Joy To The World.
Picture of the East Window of The Church involved.
Mr and Mrs OR were very fortunate and pleased to welcome a dear friend and Angel for coffee this morning. A very beautiful lady in appearance and soul and one we feel blessed to know, for the last eight years or so. Indeed we were mightily privileged to attend her ordination as a full blown, tongue in cheek, hero of our dear, very own "Rev".
Whenever a debate arises with regard to female priests, all I do is drift into the realms of my own certainty. That is if all priests, of whichever gender, were as she of this post, the world would leap forward as God probably intended!
So when this wonderful story was related to us, once OR stopped flirting and being selfishly dominant in the gathering, (soon nipped in the bud by my dearest Mrs OR, firmly, decidedly but fondly, I think), I begged leave to place it on record as a different but I consider, uplifting post. You, my welcome readers and followers will, as ever, be the judges, of course.
This Christmas gone found our Angel called upon to preside over the wedding of one of her beloved daughters, albeit some many miles to the North of our beautiful village and area. Now since this was to be shortly after Christmas, the logistics of Mother of The Bride's spiritual duties having to combine with all the other aspects of wedding day prominence that position, in the scheme of marital matters involves, must have been daunting.
Naturally the tasks began with positioning. Albeit shared cottages were on the agenda, an arrival hotel overnight stop was to be employed, to soften the end of the horrendous post Christmas traffic. I loved the relating of the night stop unpacking saga on their hotel arrival.
Cakes and clerical gowns, of necessity, had to share those parcelling up issues we all face, albeit often falling to our female nurturing instincts. Herein is one of those male ritual behaviour statements, "But your so much better at it, I'm so useless at packing", when preparing for travel and trips away. I bet few pilots do their own packing, if living with a female partner! On arrival at their hotels, ring to ask "Did we remember to pack....". In my case it was responded to by a questioning "We?"! A response I once made to a Captain, after an exceptionally firm arrival on his part. Said he, "We made a hash of that, didn't we?", to which I replied (albeit heard elsewhere), "We, Captain?".
I digress. Once unpacked, there followed a gathering of the party in some shape or form, during which officiating Mum advises Bride to Be of her plans to do some visiting the next day. Not realising that her official duties were regarded as secondary to those of central logistics supervisor of the whole affair! Amazing how kids' independence can become so suddenly fragile.
So Angel of the North, well temporarily, realised that the desperate importance of her solemn role in marrying her daughter was considered a breeze when stacked against the desperate needs of a nervous Bride To Be. Well, I guess all was resolved and indeed I believe the ceremony and the day was a memorable and joyous one. One I fervently pray will result in a life of fulfilment and happiness through all the trials and tribulations but also joys, it can deliver. A life where that adage comes true, "A problem(s) shared is/are a problem(s) halved." A tiny gift and prayer from Mrs Or and me.
Now, there this story might end, except for the Church services themselves, for their were two reasons to repeat the word "joy" in this tale. Indeed two wonderful presidings by our temporarily installed Angel of The North. Because not only were the happy couple entering into the blessed state of a Christian marriage, their dear little daughter, "H" was baptised. How special is that. I also understand the Church was extremely helpful in permitting these ceremonies to be conducted and officiated by "Mum".
To end this lovely and unusual story I was minded to blog because of this little touch. It was arranged that the happy pair's two dogs, one very young, would carry the rings to the altar and present to the Vicar for the ceremonial duty of receiving them to bless and then officiate the exchanging thereof. Here our Angel was amusingly but slightly critical of the male's role in life. Sort of like the packing business, she expressed dismay at how the over zealous securing of the bows about the dogs' necks, securing the rings, was to prove a struggle to unfasten.
Naturally, I suspect the chap(s) involved had in mind the exhortations of many a comic sketch, "Don't forget; where's the ring; don't say you've lost it, them;". Know where I'm coming from, ex best men?! From a relaxed, happy position you find you have 50 more pockets than you ever realised. So tying those ribbons, round the doggies' necks was a no brainer. After all a strapping Vicar, even wrapped in Uniform robes could wrestle them off, could't he.............! Whoops, she?!
Well boys, trust me, the scene imagined, of the "Rev" rolling round the altar rail, smiling through gritted teeth, trying to wrestle the knotted bows from the woofies' throats, probably culminating in two rings rattling across the knave and disappearing into the vaults below, has to be amusing if not priceless. I am happy to report, however, the deed was accomplished, despite potential broken and no longer elegant nails and all was well. We can wish all enjoying this lovely day many more to come!!