Thursday, August 2, 2007
‘Anxiety’ in this wedding happily averted
I suppose that by now all friends in the reach of this column will know of the marriage of Cathryn Miller and Bradley Douglas, a happy occasion that graced our church last Saturday evening.
It would be hard to recall many occasions when such a large congregation of family, friends, and well-wishers was gathered in Holly Springs. We wish this couple much happiness and God’s blessing as they establish their new home in Starkville.
Weddings can be times of “high anxiety,” especially as all the details and planning draw near to their conclusion. The actual marriage ceremony as it is read from my ministerial service book is quite short. It can be lengthened with music, but it only takes a very few minutes to perform a proper religious ceremony. Sometimes the wedding party wonders how an occasion so long in the planning can be completed in such a few moments. Weddings, indeed, are one of the few brief occasions in the Presbyterian Church!
The “anxiety” in this wedding was happily averted, because a mishap that could have set the congregation a-twitter actually occurred on the day before the wedding rehearsal. This is what happened.
A couple of pews from the church had been removed and taken downstairs for storage. They were needed due to the above-mentioned number of guests expected, and Mark Miller, the father of the bride, had come over to help me put the pews back in place upstairs.
We loaded the two (very, very heavy) pews in the elevator and took them upstairs and across to the sanctuary on the upper walkway that connects the Sunday school building with the church. But when we tried to open the door that leads into the church, it would not budge!
The door in question is the entrance I use to enter the church for services each Sunday morning, and it was to be the door through which I would lead the groom and best man into the church for the ceremony. As I said, it was wedged shut and no amount of coaxing and cursing would get it to open!
Careful examination from the other side indicated that the interior works of the doorknob had given way, and the only solution was to bring a locksmith over and have the entire lock and doorknob reworked. How fortunate that this situation was discovered before the wedding. We could have run around, of course, and entered the church from the back as the bride and the rest of the wedding party were set to do. But there would have been a good deal of teasing about the groom’s trying to “wriggle out” of his wedding or the “fates” having been set against the occasion. I have seen brides and their mothers weep over less-momentous miscarriages of protocol!
All in all, Mark and I were very glad that we were the ones delayed and that the interruption happened on the day that it did. Mike Edlin came and fixed the door, the pews were slipped into place, and so far as I know the rest of the wedding went off without a hitch.
I hope that bodes well for the happy couple. We did not quite have to “move heaven and earth” to get them married, but on that hot Thursday afternoon in the boiling sun of a Holly Springs July, it almost seemed that way. Congratulations and best wishes, Cathryn and Bradley!
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