and the groom's party wore dark purple vests and bow ties. The bride and groom were both walked down the aisle by a parental set, and the one time I cried during the whole thing was when the groom was walked down arm-in-arm with both parents.
Mmm, bagpipe medley. Followed by Pachelbel's "Canon in D" and Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Mortals' Desiring." [Yeah, I know, gender-inclusive language can be awkward.] After the greeting we all sang "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" (which I love) -- all four verses, followed by this one:
Eric and Trelawney, as we celebrate your wedding dayThe next hymn was "How Can I Keep From Singing?"
May you feel our love surround you, with God's blessing on your way.
As you bind your lives together, join your hearts with unity
May the Holy Spirit guide you now and through eternity.
The Scripture reading is listed as "1 John:7-12, selected verses," which has to be a typo but anyway the verses were of the gist "Those who know Love know God and those who do not love do not know God." This was followed by a fairly brief sermon -- which began with a recitation of Robert Bly's "A Man And A Woman Sit Near Each Other." The minister talked about Hesed -- defined as kindness and also as love rooted in covenant, and talked about how covenant is different from contract, and about coming back to the table to renegotiate (and I loved that he mentioned that the Jews were always negotiating with God :) ) -- and about forgiveness and about the importance of reciprocal giving (metaphor: both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are fed by the River Jordan and the former is full of life because it also gives, does not only receive) and about how a relationship is remade by love (serious points to a minister who says to a couple: "Yes I hope you 'make love' " and means the double-entendre).
After the exchange of vows and rings and declaration of marriage was the blessing. We had already had two different ministers and assorted laity participating in this ceremony. Here we got: Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, and Christian blessings -- interspersed with unison blessings from the congregation ("O God, bless Trelawney and Eric, and make them instruments of thy justice/understanding/peace/compassion/l
Then there was Communion (preceded by a unison prayer of confession even). It was phrased as "on the night Jesus was handed over..." which pleased me. So I ended up taking Communion twice in one day. The bulletin said "the Bread of Life and the Cup of Liberation," and the woman who held the cup for me said "the cup of joy, poured out for you."
The Communion hymn was a more verses version of "I Will Trust in the Lord," followed by "I've Got Peace Like a River" and "Siyahamba."
The service lasted over an hour and a half and was followed by a reception. They had all the tables done up to match the sanctuary decor (and the small vases holding two roses and a bit of filler were the favors). I was reminded a smidge of Prom (also: floating tea light candles on the tables). There were also rose petals on the tables.
There were pictures all over the walls (like, snapshots taped up, not framed portraits) of the bride and groom from childhood (and older) which I thought was a neat touch.
My assigned table included Michelle (who remains v. cool), Seth, Jacqueline (the soloist from when Sarah and I went a month ago), and Marcy and John.
The first dance between bride and groom was the Indigo Girls' "Power of Two."
The bride's mom informed us all of one of their family traditions: If you want to see the bride and groom kiss, you have to get up and share a story about one or both of them, or sing a song or recite a poem, or share something else that you think they would enjoy/appreciate. So yeah, we got to see them kiss probably four or five times. With increasing gusto I would say. The wedding was the first time I'd ever seen them kiss. I may just be used to Smith, but I've been really surprised with both them and Meredith+Mike to not be able to glean just from their physical interaction that they're a couple. (And no, they don't have to make out in front of me; I'm just used to seeing a lot more physical affection -- which is perhaps ironic because I'm so physically affectionate with my friends that Smith has taught me not to assume people are romantically/sexually involved based just on easy/frequent physical affection -- and again, I'm not talking making out; and yes obviously I am well aware that people can make out and not be an "item.")
They took photos with various groups of people and thus were sometimes on the mic calling up people individually. My favorite was: "This includes [so-and-so] who doesn't wanna be from BU but needs to be in the photo."
Speaking of mics... I didn't realize at the time how spoiled I was with Russ May, but I have yet to be at a church since where I hear a commanding "May I have your attention please" that really cuts through the noise -- and these people often even have mics.
When all the people I would talk to had dispersed, I departed as well. I said goodbye to both bride and groom (separately because they were with different pockets of people) and they were both so sincerely glad that I came (Trelawney practically even apologized for my not getting an invitation until so close to the date).