Yesterday I had the great honor of co-officiating at a commitment ceremony for dear friends in another city. While they are 'out' both individually and as a couple and were happy for us to take copies of the worship leaflets to share with others, I will keep these remarks to a minimum and not mention names. I do want to say that this was one of the most joyous, serious, beautifully crafted liturgies I have ever experienced. The couple wrote most of it themselves (they are both theologically educated women, from different traditions) and we (several co-officiants) facilitated and led different pieces of it. Some parts were quite traditional, others less so.
The assembled community, which made public promises of support along with the couple, was a mix of lesbian/gay and straight and from several religious and spiritual communities and racial and cultural backgrounds. The couple are an interracial and interreligious couple and are deeply conscious of their vocation to be agents of reconciliation and justice, and of the communal and personal histories they bring to their union. They love each other deeply and we love them.
They also, in pronouncing their vows, did something I now think all couples should do, which is to say what they wish for the other person, rather than "I," "I," "I." In other words, the vows were phrased in terms of blessing for the other and were other-directed. There was something both deeply Christian and deeply Buddhist about this attention to the welfare and well-being of the other, and it speaks also to the commitment of this couple to each other as individuals and as a family.
I am proud to have helped support, honor, and celebrate the love and friendship that these women have for one another and their vocations in the world, and to have done so with a community that has pledged publicly to befriend this couple and be an extended family to them for life.
I pray that we move toward a society and a world where love can flourish in safety and that communities of support, justice, and friendship will grow, strengthen, and multiply, beginning now.