Thursday, 9 June 2011

A marriage, a vow, and a new love is born

My brother got married over the weekend.

His fiancée is no longer his fiancée. His future, his present, his life, is now tied up with his wife in an inseparable, irrevocable way. They are one.

The legal bit, including the bare essential parts of the marriage vow, with the exchanging of rings, happened on the Friday. It was a short service, as is the way of the Registry Office, but it was deep and it touched the hearts of the close family gathered with them as they made their vows and were joined in the eyes of the law.

The more full ceremony happened on the Saturday in a meadow before all their friends and family, and this was what they saw as the main part of their marriage. They made deep, heart-rendering vows; exchanged their rings, having them first blessed by their mums; and, before being pronounced Husband and Wife, they had their hands bound together, tying to them all that had been promised, all the dreams and desires of those present, and of themselves, for as long as they both should live. This wild, unconventional ceremony, witnessed by family, by friends, by the trees, by the waters, by the very earth, witnessed by the angels, seen and smiled upon by God himself, culminated in a picnic to be enjoyed by all.

What an honour to be there. And what an honour to have had a hand in helping to officiate the proceedings. I now have a sister-in-law (and a beautiful one at that - well done, bro!) and a whole host of new family and friends to enjoy.

The strange, but quite pleasing, thing is that I'm feeling a new love for my new sister and her family, and for the friends that they share together, many of whom I met for the first time over the weekend. It's got me wondering where this new love has come from. When did it first appear in my heart and feelings? Could it be when they made their vows? It wasn't there before.

Can a vow birth love in the hearts of those who make it, and even in the hearts of those who hear it? Can a promise create love, or is it the other way round?


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