26 July 2009

Coming Soon to a Wedding Near You

So this couple comes into the study and says, "We've seen this great processional pastor. We're hoping we can do something similar, to make things really special for our day with our friends." And you answer...


PS how do you like the priestess getting jiggy wit it?


Chad Myers said...

Ugh, don't give her any more glory by calling her a 'priestess'. It dishonors real priests everywhere.

I dunno, I go back and forth on that thing. At first it insults my sensibilities. I think "that would *definitely* not happen in a Catholic Church" (nor a Lutheran from what I remember of my heritage). But then I think: In other cultures (African and/or South East Asian) a fancy processional like that might be entirely appropriate and expected.

I guess it depends on the cultural setting and the reverence for the ceremony.

In this case, I think it's mostly irreverent and inappropriate if for no other reason than the song was rather crass and focused more on 'pleasure' than the joy, sorrow, bliss, and mourning which makes up the marital journey.

One has to question: If this is how the marriage starts, how will it look in the middle? Can it even hold up for the long haul?

WM Cwirla said...

I attended a wedding recently that had a working R2D2 robot as the ring bearer. Perfect replica of the Star Wars prop. The wedding had a Star Wars theme (the bride and groom were in the "industry").

I think the problem is that the formal high society "Vanderbilt wedding" that is the model of all American-style weddings has become cliche. Faux-formality doesn't wear well in the younger generation that likes to tweak convention in a playful way. One thing that is greatly missing within the severe solemnity of church weddings is the joy of the marriage feast. While the procession depicted doesn't fit what appears to be a beautiful sanctuary, I do find the unbridled playfulness somewhat refreshing. Maybe it's the old hippie in me.

Perhaps the push away from "church weddings" isn't such a bad idea. Bring marriage into the community where the priest/pastor/rabbi has to come out into the greater community rather than trying to get the community to behave itself in church for an hour. The separation of the sacred and secular in church and reception is quite forced and artificial.

Of course, our Lutheran forefathers dispensed with all the nonsense entirely and just got married at the bridal door of the church (see Luther's Traubüchlein) or at the parsonage.

I don't think the nature of the ceremony has much to do with the longevity of the marriage.

I'm just thinking out loud on this one. No, I wouldn't approve it if asked, but it does make me think.

Reformationalist said...

That's what I like about you, William! You damn the traditional in any way you can get away with it within the context of the topic, only to come back to the traditional in the last sentence!

The trouble is, my friend, in a hurry (and we almost always are in a hurry these days), we just jump to the last paragraph to get your learn your position.

Cordially, (for a Monday)

Robert. (Schaibley)

WM Cwirla said...

Nah. No "damning the traditional" going on. Examining the traditional in a critical light, yes.

Let's face it. The "traditional" in weddings is dictated by the Vanderbilt high society wedding of the 1920's. Tuxedos, bride dressed as vestal virgin, men and priest separated from sacrosanct bridal procession. All the dictates of a father who had a tiff with the priest and enough money to get his way on his little girl's big day. The "traditional" wedding is an ostentatious display of wealth most people don't have. Current weddings are clocking in at around $40K in my neck of the woods.

Punch line: Yup, I'm not a fan of "tradition for tradition's sake." I love tradition for what it hands on, not for what it is,

And that, my friend, is called thinking.

Reformationalist said...

Sometimes your thinking, boldly done, seems in the end to melt into the bowl of convention: No, I wouldn't approve it if asked, but it does make me think.

Now, concerning $40k weddings, I never presided at one, in the over 100 wedding that I have "solemnized" (yes, I believe that was the word we used to use). Some were gaudy, some were boring, some were done to the tapping toes of the groomsmen who wanted to get out of there and on to the "real" wedding, and some were occasions that lift our eyes to heaven and brought good tidings of great joy to the bride and groom, tidings that uplifted all who attended.

Thanks for the comments! They brought me back, especially, to that last group of weddings I mentioned. Ah, yes! And that, too, is thinking! :)

Robert. (Schaibley)

WM Cwirla said...

So the purpose of this blog is more traditionalist bobbleheading? Yeah, we already have enough of that.

Pr. Lehmann said...

On an aesthetic level, as a cool, fun dance, I like it. I was immediately disgusted, of course, because this has no place in any wedding (church or otherwise) because it trivializes the solemn nature of the occasion.

The sick thing about it (especially sick if you've seen me dance) is that by the end, as I was watching, I was getting down with my bad self.

Pr. H. R. said...

I think you guys are over thinking this one. It's pretty simple: this is the Lord's House, and they (including the faux-priestess) desecrated the Lord's House with what was intentionally flippant. The whole thing shouted out, "Aren't we funny and cool? Look how we can come into this place where reverence is the norm and be irreverent!"


Reformationalist said...

"So the purpose of this blog is more traditionalist bobbleheading? Yeah, we already have enough of that."

William: How on earth did you draw that conclusion of this discussion to-date? Upon re-reading, I see no one doing that, at least previous to your recent post. But, you go beyond this "post" to this "blog." Come on, my friend, this labeling is uncalled for and disappointing.


WM Cwirla said...

There was a question mark. Never mind. As you say, no one reads carefully anyway.

Why don't we just comment on the original post and save the ham radio commentary chatter. That's always where things go bad.

Over and out.

Pr. Lehmann said...

So, Ben...

How's it feel to be a ping pong table? ;-)

Pr. Lehmann said...

My wise wife had a nice thought.

This would have been a fun way for the wedding party to enter the reception.

The Rev. BT Ball said...

this is how it goes, I'm on snack break during VBS right now.

Most interesting in the video are the beginning and end. The beginning of the processional shows the ushers throwing the bulletins up in the air- tossing tradition aside. But then at the end of the processional they all settle down and attempt to have a traditional lineup for the vows or whatever is going to happen next. But can they really settle down, can the crowd assembled?

I would certainly recommend to a couple that such a processional could be done at the reception hall as the dj introduces the bridal party.

Heath is right on, this is the Lord's house and whether our traditions come from the vanderbilts or not, that He is present according to His Word means that we show reverence and decorum. Such a procession does not befit the children of God who come to receive His Word and the blessing given to our parents in paradise to be fruitful and multiply.

The Rev. BT Ball said...

I am too slow. See my post above. Your wife is wise.

Pastor Jeff Hemmer said...

"You wanna come dancing down the aisle to a song by a guy convicted of beating his girlfriends? Fantastic."



Paul McCain said...

I'm with Heath on this one. And to further add to the discomfort level, just take a look at the lyrics that were blaring out of the church's PA system. Not sure Mr. Brown is singing about marriage, do you? It's a no brainer.


I'm also with Cwirla on the way weddings have been blown way out of proportion. Something there to think about too.

And I'm with Schaibley, because, well, he always makes me think.

But when it comes to the dancing down the aisle thing, I guess once I saw the woman pastor in the scene I just said to myself, "Oh, whatever. Who cares. Sure, go ahead."

It is an ELCA parish that is also very "open" to homosexuality, if you know what I mean.

It's all kind of a package deal, don't you think?

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

When I read the title of the post, I expected it would be about this news:

"The Church of England unveils a two-in-one wedding and baptism liturgy today as it seeks to make peace with families 'living in sin'."

University Lutheran said...

Thought you might enjoy this - http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/jk-divorce-entrance-dance