When Mr. Potion and I sat down with Fr. Ninja to choose our readings, we looked through the stacks of options and picked three individual readings that we liked on their own merits. When we put them all together, we realized a theme stood out—that marriage means leaving your old life, your old self behind and giving yourself to your spouse. This theme was present in each of the readings, though we hadn’t consciously realized it when choosing them.
Mr. Potion’s friend C (fiancee—now wife!—of GM J) read the first reading:
The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.
A close friend of my family, K, read the second reading:
Ephesians 5:2, 21-33
Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved you. Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the Church, he himself the savior of the Body. As the Church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the Church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.
And then, obviously, Fr. Ninja read the Gospel:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”
I have to be honest with you, hive—when we were looking through our options for the second reading, I was hesitant to go with Ephesians 2. It was Mr. Potion’s first choice, and initially it was my first choice, too, but the more I thought about it, the more I worried about what it would sound like at our wedding—what people would think. Although that reading is one of the most beautiful descriptions of what marriage is, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Would my friends be somehow disappointed in me? Would they understand why we picked this reading? And also—I can’t believe I’m admitting to this—I worried about what my readers would think. I worried about how it would go over in the blogosphere, this use of everyone’s least favorite wedding reading.
Hive, do me a favor—please don’t make decisions about your wedding day based on what the internet might think. Don’t pick out your colors or your dress or your decor and certainly not any elements of your ceremony based on what people might think on a blog or a forum. I faced this dilemma several times during our planning: Is this blog worthy? What will the readers think? And each time Mr. Potion would look at me and remind me that this is our wedding, not the blog’s wedding, and while some people’s opinions mattered—like our parents or our bridal party—the most important opinions were ours.
So these are the readings that we chose, and after the Gospel, Fr. Ninja gave a wonderful homily on our unintentional theme found in these readings. He spoke about our relationship, and how the Church views marriage, and even threw in a nod to our nerdiness by mentioning that the physical symbol of marriage is not “One ring to rule them all,” but two rings to be worn forever to show our partnership and our commitment. It was a really good homily, and it makes me wish we’d hired a videographer—if only to capture those words.
Mr. Potion is actually not making faces at the camera in this picture, but at his friends, who were making faces right back…boys…
How did you craft your wedding ceremony? What readings did you choose? Did you let outside opinions influence your wedding planning?
*all photos by One Photo Gallery*
Miss a Potion recap?
- Love Potion #0.5: Uh…Who is This Chick?
- Love Potion #1: Dress Rehearsal
- Love Potion #2: Gettin’ Our Hairs Did
- Love Potion #3: Last Minute Details
- Love Potion #4: Corsages for the Generations
- Love Potion #5: The Boys Get Spiffy
- Love Potion #6: “Formal” Portraits
- Love Potion #7: Goin’ to the Chapel”¦
Love Potion #8: Proceeding with the Ceremony
- Herndon, VA
- Wedding Date:
- November 2012
- St. JohnÃ¢Â€Â™s Catholic Church / SpringHouse, Alexander City, AL