Janet and David came in and sat down smiling. “Well, it’s been a while since we’ve been here.” began Janet, “But things have been really moving along. We’re four weeks from the wedding and most of the major planning has been done. I could finally get to my vows over the weekend. I just couldn’t focus before but now I’m really into them.”
“Yeah,” continued David, “It was a little easier for me, I had more time to focus and mine got done a bit earlier-although not much. We’ve been meeting with our Pastor and most of the ceremony has been planned. I feel we’ve made a lot of progress with our families and our commitments to each other-what’s left?”
“The last hidden purpose of weddings is to invite the divine into your union. That may seem obvious as you are meeting with your pastor and having your wedding in a church but it is more than that.” I responded.
The third hidden purpose
Traditionally, marriage ceremonies were conducted in churches, synagogues or other places of spiritual significance. Why? There are many times both wonderful and difficult where a couple needs something larger than each other, family or community to hold to. What’s required here is that marriage be seen as part of the spiritual path.
There are many names and forms for the divine and in a joining ceremony the couple is formally inviting this support and guidance into their union in their own unique way. The ceremony itself is about giving the divine more substance, in whatever form speaks to the couple. It has existed already in the relationship as potential but the ceremony evokes it.
“I like that.” Janet stated shyly. “I’ve been wanting something that has more personal spiritual meaning in it, if you know what I mean.”
“Actually, I don’t. What would that be for you?” asked David.
“I would like some part of the ceremony to include what we think of when we talk about marriage as a spiritual path.” Janet responded. “I mean for me, something felt different when I met you. I felt, I don’t know, this sounds dumb, but like we would be more together than apart, that somehow this was meant.”
“Well, to be honest, I didn’t feel that for awhile. I do now-I kind of grew in to it. I don’t know, maybe it’s a guy thing. But anyway, yeah, I would like something more personal to us too.” David agreed as he reached for her hand.
“What you might start with is how each of you would like to include the divine in your life together and how you would like that honored in your wedding ceremony.” I suggested.
“It’s like our vows to each other.” mused Janet, “I need to think and talk to you about what I want and really hear what you want-it’s up to us how this will be.”
“Yes.” I agreed, “You need to take your time and really think about it and then share your ideas with your Pastor.”
“I can see we have more thinking and writing to do, but you know it feels good. Like we will really have something strong that will support us in our life together.” replied David.
As they stood up to leave I noted how much more confident they looked now than when they first came in. As we said goodbye I wished them both a long, happy and fulfilled union, knowing that their exploration of the Hidden Purposes of the Wedding Ceremony had made the whole process of getting married a much richer and deeper experience for both David and Janet.
Kathy Ball has been a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist & minister for 27 years & has conducted many marraige ceremonies. She owns WeddingBellAccessories.com,