Friday, October 01, 2004

remembering one of my best days

around 3 p.m. i quit practicing. you can only run through a liturgy so many times before your voice begins to sound stilted and your humorous asides shopworn. there was nothing left to do but get dressed and wait.

two hours later i was clothed in a sharp new ck suit that i bought with macy's credit and a fifty dollar tie that belonged to the impeccably dressed father of the groom. while jon and i waited in the small parish kitchen, we were both visibly anxious, which was unsurprising since this was our first time. his anxiety was betrayed by eager chirping about this and that. though i said little, mine was betrayed by trembling hands and one too many visits to a water closet that was small enough to merit the name.

finally, after fifteen minutes that anxiety compressed to five, we walked up the narrow stairs and out of the vestry door. we positioned ourselves in front of the altar, smiled for the cameras and waited for the sound of the organ. my hands were still shaking so i gripped my little black binder and held it in front of my package, just as i had been taught to hold the musical score in eighth grade choir. though his tongue was still, jon's eyes darted over the faces of family and friends as if to ask them if this event was really happening. then the organist struck the note. the doors quickly opened and jon's new land, his jerusalem, approached as if from above. with blue eyes and light blond hair, jenny was made to wear white. in response to her revelation, jon's eyes focused and my hands stood still.

at that moment, i realized what a wonderful privilege it was to be a part of jon and jenny's life. my role in solidifying their covenant was not the result of a title i held nor a mere function of an ordination which i have yet to seek. rather, my role grew out of a relationship that was grounded in hours of worship, distraught tears over tea and a liberal dose of good natured taunting and teasing. on that beautiful saturday evening, i shared in the sacrament of jon and jenny's marriage. i am a better man for having done so.

jon and jenny, i love you more than most. thank you for allowing me to share in the sacrament that is your marriage. happy anniversary.

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