St. Clement's parishioners were happy to experience the wonderful novelty of a wedding service in the midst of the Sunday morning liturgy on July 15.
Just two weeks earlier, Lynne had announced that Randall and Norie, who joined the church earlier in the year, had asked if we would celebrate their marriage with them during a Sunday service. And celebrate we did! Parishioners enjoyed stepping up to decorate the hall along with Norie's friends the day before, and helping to provide food and drink at a reception following the service.
A number of St. Clement's congregants were away at the Manning Park family camping weekend, but we were fortunate to have our friends from Mt. Olivet, as well as two bemused tourists from New Zealand, swelling our ranks and joining with family and friends of the bride and groom to witness the vows.
Following the Prayers of the People, Lynne invited Norie and Randall to the front of the church and led them through their vows as written in the Book of Alternative Services. After they signed the register, she invited the couple to start off the Passing of the Peace with the first kiss of their married life, after which the congregation had the chance to offer their own hearty congratulations and pass the peace amongst each other. The Pentecost 8 service recommenced with the upbeat singing of Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee as the offertory hymn, and visiting pastor Carolina Glauster presided at the Eucharist that followed.
After the service, everyone joined in a festive lunch downstairs, topped off with a double-tiered chocolate mousse wedding cake created by a friend of Randall and Norie's. Toasts were drunk, photos were taken in the garden, many pitched in with the clean up, and everyone was home by 2 p.m. to watch the taped World Cup Final. Even the bride and groom had their feet up by mid-afternoon, enjoying a well-deserved rest in their apartment after a hectic but joyful few weeks.
We wish Norie and Randall every blessing in their life together, and are delighted we were included in their solemn and splendid celebration of marriage.