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Every denomination needs one of these...

Live from New York it's....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I don't normally make it a habit to point out differences I have with local churches or local ministers unless it's something really bizarre... and this time I can't help it. If you are going to publicize your views in both print and video in one of the most widely read newspapers in the country, you open yourself up for commentary.

The first time I saw this video attached to a New York Times story about a UCC minister who was married yesterday, I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live bit. This would be a really funny video if it wasn't serious. Watch the video on the New York Times (watch her eyes as she talks about the use of unity candles in a marriage ceremony).

Oh the horror! Unity candles? There are some awful marriage traditions out there (like doing the 'chicken dance' at a reception), I just didn't think the unity candle was one of them. Then there's her amazement that he "understood the lingo" because he asked her what denomination she was ordained in... only to eventually ask if she "took confession". So much for understanding the lingo.

Thankfully, the article that accompanied the video was just as amusing.
During the planning stages of weddings she was to officiate, she would discuss with the couple what she considered the “disturbing” history behind some nuptial traditions.

“The father walking the bride down the aisle is one example,” she said. “It is symbolic of an exchange of property — the father handing over his daughter to her new keeper.”

Mr. Lanzana did not mind.

“We were both of the opinion that marriage is more or less a formality,” he said. “What’s most important is the relationship and the bond that we developed.”
It's just a wild guess, but I bet she didn't wear an engagement ring because it was symbolic of a pre-marital possession.

But the bit the story doesn't end there.
Ms. Miller’s negative attitude about marriage changed in 2005, when her father lost his left leg in an accident on his farm.
In the end, I'm happy for both of them that they got hitched. Having just celebrated my 10 year anniversary to the greatest woman in the world, I'm also grateful that we both entered marriage free from any luggage or perceptions about the symbolism of the act. We also proudly display our unity candle in the living room of our house.

But... here's the moral I'm taking away from the bit the story: I pray that I don't have to lose a limb for my daughter to decide whether or not she should get married.
posted by UCCtruths, Sunday, August 26, 2007


As an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (through the UCC), couples don't extinguish the two family candles when they light the unity candle. And the side candles are called the "family candles" not "my individual identity" candles. But then, lighting of the unity candle only showed up in my experience about 10 years in to my years of serving as a minister...and that's been 32 years. It is a cultural tradition not necessary to a Christian worship service of marriage.
commented by Blogger David, 9:42 AM  
Actually, her father didn't have to lose a limb for her to get married. She'd already been married...and divorced.

One can only wonder how long they'd been cohabitating...er..."sitting at table" before the actual nuptials.
commented by Blogger Chris, 12:29 AM  
She's a pastor, and she has either no concept of or no regard for what Jesus said about marriage: "The two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh" (Mt. 16:5-6)!

She apparently just can't imagine giving up her glorious self for anyone. It doesn't look like she's given that self up to the Lord, either.

But I forget. She had already discarded the part about "Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate" by divorcing from her first marriage.

Why would I expect her to give a second thought to what she probably considers an outdated book by dead white guys.

Jim Berkley
Director of Presbyterian Action
Institute on Religion and Democracy
commented by Blogger Jim, 5:05 PM  
ah, leave them alone, will ya?

so her eyes bug out when she's talking about the unity candle.

life is still all texts of terror for her.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10:29 PM  
The music to the video is a rip off from joe walsh. it's the theme from boat wierdos off of life's been good. he should sue for plagiarism.

i can name that song in ... one note.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10:31 PM  
I actually looked in the history of unity candles once, and they became popular after an episode of General Hospital. Somehow they ended up in my wedding--I'm still not sure how. I don't think they're either good or bad, just a little kitschy.
commented by Blogger Jon, 10:22 AM  

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