St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 1st May 2011
By the time you read this, it will all be over.
As I write it, we are still waiting for it to happen.
Millions around the world will be watching it –
though I’m not quite sure how the viewing figures will compare with the latest round of Barcelona v Real Madrid.
Most will, I’m sure, enjoy the day: some as confirmed supporters of the monarchy,
others for the spectacle,and others just as a day off to be spent in company with an excuse for a party.
I’ve spent some time this morning talking to another bride-to-be,
for whom the stresses of planning a wedding are, at the moment, looming larger than the joys.
The event itself, whether in Newham or Westminster, seems to become all-consuming,
and it’s all too easy to lose sight of the purpose.
So what is the purpose? To create a feel-good factor in a time of public-spending cuts,
job losses, and falling living standards?
To sell more papers?
To give a boost to the standing of the royal family?
To have a really big party?
A cynic might say ‘yes’ to all of those. But at the heart of this event is the expectation that the future will be different because of the commitment made between two people: the promises that will be made are the promises made at every church wedding, of faithfulness, mutual support and cherishing, and the sharing of lives.
What matters about That Wedding is that it will shape the future for the couple themselves.
The church has just had its own big celebration in Easter,
the greatest festival of the Christian year.
Nice party – what about the purpose? Do we live as though it made a difference to each one of us?