Saturday, May 19, 2018

STAND BY ME?????????????????

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are officially married!

I am watching the Royal Wedding in its magnificent royal Anglican splendor.

The Order of the Nuptials is a bit confusing to me. There is a splendid charge to the couple which is in fact a splendid description of the Sacrament of Marriage. Then they are asked about their intentions, a hymn is sung and there is a kind of Liturgy of the Word but no Gospel reading.

The black American Episcopal bishop gave a well delivered and stunning homily.

Then an American Gospel choir sang splendidly the secular ditty "Stand By Me"! WHY???????

Then the vows came. And then some silly Americans I presume, cheered when the presider declared them married. Fortunately that same group did not applaud "Stand by Me".

Female "priest" after the sort of Nuptial blessing of the couple then offers the Bidding Prayers, with an Orthodox Prelate sharing in leading it.

Then a congregational hymn is sung and I must say robustly by all to include the royals.

Then the final Blessing and couple disappears to sign their post Nuptial agreement. After some time they emerge but not until there is a cello solo, two in fact and too long, and now a third cello solo, Ave Maria, to kill the time. Just what is the royal couple doing. Consummating everything? I am getting impatient! And Prince William and Prince Charles just chatting away!

O my and all the hats!

Finally the royal couple reemerge to brass fanfare, nice! All sing God Save the Queen, my Country ''tis a v! Nice!

Finally a nice English recessional and dignified unlike so many American wedding recessional!

Kissing of bride outside at doors of chapel! Lovely! Inside postlude Gospel hymn "Praise Him, This Little Light of Mine!"

Although the order of the liturgy confuses me, overall  it was splendid, but at their next wedding add the Gospel and get rid of "Stand by Me." Maybe John Nolan can explain Anglican peculiarities?


Anonymous said...

So now in addition to the usual liturgical abuses at Catholic Masses you can be sure that Stand By Me will not only be sung at weddings but at Sunday Masses. Guaranteed it will be sung at Mass tomorrow in a bunch of places.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Hmmm... A Episcopalian Presiding Bishop from America quoting a French Jesuit in the Royal Peculiar St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (Chapel of the Order of the Garter, btw).

I'm lovin' it!

I actually heard Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach at the National Workshop on Christian Unity a couple of years ago in Minneapolis. He was good, but, at least for me, a little of that style of preaching goes a long way.

John Nolan said...

Firstly, the Church of England is 'by law established' and is not just another Christian denomination as it might be in the US. On national occasions it embodies the concept that England is a Christian country. When Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953 the ceremonial was organized by the Duke of Norfolk as Earl Marshal, although he was himself a Catholic.

After Mass in the EF we sing 'Domine salvam fac reginam nostram Elizabeth'.

What jarred with me about the ceremony today was the modern translation of the preamble to matrimony in the Book of Common Prayer which should be copied out by every Christian as the definition of Christian marriage. Now we, as Catholics, are well aware that translation enables those who have control over it to introduce concepts of their own. Yet the idea that marriage is primarily about sexual intercourse is heretical even by Anglican standards. Not that most in the audience would have picked that up.

There should have been a New Testament reading. And 'bishop' Michael was an embarrassment. The expression on the Queen's face said it all.

John Nolan said...

MJK (with whom I am resolved not to engage in argument, since it is fruitless) fails to understand that Protestants quote Catholic sources - they cannot fail to do so if those date from before the 16th century - and Catholics quote Protestant sources, provided that they do not contradict truth.

'Bishop' Michael might have invoked Teilhard, but he did not adumbrate on his theology which is interesting if somewhat controversial. He merely ranted in an emotional manner to the embarrassment of all present.

Anonymous said...

If you can watch that lovely couple and the joyous reaction among the Brits and find things to gripe about, you may be doing this human-being thing wrong.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"MJK (with whom I am resolved not to engage in argument, since it is fruitless) fails to understand that Protestants quote Catholic sources - they cannot fail to do so if those date from before the 16th century - and Catholics quote Protestant sources, provided that they do not contradict truth."

No, in fact, I do not fail to understand that Protestants quote Catholics and that Catholics quote Protestants. I just noted that Bishop Curry quoted Teilhard, didn't I?

John Nolan said...

Another thing that I found irksome was the playing up of the racial element, and not just by the BBC commentators and those they chose to interview. To refer to someone of mixed race as 'black' has unfortunate echoes of American 19th century racial prejudice where even octoroons were classed as non-white.

Also, is it appropriate for a 36-year-old divorcee who has by all accounts been round the block a few times to marry in white? And why did the CofE set aside its own canon law in Harry's case whereas his father had to make do with a register office wedding followed by a blessing?

As for the guest list, it is one thing to decide not to invite politicians, but was the procession of tawdry 'celebs' an improvement? Elton John snogging David Beckham - pass the sick bag.

Anonymous said...

White-dress police, fall in here, please.

Why is it that nobody ever comments snidely on the groom being “around the block a few times”?

johnnyc said...

This was an invalid wedding correct? Oh and May 19th is the anniversary of the beheading of Anne Boleyn. Cheers!

TJM said...

John Nolan,

As an American I would not presume to know as much as you do about the local situation (I am not a liberal ergo I am nor omniscient) but what do you think about this take on the wedding:

TJM said...


