I have been meaning to post about this since the trip to Alaska, but it slipped my mind.

I didn’t have very many preferences when it came to the wedding. It was mostly as Clancy wanted it because when she wants her wants more than I want my wants, she gets her wants. She wanted to have it in Genesis, preferred that it be done by a judge. Fortunately, the things I did want were things she wanted just about as much. I wanted a crawfish boil involved, as did she. We both wanted Ben Folds’ The Luckiest played, and so it was.

One of the things I did want, though, involved the readings during the service. Specifically, I did not want the Corinthians passage played at every wedding ever (“Love is gentle, love is kind…”). Also, I wanted Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 read. They go as follows:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Sounds simple, right? Except that I got my desire on neither of these things. The judge we hired had two “services” to choose from, both of which included Corinthians. The only difference is that one had part of the verse and one had the whole verse. The decision on which one to go with was made entirely to minimize the amount of Corinthian in said service. As for Ecclesiastes, that was held up by something else.

Originally, Clancy’s two sisters were going to be her maids of honor. A friend from high school and a friend from college were going to do the reading. That became a problem with Ellie, Clancy’s middle sister and the one who was married in Alaska, announced shortly before the wedding that she was going to be getting a divorce. That was not wholly unexpected, but unfortunate nonetheless because everybody liked the guy. I didn’t realize that it would end up a problem for Ecclesiastes.

The first effect was that Ellie announced that she no longer wanted to be a maid of honor because, since she was going through a divorce, it made her feel hypocritical to be front and center in somebody else’s wedding. Ooookay, I though. No biggie. The next one, though, was that she would be glad to read. There was, however, one rule: Nothing from the Bible. At all. Now the other reader, Clancy’s friend from high school, already had something picked out that specifically meant something to her and Clancy as a part of their friendship. So that wasn’t going to budge. We couldn’t pick another reader entirely because family.

And so… no Ecclesiastes.

I have oddly had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it ever since. Nothing that prevented me from forming an absolutely great relationship with my sister-in-law. But… dangit, I just wanted one thing and her stubbornness at a couple of points prevented that from happening.

I did more or less get over it, which lead to my laughter in Alaska.

Lain hides in the wedding gown.

Lain hides in the wedding gown.

I had to leave the hall to take care of Lain, who was a getting fussy. I mean, I was kind of giddy that she was able to string together the sentence “Want to go home” but… oh well. So I took her outside. So I was only barely able to hear Clancy’s mother, reading, at Ellie’s wedding…

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.


Category: Church

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3 Responses to Ecclesialaska

  1. fillyjonk says:

    I will just observe in passing that several ministers I’ve heard preach on the Corinthians passage point out that yes, it’s used at every wedding, but it’s really more about “agape” love, which is perhaps closer to parental love, than “eros,” which is romantic love, which is what the wedding seems designed to celebrate.

    Granted, I think “agape” love has a huge place in a successful marriage (“agape” could ALMOST translate as “self-sacrificing,” but not quite). It was designed to counsel the Corinthians about how they should love everyone, not just their spouses.

    If I ever get married, I don’t think I’m going to have the Corinthians bit. (Of course, I’m nearly 50, so if I ever get married at this point, it will be a v. small and unelaborate ceremony). I mean, I don’t oppose it vehemently and if my intended loved it and wanted it I’d defer to him, but, meh…

    I like the Ecclesiastes even though, as a single person, it does make me a little sad and yes, I don’t really have anyone to pick me up when I fall.

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    Our Officiant did something similar. She had a favorite bit she liked to read, that my wife & I were tired of hearing. She read it anyway despite our request not to.

  3. Peter says:

    If Clancy’s sister was unwilling to read the passage you wanted, she should have declined to read at all and let you choose someone else.

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