20 September 2011

The State of Illinois and Cook Co., IL., V. Sophia M. Ball

We just got back from ACE Hardware where I had to pick a few things up for husbandry duties - three children in tow.

Sophia had brought along $1. She had earned this money by pulling weeds from her mother's garden. She found that $1 doesn't really buy $1 worth of goods.

I had to explain to her that even though the price said $1 she would have to pay taxes to the State of Illinois and the County of Cook totalling 10cents and that she would not have enough money to make her purchase.

This was worth a total tantrum - tears aplenty in the van ride home and the need of a hug from mom.

Big government ruining the day of a child.

Her mom did tell her though that if she lived in Montana she would not have to pay sales tax.

To kiss or to refrain

As a vicar I had an off site supervisor who aided me in things such as weddings as I was not ordained. He taught me and the couple to be married that they were not to kiss at the altar but rather to wait until they had crossed from the nave into the Narthex. His reason for this was good order and to not change the decorum of the worship service from one of reverence to one more like that of the reception with whoops and hollers at the newly married kissing.

There were two weddings during my time as vicar and that was the practice established by him through me. Over the past seven years there have been other weddings and I have continued with this policy and there has been little friction in that regard. (I serve at the same congregation where I was vicar.)

I have been asked however, to rethink or reconsider this. I do not have a problem with rethinking things and in the process of such rethinking asking my brothers in the Lord's service for their input and opinions and practices and the why's of those things. Of course if the conventional wisdom is that this policy is not good or salutary, I will have to work through the complaints of those who have had it other wise. To my knowledge no one has been divorced because they either did or did not kiss at the altar.

So dear brothers, I humbly ask your input. What do you do and why? Is there an historical point that I am missing? There is nothing in TLH, LW, or LSB agenda's that call for a kiss or have words to that effect. In fact what it says in the general notes of the LSB agenda is, "5. As in all worship in the house of God, the rite of Holy Matrimony invokes the presence and blessing of God. Therefore, it should avoid triteness and empty sentimentality." In this light "Here comes the Bride" is never played as well as various other selections. The bride and groom do not write their own vows. And thus, I was taught that kissing was also not done.

I eagerly await you wise and thoughtful inputs.