love is…

I was speaking with a married couple a few years ago who argued that marriage was a secular ceremony and there was no need for any religion in the service. They were proud to have achieved a completely non-religious wedding ceremony for their own big day.

They considered the Bible to be outdated not wanting a bar of it and were delighted that a marriage celebrant witnessed their ceremony on a favourite beach.

They told me that they had searched online finally finding the perfect poem for their ceremony.

I was curious and asked what it was. They began together reciting it by heart: Love is always patient and kind, slow to anger…always forgives…and lasts forever.

I didn’t spoil their fantasy and instead responded with a “wow, that IS beautiful” and asked them to send me a copy.

This weekend’s second reading is this beautiful hymn to love from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. It is powerful in any translation but a favourite of mine is the 1611 King James Version read below by Tony Blair at Diana’s funeral in 1997.

2 Responses to "love is…"
  1. I love the way this reflection demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit moving through the lives of people of un-affiliated faith. The moment they decided to have a non religious wedding, even declaring it a secular event, God smiled! Good on them.
    Reminds me of the saying “If you want to make God laugh, show him your plans”.

  2. There is a quote from 1 John 4 that provides an envelope for this beautiful letter of St Paul to the Corinthians. “God is love and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” I believe God will be in the hearts of this couple in love, no matter what their heads tell them.

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