Ten minutes before my niece’s wedding ceremony was to begin, her mother came to me and asked if I would officiate. Sarah and Nathan had planned on a local judge to do the job. But he is 90 years old and, I’m told, doesn’t show up for a lot of things.
What could I do? After a quick meeting with the bride, I officiated over a very short ceremony that included the exchange of vows and rings, and very little commentary from me. Everyone seemed thrilled at the brevity. It should be added that the ceremony was just for show. The couple was already legally married, so I did nothing that was even vaguely ‘official’.
My brother Jerry and I did funeral services for both my father and our brother. Neither had been going to church for years. Jerry and I did our best, and everyone seemed pleased.
It’s not my favorite thing to do. But several years ago my family was embarrassed at the terrible bungling funeral service by a minister for my grandmother, who had been a minister herself. I vowed that I would never let that happen again for someone I loved.
Our thought for today is from Garrison Keillor:
“They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.”