Friday, September 30, 2011

In the interests of marriage equality

Michaelmas 2011
Two weeks ago, I officiated at my very first same sex union in Chicago. What joy it was to stand in solidarity with my son and his best friends as they began their new life together. That same young man, my son Michael, is in Hico (pronounced Hyco) West Virginia for yet another wedding of yet another very best friend. And I am in Thomaston Maine to officiate my goddaughter's wedding. She is the daughter of one of my best friends who also served as the Senior Warden of my very first church in Malden, Massachusetts. In fact this fall in Salem, Massachusetts where I serve as priest-in-charge, I have officiated at a number of marriages, and celebrated the love of half a dozen couples.
In every case, for all 38 years of my priesthood, I have stood by young people (and some old ones too) who love one another, listened to scriptures, exchanged the vows, said the prayers and tied the knot (by the way, we actually do that with the stole that we clergy wear for such occasions. That stole represents the burden, the joy, and the authority with which we carry Christ with us upon our shoulders).
In all of these cases except for one, the configuration of those marriages has been male/female. In only once case was the configuration same sex. We mean no offense to the heterosexual community of which my wife and I are joyful members.
We are no threat to traditional marriage whatsoever. We merely stand witness in Chicago, in Hico, and in Thomaston to the love of Christ for ALL people.
In fact, if you think about it marriage equality is in the profoundest sense, the ultimate defense of marriage act.
It is in our faithful lives together by whatever configuration we arrange ourselves that we celebrate the joy of being together in a life long union of love. (My mom had to do that three times with three different fellows before she got it right, but by God, she finally did get it right.)
And so today in Maine, by the sea, two very beautiful young people celebrate their love for one another. May the day come speedily when all young people will be granted the blessing of a church and a culture that realizes the the ultimate and final command of all is the last one Jesus gave; "Love one another".
And remember God love you, and so do I.
Fr. Paul

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