God is Love – a celebration of marriage

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The big day has arrived! The 4 “Golden Couples” are sitting in their reserved pew at the front of the church. I think we are all feeling a little bit apprehensive, not least because we never normally sit so far forward. To recap, the “Golden Couples” are:

Robin & Sylvia (married September 1966)
David & Marguerite (June 1967)
Richard & Sandra (September 1967)
David & Jo (October 1967)

Quite amazing that a small church like ours should have this many so close –  it’s a bit like the proverbial buses all arriving at once!

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Henrietta, beautifully dressed up for the occasion, welcomed us and showed us to our seats.

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The pews all had lovely flower arrangements at the end, almost like being at a real wedding.

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We posed for various pictures before the service started (and afterwards) and I think we were all smiling for most of them.

Glancing around there appeared to be several other couples behind us so we were not alone.

The service commenced in the usual way and there were special Bible Readings which were so appropriate and worth reading often. They were:

  • Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7
  • 1 Corinthians 13
  • John 15:9-17  

After Beverly’s sermon on marriage and love we renewed our vows. I must admit to being concerned about this as, perhaps being a Golden Oldie, I thought that our original vows were good enough. However, I thought the words used were so well chosen and meaningful that any qualms I had were forgotten. After that were the intercessions and it was my turn that day. So I hope what I prayed for was appropriate and that the congregation would be patient as they heard part of 1 Corinthians 13 for the third time. This is just so moving, that it is worth putting it here:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude; it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; love never ends.” 

Communion followed and couples present were invited to sign the special 50 years’ visitors’ book.

After notices, the children who were in Sunday Club held up a display they had made of the word “love” in many languages.

At the end the Clergy and Choir processed out to the Wedding March – a joyful end to a very nice service.

There was still more to come for us celebrities. Over in the Hall, a super celebration cake with lashings of marzipan – my favourite!

Enough for everybody there accompanied by a glass of prosecco. If that was not enough, we were given a lovely anniversary card and gift token. Thank you All Saints and especially the 50th anniversary committee and Beverly.

They were displays of wedding photos in the Hall and lots of people seemed to be enjoying themselves. We met a couple who had been married in All Saints 48 years ago and his parents had been married in the old church on Christmas Eve 1939. We were asked as to the reasons for marriage longevity. Interestingly, we both came up with the same answers – talking to one another and shared interests. In our case a love of history.

So let’s end with another very relevant Bible verse (used in the service by Beverly):

“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them”

Richard & Sandra

 

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