The Wedding

“We are gathered here today to witness the formal joining of Rob and Ann in the legal state of matrimony.

You are to be married according to the orders, customs, and the authority granted by the government of the Province of Alberta.

Matrimony, as understood by us, is a state enriched by a long and honorable tradition of devotion. According to the law, each participant is equal and supports the common rights of one another to the marriage.

Marriage is not just a ceremony here today. It is a commitment for life. Therefore, it is not to be entered into thoughtlessly or irresponsibly. There must be a desire for lifelong companionship. Couples will support and comfort each other through the changing experiences of life.

May you laugh together in joy, grieve together in sorrow, and grow together in love.

Marriage means caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as about your own self-being. Marriage also means working together to create and sustain a home in which the marriage may flourish.

So, with this understanding, Rob and Ann wish to be joined in marriage.”

Those are the opening paragraphs of the civil marriage ceremony in Alberta province. My mother said afterwards that she has never heard anything so moving and as much as she hated to admit it, she found it more meaningful than the rites of Catholic Church. We all gathered round in a circle of sorts as the M.C., Beryl Cahill, led us through the ceremony. My mother said  she cried but I couldn’t tell you what anyone was doing or how they were reacting because my eyes were on Rob. Beryl had us face each other and join hands for most of the ceremony and we repeated after her. No nervousness. I only transposed words once and Rob not at all. No tears either. Just looking into each other’s eyes and smiles. At the conclusion we kissed quite passionately and Beryl made the comment that “if someone can pry those two apart. We can get the paperwork signed.” After we completed the signing, she brought us back to the circle and introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. to our family and friends.

It was gorgeous out at a bit before 5 PM on June 26th in Jasper. Windy but warm in the sunshine. One of the photographers, Peggy, told us a bit later that the weather was actually much better than a typical June for the area.

The most important thing about all those moments was that we, Rob and I, were together.

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