Monday, May 22, 2006


I'm married.

From Left to Right:
Renee's wedding ring, my wedding ring, Renee's engagement ring

As some reader's know, Renee grandmother has not been doing well lately. It became quite evident to us last week that she would be unable to attend the wedding on June 3rd even if she is still alive at that point. It was really important to both Renee and her grandmother that her grandmother is at the wedding (and I agree). So, we made a slight change in plans: we got married on Saturday.

Renee's pastor from home came over to Renee's grandmother's house, we crowded into her room around her bed, we said our vows, exchanged rings, and had communion and were told "You are now husband and wife"

So now the question? What about June 3rd? (Our original wedding date). Nothing changes. We're still celebrating our marriage on June 3rd as originally planned. But why you ask? Very simple: there's a theological reason.

The service on the third has from the beginning been entitled "A Service of Christian Worship in Celebration of the Marriage of Marilyn Renee Barfay and Brian Robert Wallace." Wedding ceremonies are by definition worship services and that's what we had this past Saturday and that's what we're going to have on June 3rd. Also, while Renee and I consider ourselves married, weddings aren't just about the couple, they're also for the family and friends of the bride and groom. In a wedding ceremony the family and friends pledge to uphold and support the bride and room in their marriage. While some of Renee's family was present on Saturday, a lot of her relatives, my entire family, and a lot of our friends weren't at the wedding on Saturday. Needless to say, it's important for us that they also witness our vows and pledge their love and support.

Finally, what constitues our marriage isn't a ceremony, it's the love that we share between us. A wedding ceremony as part of a worship service is a time for the husband and wife to make commitments to each other before the Triune God and their friends and family, and to ask God's blessing upon the new couple. As they say with ordinations, the act of ordaining someone is merely making public and formal a decision that God made a long time ago. This isn't to devalue the important of having wedding celebrations, but rather to put them in their appropriate context within worship services as well as to understand them and celebrations and formulations of something, rather a mechanic blessing that makes something a marriage. Hence, I don't think it's weird we're going to have two but rather believe it was the "command of God in a limiting case" (for you Barth scholars). In other words, given the circumstances (which are unusual) I think we did the right thing - the thing that God would have us do.

(Leave it to me to make this into a theological issue)
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At 10:42 AM, Blogger Eileen said...

CONGRATS on your earlier than planned wedding! :o)

At 11:21 AM, Blogger kethselly said...


It was great to talk to you when Jill and I were in Pittsburgh. CONGRATs on your wedding. I'm excited to see ya'll again in June.

At 5:11 PM, Blogger bj woodworth said...

you are a theological geek! And that is whay I love you!

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous kairos said...

Many congratulations to you both!


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