A wedding story. Rather, a wedding rehearsal story.
The groom is sweaty. The bride is giggly. Though they’re both older than me, they are perpetual movement. I’ve met them once, months ago, and throughout our appointment I recall that their hands were never not on one another.
We’re practicing the part in the service when the Bride and Groom ascend the chancel steps for the vows. She is to hand off her bouquet to the Maid of Honor, and they are to face one another and join hands to speak their vows. Our crack Wedding Coordinator always always always uses this part of the rehearsal to instruct the couple to look at one another as they speak, and not to turn their heads toward the officiant, so that the congregation can hear them.
“Don’t look at Rocky,” she tells them.
“Oh don’t worry,” the Bride quips. “He’s not even here.”
My eyes meet the Wedding Coordinator’s for an instant before she hastily looks away. I turn my gaze to the floor to recall, in this massive church, the phrase I’ve read in so many modern theology texts: Christendom is over.