Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This photograph is from a wedding I did a few weeks ago. Most people from Toronto will recognized City Hall in the background. I met the happy couple outside the main entrance shortly after their civil ceremony, and led them in procession with their guests with a giant processional cross to a Streetcar stop on Queen Street. From there we hopped aboard a vintage streetcar that had been chartered to take us to the reception site. While we travelled, I blessed the marriage using the "Blessing of a Civil Marriage" rite. Leading the group of people while wearing full vestments (cassock, surplice, stole, cope) through the streets of Toronto was exhilarating. We got lots of attention from by standards with cameras--all of it positive. The groom and several of the male guests were wearing kilts (mine was hidden under my vestments when the picture was taken), and that just was icing on the cake as far the visual delight of the day goes.
I preached about love on the streetcar--short and sweet--but I could have also preached about intersections. Things have a way of coming together in people's lives, and here we had a heady post-modern mix of civil/religious and public/private happening. How fitting it was to bring all these things together in one shining moment with my friends who live this same tension daily. Because so much of life is dominated by the pastoral persona, I forget how complex that interface can be for people who are faithful, but don't wear their religiosity on their chest the way I do.
When we arrived at the reception site I took off my vestments and spent the rest of the night rocking my new kilt. It's worth a blog entry of it's own, in truth, as it is a garment of epic coolness!