Sunday, May 1, 2011

So what's with all this Royal Wedding hype?

Cynics and smart alecks (and lots of manly types, too) were muttering this on Friday.

I'll admit that I only DVRd the wedding and watched it a day later (horrors!) and that, unlike many of my friends, I was far from interested back in 1981 when Charles and Diana married.

But something hit me this weekend, as I was tearing up watching the pomp and pageantry of the wedding of the (now) Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

I wondered. . . Why do billions of people respond the way they do to this event?   It may be because we love traditions, or because Kate and William seemed to happy and hopeful, or because we secretly harbor desires to "be British." 

I think it's something more.

As the Bishop of London delivered the sermon, he spoke of the marriage of a man and a woman being a reflection of the marriage of Christ and His church.   The husband and wife are to love and respect each other, and are to fulfill certain God-ordained roles within marriage - this is an earthly symbol of how our Savior loves us and gave Himself up for us and how we, the church, submit to and love Him.  It is also a picture of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

 Ephesians 5 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

What hit me was this:  If a wedding is a reflection of these relationships, then THIS particular wedding is pretty much the best dog-gone attempt we will ever see on Earth to mirror this "mystery" as the Bible calls it.  We humans cannot put on a showier show than this - the royal wedding is our best, most beautiful effort at illustrating the covenant relationship between God Almighty and His people. . . our best effort at demonstrating, at least symbolically, and with earthly trappings, the true "Royal Wedding" of Jesus and us, His bride.  Whew.

I had another "a-ha" moment.  We emotionally respond to the Royal Wedding because there is something in us (namely the Spirit Himself, because we are made in His image) that responds to TRUTH, BEAUTY, and GOODNESS.  It's the same reason why we are moved when we hear a symphony, or read a classic work of literature, or see a child's innocent smile.  Now, we may not be able to verbalize (or even actually recognize) why were are moved, but these things are true, beautiful, and good, and they stir our hearts. 

And you may be a pessimist or a postmodernist or just simply a sourpuss and believe that nothing is beautiful - but somewhere deep down, it stirs you. 

Christian weddings are the same.


  1. I agree, MB. It definitely stirred me to tears. Everything about it was just breath-taking. I do hate that they were in fornification, b/c it mars the gospel of Christ and His church. But it was a beautiful wedding, and Kate couldn't have been more elegant and princess-y.

  2. I too teared up while watching it. I especially liked the part where Prince William took his first up-close look at Kate and he smiled this innocent, shy smile. It was truly beautiful. I think one reason a lot of people watched was because it was sort of like a fairy tale - a nobody girl marries a prince. Just like Dianna. I don't cry at weddings. But something about this one was touching.

  3. Emily, that part bothered me, too, so much that I really didn't too much like Kate until I saw the wedding. LS, Diana was far from a nobody. She was hand-picked to marry Charles because of her pedigree and royal connections. She was not a commoner. Kate Middleton is the first commoner to marry a future king in 350 years.



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