Father of the groom.
I keep thinking “isn’t my father supposed to be sitting here?”
King James, the sixth of Scotland and first of England was the sponsor of the King James Bible that we all know.
He also formalized the rules for many ceremonies including the marriage.
According to this, the father of the groom should do three things:
Firstly. That he should make all the guests feel welcome. I blush to do this since it is really Anne-Marie and many others that have worked hard to create the welcome here. Let me instead thank them for the welcome.
The second requirement is that I should welcome the bride into the family. Karen, welcome to the crazy.
The last requirement is the easiest. The father should prove to the assembly that the groom is capable of blushing, this being requisite in a man of good moral standing.
I remember the day you were born, how you surprised everyone with including the nurses with the speed of you birth. In fact, the only person you did not surprise was the doctor. He wasn’t there yet.
And I will pause here to say, Karen Griffen you were, and have since been, a good and courageous mother.
I also remember you surprising me again quite recently with a phone call. Not only were you getting married, but you had joined the church. As they say in the classics, you could have knocked me down with a feather.
Luckier men than you, Justin, have fathers who can offer words of wisdom at times like this. I had, indeed, scribbled some down a month or more ago about the challenges of marriage and my unique theory of love, but after visiting Karen’s flat I realized that they were unnecessary.
So I will instead only say that if you both approach your life together as you do that flat, you will both be blessed.
You have discovered a solid structure that is going to require a bit of work.
A lot of work, really.
Work that will require thought, effort and skill. Work that will will not always be easy, but will usually be rewarding. Most of all, work that will make your lives, and the world, more pleasant and more meaningful.
Karen, Justin, I wish you both God speed in the work ahead. In the words of the old Gaelic blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your backs.
May the sun shine warm upon your faces;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.