November 10, 2009
Meeting of the minds
This past Sunday we met the minister who will be officiating our ceremony.
First we attended the church service, which was dedicated to Remembrance Day. It was a long service because of the special occasion, but it was incredibly moving. It was great to see that so much thought had gone into the service – it certainly wasn’t the same routine that you would normally see; it was clear a lot of time, thought and work went into it to make it very meaningful. Having been raised in the Catholic Church, this was actually the first time I’d attended a service in the United Church. It really resonated with me. Since the ceremony is so important to me, it was great to discover that I’d definitely made the right decision in terms of the church.
After the service, we introduced ourselves to the minister and, after a brief stop in the church hall for some refreshments, we went up to minister’s study and had our meeting. It was really wonderful. I think it’s human nature that people enjoy talking about themselves, but we don’t get the opportunity to do it all that often (without having to stop to ask about others – darn social conventions!), so it was kind of fun to get to shamelessly ramble on about ourselves. The minister wanted to know everything from where we were born, our mothers’ maiden names and our religious affiliations, to how we met and why we wanted to marry one another. When it came to that last question, I went first and listed all The Guy’s many wonderful and endearing traits. Then The Guy went and, gah!, the things he said! The minister had to direct me to the tissues, because I welled up almost instantly. I don’t think anyone has ever said so many wonderful, kind, thoughtful things about me all at once. It was very touching and meant a lot to me.
We also talked a little about why we had chosen the United Church, and I explained the many personal reasons I have and how I feel the United Church’s values and beliefes best align with our own. Seeing how well things were going, I got up the nerve to mention that I am very sensitive about issues of equality and ensuring that the language at our wedding demonstrates this (e.g. at no point should anyone say anything about marriage being, “between a man and a woman,” for me, marriage is, “between two people”). The minister was extremely receptive to this and said that this is actually the exact language the United Church uses! He mentioned that it’s also an issue very close to his heart.
We left the meeting feeling that we could not have found a better church and minister for us. It was like the stars aligned and we somehow managed to stumble upon the perfect circumstances.
It was funny though, I realized afterward that I had never been asked, or asked The Guy, why we wanted to marry one another, not in that up front of a context anyway. And I think it isn’t a question that’s asked frequently enough. We know we want to marry our partners, we know we love them, but it’s incredibly powerful if you take a moment to list all the reasons you’re marrying your partner. Think about it. Share your ideas with one another. I know, for us, it served only to make us fall more in love with one another.
Yeah, it was a good day!