Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Festivity at a family wedding

Peter and Diana, July 22, 2006I was in Cooperstown, New York for a few days to participate in the wedding of Peter and Diana. My brother Peter got married on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, in the same worship space where I was ordained 26 years ago. I am very grateful to the Cooperstown Presbyterian Church and its pastor, the Rev. Dr. Patricia Schick for inviting me to officiate at this service when Peter and Diana asked me to participate.

The service on Saturday was joyful, with a lot of personal touches introduced by many different people. The day started out with dreadfully torrential rains that threatened to spoil the festivities. Well in advance of the wedding the couple had selected the scripture lesson to be read: Song of Solomon 8:6-7 ("many waters cannot quench love"). That was a helpful thing to remember in the middle of the service. And by the end of the service, the rains had stopped so that family and friends could gather outside for greetings, conversation, picture-taking, rejoicing, etc.

There was an "Easy Button" from Staples at the back of the church. If you have not actually seen one, it is a big red button that does one simple thing when you push it: a voice says "that was easy." This prop was present to be pushed by any of the people leaving the service (and perhaps even by Peter and Diana).

Godzilla license plate
If you know my family, you know that Peter has a thing about Godzilla. His car's license plate uses a Q in order to get the name Godzilla past the censors at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. During the service I was surprised by a small figurine of Godzilla present to "witness" the proceedings. And before you ask -- no, I did not ask the figurine to sign the marriage license as a witness.

During the service one of Diana's daughters was to play Pachelbel's Canon on the piano. She prefaced it with a few bars from a silly song that Peter's siblings had used to tease him when we were children. (By the way, have I ever mentioned that I am convinced that the old Burger King jingle "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us." stole its melody from Pachelbel? I hope that doesn't ruin your appreciation of Pachelbel's Canon next time you hear it.)

A basket of bubble-makers
At the reception there was a basket of bubble-makers: small vials of bubble solution with a plastic loop. They were a very simple and inexpensive addition to the festivities. If you get twenty people making bubbles at one time it creates a very fun and magical feeling.

The wedding was the high point of a great weekend!

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