Happy Halloween everyone! Yesterday was our 10-year wedding anniversary. Hard to believe! But thanks to our merciful and generous Savior, Kelly and I are still together and improving with age. Seriously... thank you, Jesus!
Kelly and I were not Christians when we got married. Our ceremony was about 5 minutes long and honestly, not all that special. So, for our anniversary we decided to renew our vows with God at the center of the ceremony. We asked our new friend Ian, who is a retired Anglican priest, to do a little something for us. Some folks from our training came to celebrate with us and Ian prepared a very nice, worshipful ceremony. I was nervous for some reason, but Kelly and I both enjoyed it and were so happy for the opportunity to honor God and each other.
Here are some of the closing prayers, which I thought were very beautiful:
Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of grace, look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon Kelly and Tricia whom you have made one flesh in Holy Matrimony.
Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.
Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will, and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life.
Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other's forgiveness and yours.
Make their life together a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.
We give you thanks for Lucas; the gift and heritage of children, the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you.
Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others.
Most gracious God, Father of all, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life.
We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name.
By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing on Kelly and Tricia. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle on their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads.
Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to your heavenly rest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen.