Recently, I was asked to officiate the wedding of a good friend. Shawn has been my husband’s best friend since they were in middle school, so I’ve known him for a decade. While he can be somewhat of a troublemaker (read: perhaps not the best influence), I feel honored and privileged to lend myself to him in such an important role!
For the curious, no! I have not done this before. I am not any sort of pastor or church official. I’ve heard of friends officiating weddings for friends, but never knew much about it. It’s as simple as googling “become an officiant” and filling out a form. Boom! I am now a member and a REVEREND in the Universal Life Church. A close friend of mine tells me that this could be grounds for excommunication from the Catholic Church, but I don’t believe the Vatican will be calling me anytime soon.
In preparation for the ceremony, I scoured Pinterest and countless blogs about what in the world to say. Obviously, I am married (we had a full Mass) and I’ve been to dozens of weddings, but now that the script is mine to write, I am drawing a complete blank on what one says at a wedding ceremony. Does anyone pay much attention to the words spoken? Or are we all focused on the bride and groom? At the end of the day, the most important aspect of the ceremony is that the couple is, well, married. I ask them a few questions, they each say “I do” and they kiss. While I will include this, I would like to provide some meaningful thoughts and even suggestions as well.
Most of my research ended up yielding the same result. Whether it a religious, civil or somewhat comical ceremony, all officiants seemed to include something in their “sermons” about three things: love, honor and respect.
Writing a wedding ceremony forced me to reflect on my own marriage, which brings me to this blog post. If you’re in Iowa Medical Partners and reading this (my first blog post ever!!), then you’re obviously either married or quite committed to someone in medicine. Which, let’s face it, adds quite a bit of stress to the already difficult, although wonderful, commitment that is a long-term relationship.
The medical journey is a long one and often leaves those of us NOT on the doctor-track feeling like the love, honor and respect is a bit one-sided. It can be taxing! We are so lucky to have a tribe in IMP to lean on others who just get it.
But before we come out the other side, on the days when you’re really feeling stretched a little thin, maybe reflect on your own (or possible future!) wedding ceremony. Remember the words spoken in front of your home tribe and the vows that you and your spouse shared.
Let your love be stronger than your anger. Learn the art of compromise and the wisdom that comes with it. It is far better to bend a little than to break.
Look at me! I’m only a few weeks into being a “certified” ;) officiant and I’m already preaching.
So, let me hear it. Have you ever officiated a wedding? Who married you and your spouse? What important words do you remember from your wedding ceremony?
Thanks for reading!!