Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Homily by Ann Harrington, ARCWP for Wedding of Liz and Sean

Sean-Liz Wedding Homily
Like Liz and Sean this is my first wedding too.  (Pause)

Life is wrapped in mystery and I wonder how it is that, Sean and  Liz, born and raised 800 miles apart, found one another?  I don't know how that happened, but I do know, we your parents are very happy that you did. 

            I have just spent two years studying the sacraments and I am here to tell you this is a day of tremendous sacramentality.  My favorite definition of sacrament is, "Door to the Sacred".  The Sacred is here with us now.  How do I know this?  Because we were made for love and we are gathered to celebrate this love dimension of life, called marriage.  In a time in history when most marriages fail one might see this as foolishness and it is.  Who in their right mind would promise to be true to a one and only lover?  But we are not in our "right' minds as the world defines right mind.  We are fools, fools to believe that love is the greatest meaning of life, love that means we lay down our life for the good of the other.  Marriage is a great vehicle for learning that one.   We all of us know that life requires us to sometimes put other people's needs ahead of our own.  I am sure Liz and Sean had a great deal of practice with that as Outward Bound counselors.  But this is a new and deeper experience of that call and all of us here wish you well for this next phase of your life's journey.  Look around at all these loving faces. Nancy and Rick how long have you been married?  Mark, how long have we been married?  See Liz and Sean, longevity for marriage is in your DNA.

 We are here because we need you and you need us.  One of the great gifts of the Christian religious tradition is the understanding that "God is with us" and we experience that God in community.  Liz and Sean, we are delighted to be with you here today in this time of light and joy.  By being here we promise to also be with you when the journey gets hard.  When it seems that you've come to the end of your rope, call one of us.  We will be with you and encourage you and be a shoulder to lean on.  Some how that works miracles. 

          When someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, he said love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.  I also imagine Jesus giving the following advice.  Sometimes love means you have to tell the person you love they are acting like an ass.  Sometimes it means you have to tell them to take better care of themselves, sometimes it means telling them they are not treating you the way you deserve, sometimes it means telling them they are shimmering with the light and life of God.  Love unfolds daily in what we think, say and do.   So, Liz and Sean, here is some advice:

Give life to your love,
Through small acts of kindness and caring.

Communicate clearly.
Learn how to tell one another what is on your minds.

Listen to each other.
Truly hear what your partner has to say.

Have a shared mission.
Know what you want your marriage to be.

Follow dreams together.
Decide on worthy goals that you can pursue together.

Support each other's dreams.
Be the wind beneath one another's wings.

Be there in tough times.
Discover how to be strong for each other in sorrow and disappointment.

Cherish what you have.
Always treasure your relationship and the one you love

Hold on to each other.
Remember how valuable it is to love and be loved

Make this marriage be the foundation of your lives.
Strive to make it be the home you return to,
and the safe haven that the outside world cannot disturb.

-Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

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