We Will

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in you power to uphold these two in their marriage?

We Will.

Along with standing as the bride walks down the aisle, this is where the guests at a wedding do more than observe. This vow is made countless times in churches, restaurants, and on beaches every Saturday, but how often do those of us who make this promise give it even a second thought? In the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, at my niece’s wedding, a whole bunch of us were given the chance to take this promise to heart.

Instead of moving right along in the service, the minister had the bride and groom face the gathering of family and friends:

These are the people who will help you grow together. They will be there when you need them, he said. Remember them. They love you.

I don’t think anyone expected such a statement, or the chance to see the bride and groom face to face during the ceremony. We looked into their eyes, accepted the weight of our promise, and the privilege of honoring it. I count it an extraordinary blessing – and considering the number of people who continued to talk about this part of the wedding into the next day, I am only one among many.

Thank you, Grace and Tommy, for the honor of making such a promise. Thank you, Dave, for the blessing of a face-to-face that brought new meaning and strength to this vow.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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