Story Telling and How It Works
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
The first wedding I officiated happened on Shelter Island, NY, at a private home. I was asked on a Friday to officiate a wedding ... on Saturday! It was a complicated situation: the bride's father was in hospice care, at home, and not expected to survive long enough to attend the already-planned wedding a few months later. So this was a different kind of shotgun wedding.
The family quickly gathered, traveling from all parts of the US and even Europe. I met the bride and groom on a conference call Friday evening and we got to know each other, their particular needs and faiths, and what their family's religious preferences were. We wanted to please their father - a life-long Catholic - but the family was decidedly interfaith, spiritual, but no longer practicing Catholics. I learned their backgrounds and how they met, gave them some homework (pick a couple of readings they might like to have), and crafted a ceremony. We met Saturday afternoon to rehearse, and then performed the ceremony for about 20 family members on Saturday evening.
Their father was so happy. He passed away a week later. And then I put on one of my other hats, that of chaplain who offers presence to those who are grieving a loss.