Sunday, 18 August 2013

One Wedding

I attended the first wedding of my life. It was emotional. It was Quaker.

There were friends and family (lots of family) and two people who looked like their nerves had flown off with their hearts. We sat in a room in silence for 45 minutes, but people spoke, like the sturdy father stood up and read something from the Bible (1 Corinthians chapter 13:1-13). As he spoke his tenor voice tremorred until tears were being wiped away off his elderly cheek, and I looked at Claire and cried myself. The silence made everything more intense and more surprisingly truthful. I am used to showmanship and bravado but here was naked truth, and it moved me to tears. A woman stood and sang an old Irish song with the clarity of an unearthly being. The brother recited a poem and turned to the bride, his sister, and said shyly 


The two said their vows which began with "I take my friend Claire/Paul..." and they both had tears and tissues at hand. Later on in the evening, at the reception everything was less sobered and by the end kids and oldies were fist pumping to We Built This City, plus the food was classic. I shared a rolled cigarette with an aunt. We ambled up Castle Acre, a ruin of a Norman fortress dating back from over a thousand years ago. Everyone looked wonderful and I raised my heart and ambitions to Claire and Paul. The happy couple.

(I Corinthians)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.