The Royal Wedding tomorrow gives me a bad case of deja vu. (Though I am sure there may be something I can take for that!)
At the time of the last great Royal Wedding of Charles to Dianna I was the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Toronto. And I was BUSY. Very busy answering press and media inquiries from Toronto reporters who asked a myriad of questions on which I had little to no information. “What did the Archbishop of Canterbury tell the couple in their pre-marital counseling session?” one reporter asked me (Unfortunately his Grace the Archbishop did not first check in with me about what he was to tell the royals. But history tells us he needed to have a few more session with them.) Another reporter was sure the church thought sex was bad and therefore wanted to know how we squared that with encouraging family life. (He seemed incapable of understanding that the church sees human sexuality is a gift from God – part of the essence of being human. And like all gifts it can be used well or it can be used in destructive and unhealthy way. The church has a deep interest in helping people to choose wisely.)
I recall I was so glad to actually get to the wedding so life would go back to some sense of normalcy from all the fluff and chatter about clothing, pageantry, and the endless commentary juxtaposing wealthy indolent royals and us poor common folk.
I had hoped that Charles and Dianna might get about the work of their life together and provide a model of marriage that was mutual, was centered in God, and in public service; and which was life-giving for them both. That did not happen.
But I am creature of hope. I wish the same for William and Kate. And I hope this public family has learned from the past so as not to repeat it.
The reality is that these two young people are human and their marriage will not be a fairy tale. (No matter the clothing, carriages and adoring crowds.) It will be two people who love one another trying their best to live out their vows amid great pressures – societal and personal.
I suggest we continue to support them in prayer – as we should support all whose lives are entwined in the commitment that marriage entails. Unlike weddings, marriages do not “happen” in a single day. They are built slowly, carefully and at times painfully day by day, by two people willing to commit to doing the work it takes. But when you do that, to quote the old ad copy, it is “the hardest work you will ever love.”