365 days of gratitude

August 1, 2018

Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavour. Marge Kennedy

Today I’m grateful for family and soup.


A healthy baby girl

June 21, 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford have a  daughter.

. . .The baby arrived at 4.45pm, weighing 3.31kg.

Ms Ardern said they were “all doing well” and thanked the team at Auckland City Hospital. . .

The safe arrival of a healthy baby is lovely news.


365 days of gratitude

June 11, 2018

His son wanted a reading for his father’s funeral.

The father was a farmer and I found one the whole family agreed was just right.

It was Shut the Gate by Norm Murray, from his book Exit Lines.

Norm has been a funeral director and celebrant for more than 20 years, the book is a collection of his original verse based on the lives of ordinary people.

Tonight I’m grateful for the words that allowed a son to farewell his father so appropriately.


Power of love

May 20, 2018

Episcopalian bishop, Michael Curry, gave the address at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

He began:

And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

From the Song of Solomon in the Bible: “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it out.”

The late Dr Martin Luther King once said, and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. For love, love is the only way.”

There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love. . . 

He continued quoting the Bible, Martin Luther King and towards the end quoted French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin:

. . . he said, as others have, that the discovery or invention or harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history. Fire to a great extent made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and provide sanitary ways of eating which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat, warm environments and thereby made human migration around the world a possibility, even into colder climates. Fire made it possible, there was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good. . . 

And de Chardin said fire was one of the greatest discoveries in all of human history. And he then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love, it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.

Dr. King was right. “We must discover love the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.” . . 

You can read about de Chardin here.

 

 


Royal wedding

May 19, 2018

The order of service is here.

22:45: Meghan Markle is travelling in a Rolls Royce to St George’s Chapel.


On walking down the aisle

May 19, 2018

Who is going to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle?

Speculators have been speculating on this since she announced her father is unable to attend the wedding.

The speculation has gone from the traditional (if her father can’t be there another man might) through the less traditional but no longer unusual (her mother could escort her) to the trashy (I was listening to the radio yesterday and some of the suggestions are best not repeated).

A father escorting his daughter down the aisle and giving her away is the traditional start to a marriage service but there are plenty of alternatives.

As a marriage celebrant it is my role to create a service that suits the couple and meets the requirements of the Marriage Act.

I give the bride and groom several options and even though it’s the 21st century, many choose to stick with tradition.

If the bride’s father is dead or estranged some choose to come in with their mother, brother or grand parent.

I’d been away from home for several years before I married and wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being given away.

Instead I followed both my parents down the aisle with my best lady at my side and rather than the traditional giving away, the minister asked all our parents if they gave their blessing to our marriage.

A couple whose marriage service I officiated at last year were married on a beach. The groom arrived first with his mother, his father followed with the bride’s mother, the attendants came next and then the bride walked in with her father.

Alternatives include:

* The groom walking in with both parents and/or other family and/or friends and the bride walking in with her parents and/or other family and/or friends.

* The groom enters with his family and the bride with hers side by side (this needs a wide aisle so works best in a garden).

* The bride and groom enter together with or without parents/family.

Weddings can be much more informal than they used to be and sometimes the couple choose to mingle with guests as they arrive and then come forward together to start the service.

However they choose to start the service and whatever else they say and do during it, I remind the couples that what matters is that they are relaxed and happy and what matters more than the wedding is the marriage.

 

 

 

 

 


It’s another boy

April 24, 2018

The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge had a second son (yesterday NZ time, which was St George’s Day in England).

All babies should be wanted and loved as this one is and his arrival is worth celebrating for that.


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