Monday, August 8, 2011

Wedding: Bridezilla

Oh, dear God in heaven, three months until our wedding and I'm turning into Bridezilla -- in my own special way.

Am I getting nuts about the flowers, dress, shoes, or food? No, I am not. I'm becoming a crazy person over . . . the liturgy. Last night's   mini-meltdown was over service music. I truly have absolutely no reason to be surprised by this.

After all, I can play five instruments (badly) and read music (well). My participation in music ministry has included singing in the choir (relatively well). One season with the Westminster (Choir College) Community chorus.

I was raised by classical music snobs who also managed to download Gilbert & Sullivan operettas plus decades of musical theater into my developing skull mush. I was schlepped to Leonard Bernstein's and Thomas Schippers' Young People's Concerts during the late 1950s and early 1960s. With cred like this, who wouldn't be a wreck over the music program for her wedding?

Good news: none of this is being inflicted upon some poor music director. Instead, it's just me and Dan, he with the Episcopal church's 1982 Hymnal on his lap; me with a 2009 edition of Breaking Bread on mine. And conversations that include me asking, with an edge of hysteria in my speaking voice, "What do you mean Episcopalians don't usually have cantors?"

Ah, pre-wedded bliss: an evening sorting through hymns, anthems, and psalm settings. Not like our wedding will include karaoke, but I really want stuff I already know and addition to Dan.

This Magnificent Hymn Has Already Made the Cut


  1. I have come to relish the weddings that happen at our Sunday liturgies. Like baptisms, first communions, and confirmations, they are a sign of the life and love that surrounds the couple. The community's presence and active participation make the sacrament truly visible.

    For those couples who choose a separate ceremony, they are "sent" to their wedding by the blessing of the community, even as we send catechumens to break open the Word, and teens to their summer work with migrant families, and members moving on to new places of work.

    However, I must tell you: it is most entertaining to see you dither about the wedding details. Somehow I know you won't be ending up on an episode of "Four Weddings"! Thank God.

  2. Wouldn't dream of dithering in private. Here to serve and entertain.

    All kidding aside -- as if that's possible -- IF we were members of the same parish I would definitely want to have our wedding as part of the usual liturgy, witnessed by that community. Alas, not possible in our situation.

  3. no, we/they Episcopalians don't usually have cantors, but that doesn't mean they can't have cantors. of course the trick is finding someone who is willing and can cantor. Meanwhile, when is the poor Music Director going to be let in on this planning?

    And this is not the place, but I want mention (whine) that, as a Music Director, I have a wedding couple who is requsting (demanding) all kinds of classical piano music for their prelude. I don't have any classcal piano repertoire any more!I stopped practcing that years ago! Sheesh!

  4. Are you TRYING to give me an aneurysm? How about when the Music Director confirms that he's willing, able, and available to be on the bench for at least part of this gig!!!

  5. Wedding Music:


  6. Oh, Meredith, I just love you as a musical Bridezilla and I completely understand!

    We had Handel's water music for a prelude and something from Bach for the postlude. The hymn I chose was "Wake Awake the Night is Flying." My father did not think it was appropriate to imply that my bridegroom had any resemblance to The Bridegroom, but our wedding was, after all, during Advent.

    After the wedding, we went down the driveway to the parish house where we dance to a Motown collection on--a record player! The opening dance? Martha and the Vandella's "Heat Wave."

    Love the hymn you've chosen. And I definitely think you should have a cantor! And BTW Episcopalians absolutely do have cantors (ie priests who can sing). They just don't call them that!

  7. Okay, we had dead silence at our nuptials -- except for my prodigious marijauna-induced weeping. And here we are, for better and worse, lo these 41 years later. Of course, it was 1969 (a very good year), all seven of us bridal partiers huddled in the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church chapel in advance of a honeymoon at an antiwar rally. If we'd had music, it would have been "Give Peace a Chance". I LOVE your ape bride and must know where you get your as-funny-as-you-are graphics. Happy music hunting!


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