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Saul Sees

Til Death Do Us Part

Saul is an ordained minister. He shares some of his thoughts about one of his favorite roles, officiant at people’s weddings.

Of all the different things that I do, I get particular joy from leading weddings. Several years ago I became ordained through the Church of Universal Life. At the time it was mostly out of curiosity, and because I had been advised that having clerical credentials might afford some protections against more aggressive opponents to some of my arts. I had been ordained for many years before I was first asked to marry someone. 

I’ve performed ceremonies in different conditions for people with different spiritual perspectives. My last ceremony was a vow renewal performed in a cemetery. (This held very special meaning for the couple and I was game.) We did not lack for witnesses, even if some of them were unseen!

Saul, dressed in his clerical robe, stands in a cemetary
Saul waits for the ceremony to begin for an unusual vow renewal.

I take these unions very seriously. I craft a ceremony using traditional elements that fits with the spiritual sensibilities of the people I am marrying. Since my spiritual view is pretty broad, it is easy for me to accommodate and blend perspectives and attitudes while keeping it comfortable for everyone involved. 

 A lot of what I find myself doing is providing an anchor for everyone. There are a lot of players in a wedding, sometimes with different ideas about what should happen. When someone asks me to lead their wedding I become their advocate, shaping the ceremony and enforcing their wishes. I also do my best to be a calm assurance that everything is going to be great. 

The creation of the ceremony is probably my favorite task. I have had to research different elements and traditions to blend something especially meaningful into a ceremony. (I’ve blended Norse mysticism with mainstream Christianity in a way that didn’t upset grandma.) I make it clear to my couple that this is their sacred rite. They are the ones who live with this. It must be meaningful to them. If that takes a little creative merging, I’m fine with that.

I am happy to say that the couples I have joined so far are still doing OK. What more could I ask for?

2 replies on “Til Death Do Us Part”

I’ve not led a same-sex wedding, but I was asked to do readings for one because a reading I did for one of them helped set things in motion for commitment. To me it’s about sincerity and willingness to treat it as a sacred union. We have fun with a ceremony, but it is not frivolous.

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