What Assumption of Ordination am I Referring To???
Sometimes I wonder if I think conducting a wedding is more important than it is. Haven’t we all been so close to something and we make assumptions of its importance when it doesn’t mean much at all? Ordination certainly fits into that category these days given rock stars and TV celebrities are doing weddings for fans and family more often than not.
When I talk with new brides or grooms, there’s times I get the feeling the ceremony that makes their relationship legal and official is no big deal to them. This especially comes across when they say they have a friend who is a public speaker and she or he has decided to get ordained so they can conduct the wedding ceremony.
A Couple’s Assumption
There’s an assumption that the chosen friend or family member is comfortable fitting into the role of being an officiant. And knows what he or she is doing. Like it or not, a role is being played when anyone, including me, takes on the responsibility of being an officiant. I’m expected (as much by myself as anyone) to know what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and be able to do it well.
I make this assumption: Given the fact that a person has to be ordained rather than simply licensed to officiate carries a spiritual tone to it. And my assumption includes whether the participants acknowledge this concept or not. I’m not talking about being religious, with dogma and history and followers attached to a practice. I’m talking about being aware of the unseen forces that have brought a couple together to learn and grow within the relationship. And their growth is being projected into the forever future. Yep, until death do them part.
Not Only Important but Legal
I mean, think about it. The officiant is the person proclaiming the marriage not only important and meaningful, but legal. Anything you or I truly value means we’ll tend to it carefully and consistently, we’ll take care of it. That can bring a lot of joy. Something legal can mean a whole lot of trouble if it goes wrong, and give rights and protections when it goes well.
So being an officiant is more than being a public speaker. Being an officiant means being a gate keeper, a person who conducts a right of passage for two people who say they’re ready to go from one level of their relationship to another.
Being an officiant means being a gate keeper, a person who conducts a right of passage for two people who say they’re ready to go from one level of their relationship to another.
A Reluctant Officiant
Recently a person I had officiated for came to me and told me he’d gotten ordained because his soon-to-be sister-in-law assumed he’d be great at leading a wedding ceremony because he spoke to the public as part of his job. He’d agreed to and got his ordination certificate online.
Soon afterwards he began to feel uncomfortable with the responsibility and asked me if I would conduct the ceremony. He talked about public speaking for him was not the same as leading a wedding ceremony. I offered to coach him and help him gain more confidence. But in his case, he really wanted to be a guest rather than a leader. He preferred to help in other areas. (I saw him leave to run errands a couple of times before and after the ceremony). Public speaking was about his work life. By his decision, I could now officiate for a very creative, new couple. I was also able to help out this very good natured, and kind person.
My commitment is to help every couple have a memorable, meaningful, fabulous wedding ceremony. My couples have been wonderful and have many great things to say about their experience with the ceremony and heart-felt delivery I provide. I can’t do every ceremony. Nor am I the right person to officiate for everyone who’s interested in my services.
But I’m very good at what I do. I love being an officiant. I enjoy being a part of the important commitment two people make to one another. They’ve looked for years to find this person they’ll say “For better or for worse” to.
A Little Prodding
An unprepared, though good intentioned officiant may feel “for worse” thinking about the responsibility. Sometimes all someone needs to lead a better wedding ceremony the first time is a little coaching. Perhaps just a little prodding in the right direction. Some knowledge can help them do the great job he or she truly wants to do.
My assumption of ordination is the couple gets to choose the right person to lead their ceremony. But their public speaking newly ordained friend needs more knowledge. He or she wants the confidence to step into the role given to them.
From Basic to Brilliant
I can help — a LOT. Accordingly, I am about to launch a new branch of Northern Michigan Wedding Officiants. Introducing Friend and Family Officiants: How to Take Your Wedding Ceremony from Basic to Brilliant.
EVERY couple deserves to have a great experience at their wedding. I can help by leading their ceremony or by coaching the person they think will be right for them. I’ll be leading a 3-hour class at Northern Michigan College on September 26. Contact me and I’ll be glad to send you information.
As a couple you have every right to make choices. Whatever your assumption about ordination is, I want to help it be one of confidence, competence and brilliance. Contact me and we can discuss how.