Apr 29, 2022 |
Rector's Blog: Magnificent and Complicated| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog: Magnificent and Complicated
Weddings are endlessly fascinating. They carry with them immense baggage – not just the hope of perfection, but the expectation of it. Unmitigated joy is assumed as the default feeling at a wedding even though no such thing has ever happened. We have never in our adult lives felt uncomplicated happiness, and yet we saddle weddings with this burden.
I had a mentor who would say that, as a pastor, funerals were easier than weddings. He said that at funerals people were allowed to feel anything, were allowed to have complicated, strange, hard, sad feelings, were allowed to laugh and cry and love and mourn and grieve and hope all at once. And I remember him saying at a funeral there is usually a coffin or an urn or a picture where we can focus all the complexity of our emotions in that moment.
But, he said, at a wedding, everyone was supposed only to be happy. Never mind if they’d recently been divorced or widowed, if they’d loved and lost, or if they wanted to be married but weren’t. Never mind if they couldn’t find clothes that fit, or if they weren’t sure what they thought about the institution of marriage or if they were uncomfortable in this church: Pure happiness is what they should feel