I was privileged to have officiated at my first gay wedding some weeks ago. Having been a celebrant on and off for over 50 years this was the first occasion to move into uncharted waters. It wasn’t apprehension as much as whether I could do justice to this moment where a couple who had been living intimately for 44 years were proclaiming to the world that they were one and they wanted it recognised by law. They had to wait all that time to tell the world publicly of their love for one another.
In any wedding there is excitement, passion, romance and the public acknowledgment of two people in love. So for me as a celebrant used only to heterosexual marriages how would things be different? In fact, need they be different at all? Because in our hearts we know that love transcends gender. It is the path of ecstasy, of joy and sadness, of thrills and spills. Any couple whether gay or straight are in direct participation of life itself. They have searched, they have journeyed and in their discovery they came to realise there were no boundaries separating one from the other. The vows they make in this very public way expressed their love in front of witnesses
This first gay wedding revealed an overwhelming joy where even life itself was beyond words and the human condition was beyond man-made laws. The symbols used in this ritual have been made for community celebration in the sacred dimensions of reality captured in this experience of love, hope and ultimately thanksgiving.
Their wedding was about the supreme sharing of experience and letting one and all know that they were taking the risk of entering into the most intimate of human relationships. They have experienced over time that the sustaining element will be the degree of love that is there. For over 44 years it has been tried and tested. They have gone beyond the surface and discovered the inner beauty.
That is why in any wedding ritual whether gay or straight there is no difference in the expression of love, for in that love is the universal sense of security where we know that another human being wants us, wants to share life with us, accepts us, without reservation, not as perfect but as human with strengths and weaknesses.
What more could we want, those of us privileged to be invited either as a celebrant or as a guest to the banquet itself, where two in this beautifully public way become one.