Tag Archives: ceremony

Yes & yes

OMG, you guys. First of all, it is so hot today!

Clearly, this candy is good for you.

Serious. Grab yourself a spicy corn-flavored Tamboreta lollipop and a Miller Lite (okay maybe that’s just me).

Okay. Actually, this post is not about the current heatwave, and my taste in Mexican candy, but rather about the change of name in this blog. Rachel and Lindsey got married! Yaaay!! It was great.

Our waiting room was an arts classroom with some truly amazing tableaux setup for still-life study. We lined up outside the auditorium and listened to our friend Kat play guitar and sing. Listening to the singing and standing next to my dad behind Lindsey and her dad was the only time in the ceremony I almost cried.

Ike read “i thank you god for most this amazing” as the opening prayer. This poem is about the start of life and how life comes from a very mysterious origin. We shall call the origin God. Also, how the beginning of life is not a singular, biological event.

The First Reading in the Liturgy. David read from the Song of Solomon. This reading ends “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire” and speaks to love’s passionate awakening. The Song is a song for new lovers. (This reading also inspired our inscription inside our wedding bands.)

The Second Reading. Leah read a selection from the First Book of John, which begins “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” This passage creates a narrative out of the first reading: that love is not an emotion confined to poetry and passion. Love is an action, of work and deeds. (In a broader sense, this is the heart of what Christians mean to Witness.)

Our officiant, Frank Cordaro, read from the Gospel of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”). If the opening poem ecstatically welcomes a new life, and the readings trace love’s evolution from passion to partnership, then the Gospel offers no conclusion, but opens the narrative beyond the partnership being celebated, and accepts all of heaven and earth into the possibility. Those who commit themselves not only to one human being, but to mercy, justice, and peace, are those who truly come to know love.

Frank’s Homily was very sweet. Frank is a radical peace activist and “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” is a prayer very near to his heart. He spoke a bit of his own work, dedicating himself out of love and faith to a cause that routinely gets him imprisoned. But largely he spoke about us and how our positions, as women in a faith that doesn’t find women’s views very important and as gay people in a country that doesn’t find gay rights very important, offered us a privileged opportunity to realize the vision of Matthew. It was very Catholic. Very gay, feminist, liberal Catholic.

We stated out intentions, the assembled announced their support, Frank blessed our rings, we exchanged our vows, and slipped on each other’s rings. I take you to be my wife. I promise to love you wholly and completely, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in life and beyond. I will respect you as I respect myself. I will be true to you and honor you all the days of my life.

The last bit before we left went somewhat awry. My sister handed me a glass orb in a velvet bag for Lindsey and I to break. The breaking of the glass can have several meanings. The most traditional is that it serves to balance the joy of the event with a somber moment, as it recalls the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Additionally, the step taken to break the glass is like the step of marriage: once taken, it cannot be undone. As impossible as it is to repair broken glass, it is as impossible to undo the bonds of marriage. All this is very good, except that we couldn’t actually break it.

We stomped on it (just like we practiced), but it bounced away. Fredo, in a welcome moment of helpfulness, took off a shoe and handed it to me. Alas, even without heels on, it couldn’t break it on the carpeted floor. I called it a wrap and we kissed anyway. Anyhow, I gave Fredo his shoe back and we recessed in a somewhat orderly fashion. Mazel tov!

Comrades

My friend Becky, a very dear girl and all around general badass, lived in Macau and then Shanghai the years Lindsey and I lived in China. While in Shanghai, her girlfriend was one of the head gays around town, writing the gay column for English-language mags, organizing drag shows and bar outings, keeping up on the general queer Shanghai pulse. She also became a lead organizer of Shanghai Pride 上海骄傲节 2009, mainland China’s first ever official Pride.

Part of the Pride party on Saturday was a group marriage. Two Chinese couples (two boys and two girls) and two American couples (two girls and two girls) all got up on stage and excahnged vows and plastic rings. The ceremony was mock, but the congratulations afterwards were not. People really loved it. The photos of it were terrific too. I don’t have any since I was one of those on the stage, but there were several printed online on the BBC, China Daily, etc. Lindsey just this morning sent me some more she happened to find. Look! Aww, cute.

A very nice reminder a few days before the wedding, that we’ve already had a dress rehearsal.

Golden rings

Just married.

Best part of wedding stuff? Buying ‘spensive things.

This week we bought our wedding rings. We bought them from Bario-Neal, a workshop in Philadelphia that uses reclaimed metals and responsibly-sourced stones. Ours are flat gold bands (Lindsey’s in rose gold, Rachel in yellow) that are hammered for a little texture.
I’m really happy with the ring we picked. I’m happy with the way they’re manufactured, and whose making them, and how they look, and how we picked them out together. In the million and two tiny steps it takes to plan a wedding, this was one decision that was easy and meaningful.

Inside they’re going to be engraved דודי (dodi) which is the old Hebrew word for “beloved”. (And the modern Hebrew word for “uncle”). We’re using it as shorthand for אני לדודי ודודי לי (ani l’dodi v’dodi li), which is from the Song of Solomon, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” and is a traditional motif in Jewish weddings. [Yes, dodi is a masculine noun. No, we’re not changing it, in fidelity to the text.]

The Song of Songs is also going to be the first reading (the first reading in the Liturgy; the first reading of the whole thing is going to be an e.e. cummings poem).

Hark! My lover– here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices. My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!”

O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.

My lover belongs to me and I to him; he browses among the lilies.

Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire. Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away. Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked.