A dear friend was married today and I was honored to be a part of her wedding by reading the first reading at the nuptial mass. This marriage has been a long time coming and the absolute joy in her face will be burned into my memory forever. It truly was a privilege to be a witness to such emotion and devotion.
When she emailed the reading to me (so that I could prepare) I thought it was a joke. The reading comes from the Song of Songs in the Old Testament and has a subtitle of “The Tryst in Spring”… that alone should be enough to tell you what it’s about. It is one of the most erotic things I’ve ever read. I laughed when I first looked it up and when I saw her later that day, she confirmed that it was indeed the reading she had chosen and was very serious about having it read at the wedding. I blushed at the thought.
“Hark! my lover - here he comes, springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag.”
No way? How was I supposed to get up in front of God and everybody and read this with a straight face? I’ve been teased about it all week by my husband. He had been helpful by making groaning noises while I practice. I knew I wouldn’t be able to look at anyone.
So I came up with a plan. I specifically didn’t wear my glasses to read. I can see good enough for the paper, but when I would look up I wouldn’t be able to make out faces. So that’s what I did. At one point I did look over in Leroy’s direction and he was hiding behind the bride’s brother who was seated directly in front of him. Thank goodness.
Needless to say, I was teased pretty severely after the fact. When the Vicar General of the Diocese (who was the celebrant of the mass) came over to my table to shake my hand he said… (in a thick Irish accent) “You did a lovely job with the reading.” I thought Leroy was going to choke he was laughing so hard. All I could say was… “Thank you Monsignor.”
I wished the bride and groom a happy honeymoon and told then they were welcome for the erotic prelude. For those of you who are curious enough to look it up: Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a.