If I Would Marry Them From City Hall

937 WordsJul 14, 20164 Pages
They asked me if I would marry them. My friends Paul and Natasha finally planned to marry after so many years, and they asked me if I would perform the ceremony. I was their mutual friend and had known them as a couple almost as long as they had known each other. They are not members of a church, and wanted to be married by someone who knew them personally, rather than a justice of the peace direct from city hall. I do have a voice that could project, but other than that my qualifications to marry them were non-existent -- I was neither clergy nor public official. I was flattered and a little nervous. I had expected to be a jovial guest at their wedding, munching the hors d 'oeuvres, drinking the Champagne. The last thing I 'd pictured…show more content…
I was to stand on the front lines of marriage. People would be listening to my sage words if I could come up with any. Things I said would be remembered, even videotaped. I started to sweat. The three of us spent hours together trying to figure out how the ceremony should proceed. It was a difficult process. Both partners, especially Paul, bristle at the slightest sign of sentimentality. This ceremony had to be honest. Authentic. As Natasha and I pored over anthologies of poetry, Paul kept racing off to look up obscure Russian writers on the Internet whose works Natasha 's Russian-speaking mother could translate for us. I think he was dealing with a few jitters. We made almost no progress despite several planning sessions. Two days before the wedding, we met again. My role was clear. As their minister, their oracle, their soothsayer, I had to hammer the ceremony plan home that night. No one was leaving the room until the order of the day was complete, the vows were decided upon and the readings chosen. It worked. We selected several stanzas from The Ivy Crown by William Carlos Williams and a reading from the Book of Psalms. The music had been chosen by their friend Ann, a professional opera singer who would perform on the day. We planned the order of the ceremony and I helped them decide on their vows, honest and forthright. I left that night feeling useful. We were all a
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