The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton
This month's letter from the clergy
Love and marriage
This month is our peak month for weddings this year. It is always a joy when two people decided to commit themselves to each other in love. The day itself is full of excitement and high expectations. It takes months of planning, but on the day sometimes the unexpected happens. I have known of wedding cars breaking down, a coach bringing guests getting lost, and a front door of a bride’s house accidentally getting locked whilst photos were taken outside. However thankfully such disasters are rare, and even if they happen the day itself is still a joyous one. I always advise couples to ‘keep the main thing the main thing’ and assure them that whatever else happens I will make sure they do get married!
And the main thing is the vows they make to each other. These are the very heart of the service. They are strong and risky vows - ‘for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, … until death us to part’ They show a commitment to stick to each other through thick and thin. And indeed, many couples will testify that it’s the tough times that bring them closer together. The reason for coming to Church is to ask for God’s blessing and strength. Certainly God’s help will be needed to make a marriage work.
A Bible reading is also a key part of the service. One of the most popular readings is 1 Corinthians 13 which is all about love. It was not actually written for married couples, but was written to a church that was full of conflict. But what it says about love certainly applies to help make a marriage a work. It reminds us that love in the Bible is nor primarily a feeling, but about how we behave. We hear ‘Love is patient, love is kind, …. It always protects, always perseveres.’ Do read the whole chapter! If that kind of love is put into practice daily it can make a real difference to every marriage.
Do pray for all couples getting married at this time.