Maybe we don't comment on the groom being around the block because we hold a higher opinion of most women than liberals do. I wish you would dispense with the sub rosa approach and just post under your name

Anonymous 2 said...

My wife watched the wedding ceremony this morning and we both watched it again this evening.

Quibble though one may with this, that, or the other element, at the end of the day I have to say that “it worked” and must endorse Anonymous’ comment at 12:19 p.m. And not to forget that the proceedings surely had to be approved by the Palace.

The British Monarchy tried the other way with Charles and one has to ask: “How did that work out for you?” I expect they did indeed ask that question of themselves and drew the necessary conclusions from the answers. Not that they are to be faulted. They did not have a crystal ball. And the earlier approach may have been quite appropriate for the circumstances existing at the time.

Today’s wedding ceremony, a mix of the traditional and the novel, of the formal and the informal, was doubtless intended to reflect the expected character of the marriage, which may just turn out to be the Monarchy’s saving grace. For the British Monarchy it is probably “adapt or perish.” And as an ardent Monarchist (when I wear my British hat), I can only be gratified by the marriage and by the wedding.

Now if we could just fix that Brexit thing . . . .

Anonymous said...

"Hmmm... A Episcopalian Presiding Bishop from America quoting a French Jesuit in the Royal Peculiar St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (Chapel of the Order of the Garter, btw)."

Ah...yes - the Order of the Garter - founded by Edward III, a Catholic.
I suppose there is an irony, or something of the sort somewhere in this.
I'm just not sure what it is except for my reading a good deal of the perculiar
in much of the ceremony.

John Nolan said...


What a silly comment. You can do as you please on your side of the pond, but wearing white second-time around is considered bad form over here.

Even Wallis Simpson knew that, not to mention the present Duchess of Cornwall.

Sussex? Essex would have been more appropriate.

Gene said...

The ceremony was crap...and they just had to have a bald-headed black female "priest."

John Nolan said...

Gene is right. It is the military pageantry, and not the liturgical ceremony, which is the highlight. Churchill's state funeral in 1965 was memorable for a number of reasons; but the actual service in St Paul's is not one of them.

HM the Queen is a rara avis; an Anglican who is actually a convinced Protestant. She is of course aware that most Anglicans are either agnostic or crypto-Papist. I actually admire her for it. She has the same solicitude for her Catholic subjects as for any others.

Domine salvam fac reginam nostram Elizabeth: Et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus te.

Oremus: Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut famula tua Elizabeth Regina nostra, qui tua miseratione suscepit regni gubernacula, virtutum etiam omnium percipiat incrementa; quibus decenter ornatus, et vitiorum monstra devitare (hostes superare) et ad te qui via, veritas et vita es, cum consorte et prole regia gratiosus valeat pervenire. Per Christum Dominum Nostrum. Amen.

Sung after the principal Mass on Sundays until 1965 and still used in the EF. Even Kavanaugh should be able to translate this.

As a military man, I have sworn an oath to the Queen, her heirs and successors. If they keep their side of the bargain, then this is binding. Just as well Catholics do not have to swear an oath to the pope. In the present circumstances this would be a touch problematic.

Anonymous @ 707 said...

The Irish know all too well what the Brits consider “ good form.” Not interested, not buying any.

If you watched the event hoping to be offended by the trivial, well, congratulations. Me, I heard a lovely rendition of “Ave Maria,” which no one has cared to mention so far.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous @707

I was certainly thinking about it as I wrote my previous comment. The cellist was spellbinding and so clearly transported by the music he was playing (or should I say that was playing him?). It was a true joy to watch and to hear.

If we spend so much time and energy looking to find fault and uncover the goodness, beauty, and truth that is lacking, don’t we run the risk of missing the beauty, goodness, and truth that is present? Put another way on this day of Pentecost, doesn’t such active fault finding likely blind us to the presence of the Holy Spirit?

Daniel said...

"Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish sacrificial redemptive love, changes lives and it can change this world.”

That was from the “black bald-headed ‘female’ priest” that Gene found so offensive.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 707 clearly knows as little about the Irish as he does about the rest of the inhabitants of the British Isles.

Anonymous said...

As for "Stand By Me," I like the arrangement and think it was appropriate for the occasion.

Gene said...

Daniel, Plenty of people have said that or something just like it. It has become rather trite. I believe the Apostle Paul said it first. Oh, and I'll bet the black bald-headed female priest is also a lesbian...

ByzRus said...

Bishop Curry's sermon quickly went from being about Megan and Harry to (my perception) an attention grab and lecture. Knowing full well that that style of preaching is unfamiliar to the experience of many in the UK, he should have tailored both his style and substance to have avoided the awkwardness it obviously caused. I'm not sure that audience, or any, needs be lectured on a day which marks a family milestone.

The Abp of Canterbury's cope and mitre were unattractive and a clash relative to the other celebrants. Begs the question: why?

From a liturgical perspective, I did not pick up on any particular pattern and because of this, I wasn't bothered by Stand By Me as it would appear that the flexibility exists to employ secular music.

Daniel said...

"An attention grab and lecture."

And this is unlike any other sermon you've experienced in your life? :)

I'm no priest, but I figure I've experienced several dozen weddings of various denominations. "Love" is a pretty universal theme.

ByzRus said...

Daniel -

While love was the prevailing theme, other subordinate themes were also explored. Anyhow, we all have our respective opinions as to how best to do something.