Sunday, November 13, 2005

Southern Baptist Wedding

It’s been a long time since I went to a wedding outside of the Episcopal Church. Our weddings are pretty formal affairs. They are dictated by the Book of Common Prayer, and one doesn’t get a lot of extemporaneous speeches or prayers.

But yesterday I went to a good, old-fashioned Southern Baptist wedding.

I tried to be good, truly I did. I bit the inside of my cheek every time I wanted to laugh or scream. Today the inside of my right cheek is sore.

We had to sing not one, not two, but four verses of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” during the middle of the service. And I thought Episcopalians were bad about forcing you to sing too many verses!

For some reason, the theology of that particular choice bothered me too. I’m not quite sure why, but I’m always uncomfortable with the notion that the couple is not only marrying each other, but they are marrying God too. It sounds far too much like a ménage-a-trois for my taste. (Which just goes to show you what a crappy Christian I am. But you knew that already.)

Thankfully, the bride did not have to promise to obey the groom. I kept waiting for that to come, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when it didn’t.

There was, however, a lot of discussion about how the groom needed to be a good provider, and how she needed to be tender and supportive. No mention of children, though. Since the bride is all of 22, this surprised me. (If I were in charge, it would be illegal to get married before you are 30.)

At the reception, the groom smashed cake into the bride’s face. She was clearly shocked, as was I. I cannot think of anything more humiliating and disrespectful to do to your spouse in front of a roomful of people. If I were her, I would have gone to the minister and said “Don’t bother filing the marriage certificate. I’m done with that asshole.”

Alas, she did not. She just smashed cake in his face.

Ah, family values.