In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future. ~The Bishop of London, April 29, 2011.
I really hadn’t paid much attention to the media coverage of the Royal Wedding, other than a rather motherly smile and nod at the young couple’s face plastered on all the newspapers. “Sweet,” I’d think to myself, and then continue on with my busy-ness.
But then my husband (!) indicated he’d like to get up early this morning to watch the festivities. I sometimes forget that Jim has more Brit blood in his veins than anything else, and is, after all, only one generation removed from the land across the pond. Besides that, he’s a real sucker for the British pomp and circumstance. So I agreed – what woman wouldn’t want to get up at 5 am and watch a royal wedding with her husband? Is that romantic, or what?
We arose dutifully on time, and put the coffee on, then settled in with half the rest of the world to watch the extravaganza from start to finish. I loved seeing the outfits (oh, those marvelous hats!) and hearing the music (John Rutter’s anthem was glorious!) The bride was a true princess, and the groom – well, I still feel a tug at my heartstrings when I remember that poor, motherless boy walking behind his mother’s coffin.
Besides, it was uplifting to watch something on television that wasn’t either a natural disaster, a political revolution, or some fresh hell of corruption and evil. Something happy for change ~ and what could be happier than a fairy tale wedding?
But the real joy of the royal wedding was the sense of timelessness and hope about it. For centuries on end royal brides and grooms have walked that aisle in Westminster Abbey, taking their place in the family tree of Britain’s monarchy. A chill runs down my spine when I think about Kate walking the same path this morning that Matilda of Scotland walked in 1100 (almost one thousand years ago!) to wed King Henry I. And even though times and technology change, the wedding ceremony remains nearly the same, with its age-old responses and rituals still intact.
Every wedding embodies the spirit of the future while harkening to the past, and every time we see a wedding, we recall our own with whatever emotions are attached to it. The marriage ceremony is such an outward expression of hope and committment that those who witness it can’t help but be touched by it. The Bishop of London said it best in his homily – “In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.”
Life flowing through them into the future – that’s what a wedding is all about. In a world where we dwell so deeply on the mistakes of the past and the problems of today, it was worth getting up early to be reminded of that.