One gem from Richard Chartres‘ sermon at today’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton:
As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.
Unrealistically high expectations of a romantic partner are killing relationships today. Not that a couple shouldn’t do their utmost, but the lack of belief in God leads to new idolatries.
I’d like to say more, but it’s late! That is enough to start chewing on!
I agree with your post that this was indeed a gem. But I am left wondering to whom it was directed? Living in the US, it is clear that our society and even the church (ELCA) has left the teachings of God to move in a direction that places great need on the human relationships of this world. So like I said, I am wondering if this comment ‘to the west’ was directed to a certain group.
Welcome here and thanks for the comment – an interesting point. It brings up for me as a minister a wider, more general issue of balance when I preach at a wedding. The wedding sermon is like a one-way public talk addressed to the couple, but suitable for the congregation to overhear. In yesterday’s case, it was with the overhearing of a two-billion global audience. And yes, I’m sure what you highlight was in some sense addressed to secularising movements in western society.
Our daughters wanted to see “the dress”, my husband and son waited impatiently for the footy to begin, and I liked the music and also these words from the sermon: Marriage should transform,as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner.
Liked your quote too.
Yes, I liked the point about transformation without coercion. It reminded me of something I often say in a wedding address, namely that the agenda of the bride can be – if you’ll pardon this pun – “Aisle – Altar – Hymn”.
Have to admit, I missed that line in his sermon .. What did impress was the prayer he read at the end, which he said Wills & Kate had written themselves; also the choice of lesson from Rom.12.
Thanks for taking yr time to post on here Dave – always a welcome, thought-provoking read 🙂
Thanks, Tim. And yes, I agree about their own prayer – although I note the lines about generosity failed to mention their money! (Or am I being mean?)