I stood in the back of the church, tucked behind the side of the windows that look out to the pews. The flower girls and maids of honor had stepped forward and paced their steps down the aisle to the music. Looking over to my sons standing near the door, I just stared at them. I was scared. They urged me with a head nod to move forward, it was time. I took a deep breath and slowly moved forward, meeting them at the end of the aisle. Taking each of their arms, I felt a little reluctant and a bit shaky. All eyes were on me. My music was starting. This was a pivotal moment. I had waited a long time to get married.
As we slowly moved toward the altar, I felt my life passing in front of my eyes. I could hardly make out my friends and family in the pews. My mind was momentarily elsewhere and everywhere, there was no fear, just great anticipation. I searched for my beloved at the front of the church and focused on his loving face. He’s always been my rock. His tear-filled eyes exuded love and urged me forward to be with my best friend, to pledge our love. Forever.
He took my hand and led me to my ceremonial place, next to him, in front of God. We were actually doing this. I had planned and imagined this day for months, but never could know how this moment would feel. It was magical. Surreal. He was smiling and stepped toward me to take my hand. As I stepped onto the altar, he whispered that I looked beautiful. I felt beautiful.
We followed the pastor in action and in word, as we did every Sunday. Except now we were more keenly engaged and committed to the word of God, to this holy sacrament. As devout Catholics, our marriage depended on it. We were now the center of attention. I looked at the stained glass and the altar like I had never seen it before. I tried to concentrate on the sermon, but tears of joy ran down my face. I wanted to reach out and kiss him. Have him hold me for the rest of his life. As the priest talked, I prayed for strength and devotion, everything my new husband deserved in a partner.
We gave traditional vows, exchanged rings, and made sacred promises. Promises I shall never ever break. My tears of joy had been wiped away and I was now captivated in the moment. Placing the ring on his finger, I made my vows loud and clear for all to hear – in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He looked deep into my eyes as I pushed the ring onto his finger, wrapping me in a warm blanket of love and hope. I was pledging my body and soul as I have never done before.
Our marriage will be long and happy. We have made and kept all our promises, making each other happy for the last twenty-six years. We may be “newlyweds” however, we have been on a journey together for a long time, growing in love and spirituality. Our ceremony was an important milestone that we will always cherish. Bringing our loved ones together to share this commitment was precious and heartfelt. It is only with the support of the church, friends, and family that this marriage will continue to be a success. Our hearts are full, our love is strong, and our faith is unbreakable.