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Today as I worked in the sacristy, clearing and resetting the Lady Altar for the next eucharist, I glanced at the list of upcoming weddings at Grace Church.  There are four already listed for the New Year.  Three will be celebrated at Grace, and the fourth will be held at the Washington National Cathedral officiated by one of our clergy.

Grace is quite a lovely church, and a truly wonderful place to marry.  I highly recommend it having married Heart Of My Heart there just 28 years ago.  Ours was a grand affair, with a large wedding party and three priests to pronounce the "triple-whammy blessing" over us.  It was so special to have our fathers present to participate in the ceremony to marry us.  HOMH's father walked her down the aisle dressed in a cope and alb while my father 'the father" stood with the then-rector of Grace on the chancel steps just before me.  It was a Friday evening wedding, with lots of candles illuminating the sanctuary.  Christmas decorations in the Nave remained in place and the green garlands and red poinsettias made it an even more lovely locale as we exchanged vows and each committed our lives one to the other. 

Looking more carefully at the posted list, I knew none of the brides or grooms, except for I had met the next bride to marry this past Saturday while my altar guild crew went about their work.  The last thing the list shares is whether or not communion, or Holy Eucharist, will be part of the wedding ceremony.  Sadly, in each of those weddings being performed at Grace, none would have communion.    

The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is a sacramental office and a lovely service.  There are exhortations, declarations, scripture readings, vows, prayers and blessings before the exchanging of the peace.  Do all that and you are married, legally, and in the eyes of the Church.  But wait, there's more, and you can have it all.  Heart Of My Heart and I wanted our first sacramental act as husband and wife to have our families, church and friends join us at the Lord's Table in communion.  We invited them to become active participants in our sacrament celebration.  Not everyone there came forward to receive the bread and wine, but all were called to come.  It was important that we establish our covenantal relationship through sharing the Body and Blood of Christ with one another, all those we love, and those who love us.  

Completing my altar guild work in the sacristy, I had hoped to see the rector to ask him what he says to couples as he prepares them for their wedding day.  I imagine there are a myriad of reasons why someone might not choose to include communion, but it makes me feel sad.  I believe, should I be blessed to be ordained a priest, and asked to officiate a wedding, I would strongly encourage the couple include the eucharist as part of their celebration.   

Jesus performed the first of his signs at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, revealing his glory.  That seems profound, and this feel important.  I encourage all who marry to begin your Sacrament of Holy Matrimony by sharing the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.  The reception will wait.  Why not start your party here and now at the Lord's Table?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
romelover
Jan. 16th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
we are the luckiest...ever.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 17th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Eucharist at a wedding service
I completely agree and am so thankful we had a Eucharist at our Blessing. One of my favorite memories of that day 17 years ago was after J and I had our wine and bread, sitting down on either side of the aisle as our friends and family processed between us up to the alter railing. It was as if they had all truly joined us in our marriage. I loved it. -K
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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