Friday, April 29, 2011

A View from Outside the Wedding Gates

Lego has created a Royal Wedding set.  Here is a picture from the BBC.

There are millions who will be waking up very early in the morning, or stopping in the middle of their day or night to witness the marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be performing the ceremony for the couple. He has met with them, counseled them, and has been impressed with their understanding of what their marriage means. The ABC put together this video for the occassion.

This comment made me prick up my ears:

"A marriage is good news because it says something so deep about our humanity. And it gives us grounds for hope that there are people around that want to spend their lives together, that want to make this generous act of commitment to one another. And so, everyone watching this around the world will have some sense of the commitments that are possible."


Question from a member of the Episcopal laity in the United States: if one is gay or lesbian watching these two fine young people enter into a state of holy matrimony, are we not to get the same sense that such a commitment is possible?

The answer (if I were giving it) is of course this SHOULD be possible. But in most of this country, it is not. In places such as Florida, LGBT people are treated as "others" both by the state and the church. When Florida voters were passing a constitutional amendment in 2008 to ban gay marriage, there were few in the clergy or episcopate who said this was wrong. Most just sat idly by as the scared citizenry effectively made me a second-class citizen. As such, I have to admit I am a bit jaded about the whole wedding business, royal or otherwise.

Saturday, the Diocese of Florida will be honoring couples who have been married for 50 years or more. Truly, that is a huge milestone that not many achieve. At the same time, I think about the upcoming 20th anniversary of my relationship and know that it would not receive the same "Hurrah!" from the church because it is one of "those" relationships, the type that exist outside of the heterosexual-based special rights of bondage in marriage. Technically, I am seen as "living in sin", and we don't celebrate that sort of thing.

Something you won't see during the wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey: the kiss. This according to the Royal Wedding blog:

"There will be no kiss during the wedding ceremony," explained the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall, the dean of Westminster and the man responsible for overseeing the spiritual life of Westminster Abbey. "We don't do that in the Church of England. That's sort of a Hollywood thing: ' You may now kiss the bride.' It doesn't happen here."

Ah, of course: that's a 'Hollywood' thing. I believe that is CoE code for, "Ewww! Americans!" (Never mind that our Episcopal wedding ceremony doesn't have a specified place for a kiss either.) The couple will kiss. It's actually on the schedule for something like 1:35pm; however, it will be on a balcony for the adoring crowds to see. Good grief, like he's never kissed this woman before?!

I am hoping that Prince William and Kate prove to be very genuine people who stick together through thick and thin and that God blesses them and keeps them. Perhaps this next generation of royals can also make it plain that the example they intend to set of love for one another is something that can be extended and blessed for the LGBT community as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful to watch the wedding today and the ABC didn't add a thing to it. He needs to trim his eyebrows.

I am glad that he thought he was privilgeged to bless the marriage. He has a lot to learn