Although more wedding pictures are on the way, I wanted to share the first round. All-in-all it was a wonderful ceremony, August 14th. Amanda took care of the guests. I mostly took care of liturgy. The magnificence of the rite combined with the solemnity of the public vow was truly awe-striking. Friends and family attended, about 65 total. I had some relatives who really made an extra effort to be there, and their attendance was incredibly special. Also, my pastor from 1st OPC, Scott, and his wife, Joyce Cox, both humbly blessed the event with their most charitable support and presence. I have to thank Mark Talley and Andrew Matthews who came up from Southern California to assist as lectors/clerks, bringing surplice and cassocks. They dressed well. Mark writes at River Thames and Andrew is the author at Unpopular Opinions. It was also a rather ‘ecumenical’ ceremony. Father Tom Sramek (TEC) celebrated w/ Fr. Mike Penfield (REC/APA) assisting. I also need to thank Amanda’s family and maid-of-honor, Cheryl Hoffman, who worked herself to death preparing the social hall and sorting the many details. To the right (below) is a picture of Amanda and her father, coming up at procession, escorting her to the front of the nave where the rite proper took place.
The rite combined both sacraments of matrimony and communion, blending the marriage rite into the antecommunion. Amanda looked gorgeous coming up the isle with her father who gave her away. It was a dream come true for her, and I too, being the manifestation of a very long and emotional time of planning. To see it all come to fruition without a hitch was spectacular. The liturgy can be read below. However, I was not the sole compiler. There were a number of expectations and requirements that the final liturgy had to conform– namely special hymnal requests by family, the modern practice of dual rings, as well as the rite itself being held in front of the nave rather than amidst the people in the nave’s center according the the BCP). However, these changes were successfully incorporated and balanced in constructive ways, making all parties happy.
The hymns help transition the Epistle reading, 1 Cor 13, from the OT, Gen.2 and Gospel, Matt 19. The sermon then covered Eph 5, but it was a synthesis of Jewel and Cranmer’s two homilies on holy matrimony. Cranmer outlining the God ordained duties of husband and wife: Jewel warning spouses about the wiles of the devil and need for prayer/grace. A lot of people were rather shocked by the headship exhortations scattered throughout the 1662 rite, and one individual, surprisingly, took offense to Eve coming from Adam’s rib. But the most common complaint was the length– I think 1-1/2 hrs if not more. Thankfully, people understood it was a once in a life event. The audience was mixed, but we did have quite a few Episcopal Anglicans and a number of Reformed families. The communion was 1928 American BCP, picking up at the offertory, and utilizing the third exhortation, whereby Amanda and I processed before the altar, giving earlier vows as sacrifice to the Lord Almighty, joining that band to the eucharist prayer, and then receiving the body and blood of Christ Jesus after the priests. Many of our friends and family partook after being properly warned (three times) of unworthy reception. Overall it was a great evangelical witness, and I believe a couple friends and family who’ve been in constant prayer were moved by it.
There were three parts of the liturgy which might have been better. First, Amanda and I processed toward the altar at the wrong time, i.e. the offertory rather than before the four matrimonial blessings. Second, no one sang psalm 127 even though the words were printed plainly in the schedule. I don’t know why. Third, the TEC priest administered the sacrament with the 79 words plus added some light-hearted humor, especially after I kissed Amanda three times. I would have liked to have made more a contrast between the faithful and unchurched, but we allowed those who wished to blend in cross their arms for a blessing. The TEC vestments weren’t right, but the TEC priest did pray eastward during the antecommunion as well as kept the chalice/paten off the table until the offeratory w/ elements coming from a credence table nearby. I think he had a hard time dealing with the warnings to partake, generalizing the exhortation w/ “all christians are welcome”. I also realized how hard these things are to coordinate when the chancel furnituring assumes a table. I did like TEC’s emphasis on visual accessibility to priest and table, and St. Edward’s has an interesting rood cross (hanging above the altar not the chancel arch). But this is minutiae which the assembly didn’t catch. Given it was also the same day as the vigil of St. Mary, a proper for the BVM might have been appropriate, and I wish it was included as a witness to certain virtues like motherhood, obedience, and chastity. Nonetheless, the ceremony was unquestionably Christ-centered.
No pictures were allowed during the communion. But we posed after the marriage, and of course during the procession. I wept, but only because the joining of two people as one is just so amazing. In retrospect I wish I remained more composed, but the event was very emotional. After the recession, we greeted the people in the narthax. It really strucked us how loving people were to come, and we thanked people we had known our entire lives. The wedding reception then followed in a nearby social hall at St. Edward’s. My brother gave a moving toast, and we all cried. Then the maid-of-honor added some warm words, reminding everyone what a lovely person and wonderful bride Amanda was. We cut cake, and gently fed eachother. No mess. Amanda and I were the last to go. We gave extra food and wine to many people. Mark, Andrew, Matthew and Michael (Amanda’s cousins), and my buddy Casey help pack our wedding gifts into my tiny geo metro 96! I wish I had a picture of that. It really felt wonderful to drive Amanda back to our home, both of us dressed in tux and gown, starting our modest life together.
There is so much I missed. My bunnies of course stayed behind, but I sorted wanted one bunny to be a ring bearer. lol. Sadly, my father couldn’t make it. He was in nursing facility, recovering from a neck injury. My brother, John (best man), was fantastic, hiring a friend to watch while the family made the wedding. Amanda and I are both serious about having kids. We have been praying for John to be a Godparent, and amazingly enough he’s considering visiting an REC church in Vacaville. Amanda’s cousin, Michael, also lives in Vacaville and is a deacon at a Dutch Reformed church, CRC. So, the Lord provides! Anyway, the good news is my father is making great strides in recovery. He’s had the benefit of three churches praying for him (I call this three angels) and many living saints. We expect to have him back for the holidays w/ his neck fracture healed and walking.
Amanda and I are living in Santa Clara, in an area called the ‘rose gardens’, not far from the mission and the university down the road, about a quarter mile. Our apartment gets real hot during the summer, but we are happy– full of food (even so much we regularly give extra to neighbors), and the garden is still growing back home in Fremont. We are building planter boxes for herbs in our parking lot, and saving money to relocate to Northern CA if not Oregon in a couple years (perhaps sooner depending on jobs). But we aren’t leaving without taking a truck load or two of relatives and friends with us! Until then, we are attending public worship at REC (Los Altos Hills) while occasionally visiting Amanda grandma’s TEC (St. Edward’s) and an ACAA (St. Paul’s) church from time-to-time. If you are ever in the area, please contact us. We do evening prayer w/ catechism W, F, and Sun at the rose gardens w/ a complimentary meal. We are making halloween treats for St. Luke’s Sept. 13th, inviting apartment neighbors, as well as getting candy for the surrounding children. Our troths were:
¶ Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner. The Priest, receiving the Woman at her father’s hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, binding them by stole, and say after him as followeth.
I, CHARLES JAMES BARTLETT, take thee, Amanda Sue Kruse, to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness an in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
¶ Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman with her right hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Priest,
I, AMANDA SUE KRUSE, take thee, Charles James Bartlett, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to cherish and obey, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.
(Reception pictures will be added later to this same post. The cake was banana-strawberry at the top, chocolate marble in the middle, and bottom tier was chocolate moues-raspberry. We munched on that for one week afterwards, Amanda gaining no weight and I ten pounds! YUM!)
God Bless & Prayers Deliver!