Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Bag Lady goes to a wedding

Yesterday we went to the wedding of our friends Beth and Sue.

Washington State voters approved same-sex marriage last November. I'd always been in favor of civil unions for gay couples, but I thought long and hard about my vote on Referendum 74. Something niggled at me. I finally realized my thinking had been influenced by old, church-based ideas about marriage. And I haven't been a churchgoer in a while now. I have been a spiritual person, though, and I believe we're all in this together.

I've known Beth and Sue for a couple of years. When we were invited to their wedding I was glad - and curious. I wondered what "my first gay wedding" would be like.

It was one of the nicest weddings I've ever attended. I cried all the way through it, as I always do at weddings. Beautiful music - piano, organ, flute, an a cappella choir. Lovely vows. Delighted grins on the faces of the newly married couple. Cake (gluten free, soy free, nut free!) and ice cream sundaes and punch at the reception. About 150 people from all areas of the couple's life.

When the minister introduced the new couple at the end of the ceremony with "by the power vested in me... and the People of the State of Washington", I saw what my vote, and all those other votes, had done. It had allowed Beth and Sue - these two loving people -  to marry. And my heart was glad.

Here is the prayer we all said together during the ceremony. I love it.

A version of The Lord’s Prayer
from The New Zealand Prayer Book

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.


DJan said...

Oh, Linda, this made me cry tears of happiness. Not only the beautiful words you wrote that brought the occasion to life for me, but that wonderful version of the Lord's Prayer! Thank you so much for giving me this gift today. :-)

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a beautiful post -- and occasion, Linda! I'm so glad you were able to open your heart and cast your vote, helping to make this wedding possible. I was very moved by your description of the day and would have cried right along with you had I been there!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm so happy to read this. Minnesota will have a flurry of weddings beginning August 1 when our new marriage equality law takes effect. As a reporter put it, Minnesota won't have "gay marriages," it will simply have "marriages." I can't wait until we are able to approach it that way.

Anonymous said...

I too look forward to the day when we have simply "marriages" in each and every state!


turquoisemoon said...

Ooh Linda, Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. If all a person wants for others is happiness, then sheesh...what is the problem??? ...and I would have cried too!

Rian said...

Sounds like a beautiful wedding and a joyous occasion, Linda. And thanks for sharing that wonderful prayer with us.

Ms Sparrow said...

Thanks for sharing your joy at the lovely wedding of your friends. It is only right that they should be able to share such a momentous occasion with their loved ones. We have come so far. I have an elderly lesbian friend who said that years ago she and her partner socialized with another lesbian couple and never even spoke about their relationship with each other!

#1Nana said...

I've been a supporter of marriage equity for a long time. How wonderful that it is now the law of the land in Washington state.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice to enjoy, I attended a exchange of vows before we made it legal over 30 years ago, and love it they are still so much in love.

Perpetua said...

What a wonderful occasion, Linda. No wonder you cried. The UK government is in the process of legislating for equal marriage and it has just become law in France too. I'm looking forward to my first invitation when the law changes. :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

Amen. Someday these weddings will not be unusual to us at all and as Blissed-out Grandma said- they will just be weddings.
What a beautiful post.

Rosaria Williams said...

The power that is love! And who can deny anyone the blessings and the joys and the strength that love brings.

Dave Brown said...

Love your story... and a New Zealand prayer in the ceremony - wow. Thanks for sharing Linda.

Grandmother Mary said...

I've been to two and loved them both. Good for you for examining and then getting rid of your prejudice- may it be so for more. We are all in this together- all! Thanks for this post.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

This is so beautiful! Love is a wonderful motivator to illicit change and I'm happy to see that two people who want to spend their lives together can now do so legally and with all the benefits others have in doing the same. Congrats to Beth & Sue, glad you enjoyed their wedding!

Dee said...

Dear Linda, I've never been to the wedding of a gay couple and so I read your posting with great interest. I so wish my two friends Robert and Andrew were still alive and could marry in front of all their friends and family members. They both died of AIDS in 1991.

Thank you so much for the New Zealand 'Our Father."
I've copied it and will print it out as it is so beautifully inclusive. Peace.

Galen Pearl said...

How lovely. I officiated at the wedding of a former student and her partner a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful ceremony and both brides wore white gowns!

Sally Wessely said...

I'm sure your friends were equally touched by your support and love as you were by the ceremony.

Lynilu said...

Happiness is happiness. I'll vote for universal joy any time. :)