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Why I Cry at Weddings…

May 18, 2009

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On Saturday we went to the wedding of a friend that I work with. It was a beautiful day for a wedding and it was a beautiful wedding. I love weddings…and I always seem to cry when I attend them, but for some reason my thoughts and emotions were on overdrive this time.

The ceremony was held in a small catholic cathedral in downtown Raleigh that was old and beautiful in a way that only liturgical churches seem to embrace. Stone walls, old stained glass windows, beautifully ornate painted ceiling. There is a special sense of awe that I always feel in those environments. Logically I know that God is no closer to me in that building than he is anyplace else, but it just feels sacred…special.

As the ceremony began I found myself paying far less attention to the actual event taking place than I did to the people participating. I cried when I watched the bride walk down the isle and wondered if her heart really knew how special this moment was? I cried as I watched the groom see his bride and wondered if he knew how significant the symbolism was…the bride and the bridegroom, Christ and the church. I found myself praying throughout the ceremony that their hearts would be captivated by the magnitude of the promises that they were making to each other and that they would be protected from all the things that would pull on them to make them forget why they made those promises in the first place.

I know that to many, the wedding ceremony is a formality that must be endured to move on to the really important part of the day – the party! For me, however, those moments where a new family is born are among the most intimate and precious that happen in a lifetime. Two people are becoming one – it’s staggering really. Two separate lives are being knit together in a mysterious and amazing way. It actually takes my breath away when I think about the magnitude of it. To witness such a God-breathed moment is a huge privilege!

The party afterword was a lot of fun. The food was great, the dancing was fun and everybody had a really nice time…but my heart kept reflecting on those precious moments in that little stone church where two people stopped being separate and God breathed life into that one flesh. I don’t know if they will remember those sacred moments, but I will…and I’m praying that God gives me fresh eyes to see the awe inspiring mystery in my own marriage.

Life has a way of stripping away the divine and robbing us of awe and mystery.  I’m asking God to remind me.

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