The Royal Wedding: Some thoughts

Apr 30, 2011 by

~by Michelle

Even thought I am an insomniac and probably could have, I didn’t watch the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton early yesterday morning. But as I was trying to take it easy (I’ve been sick), and after seeing that several of my friends had watched it, I thought I would view some of the video clips of the event. My daughter joined me on the couch as we enjoyed some of the ceremony together.

It was a nice opportunity to talk and think a little about marriage. She asked about how this was different from a Mormon temple marriage (often called a sealing). LDS temple ceremonies are very simple, and a large temple sealing room might accommodate a few dozen people. (The photo below shows a sealing room in an LDS temple.)

Mormon temple sealing room

Often, wedding receptions are held where a larger group can then gather to celebrate with the couple.

I’ve had some thoughts swimming in my head since watching the clips of the Royal Wedding.

1. Marriage is worth celebrating. Love is worth celebrating, but not just because I enjoy a story of romance. Marriage is a foundational element of my Mormon belief. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe, simply, that “marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God.” Marriage is, as was said in the ceremony, “God’s law.” It’s the foundation of family life which is central to God’s plan. I rejoice when I see a new family beginning.

2. I appreciated the central role of faith and God in the ceremony between William and Kate. I was very moved by the prayer that was offered.

3. The promise of fidelity and loyalty that is made in marriage is a foundational element that I wish more people (and our society in general) took more seriously.

4. I was also struck by the traditional element in the ceremony of the man pledging his body and earthly goods for the care of his wife. I know some people find such things offensive, but I think there is real value in that role of a man as a protector and provider in the family. (This is another concept taught in our Family Proclamation, although not in exactly the same way as reflected in the Royal Wedding ring ceremony). This notion to me does not preclude a woman from being educated and being able to provide an income if need be, and is not the same as helpless dependence.

5. I don’t in any way want to take away from the beauty of their day, and yet I’m always sobered by the words, “Till death do us part” (or the variations of that phrase that appear in wedding ceremonies). Truly, that to me is the most significant difference between Mormon temple weddings and other weddings. The authority by which temple sealings are performed bind a couple together not just for this life, but into eternity. If marriage covenants are kept, the promise is that death will  not sever the relationship. When I see a couple such as William and Kate who appear to love each other so much, I wish for nothing more than for them to be bound to each other beyond death.

6. While I think most people enjoy the pomp and circumstance such as the traditions witnessed with the Royal Wedding, I still end up thinking about how the notion of royalty in our world is exclusionary. There is royalty and there are commoners. It’s hard for me not to ponder on Mormon doctrine that teaches that we are all children of a Heavenly King, our Heavenly Father. His desire is to give all that He has to us. All He asks is that we follow that path that leads back to Him, which is by following His Son, Jesus Christ.

A favorite scripture of mine is in Romans 8:16-17:

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

As I was thinking about these things, I found the following blog post in my Facebook feed. LDS Nana had some of the same thoughts I did: Every Temple Marriage is a Royal Wedding.

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? What thoughts did you have?

6 Comments

  1. I so agree with all of your reflections. In the speech given by Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London at the royal wedding, he said (among many edifying thoughts): “In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.” (Full text at: http://www.monasmusings.com/a-royal-wedding-speech-to-live-by/) In marriage, every man and woman is a potential king and queen, as we are taught in a temple ceremony, and thus marriage is actually a great leveler.

    The royal wedding was significant in that it exemplified belief and faith in MARRIAGE itself. I am grateful for, and was deeply moved by, the royal wedding and will be praying for the success of this marriage. If William and Kate can be another Albert and Victoria, their marriage will inspire others. The essence of a virtuous romance can be felt everywhere and for eons to come; its beauty and solidarity will affect all who come to know it, as well as all who descend from it. The world needs, even craves, mature, splendid marriages–for authentic lovers give the rest of us courage to live through, and up to, our promises.

  2. mormonwomen

    Mona,
    Thanks for the link to the wedding speech. I wish I had looked at the words more closely before posting this. There are some great quotes from the ceremony.

    I also forgot to mention the beautiful music.

  3. mormonwomen

    I also loved your last sentence: “The world needs, even craves, mature, splendid marriages–for authentic lovers give the rest of us courage to live through, and up to, our promises.”

  4. I appreciated that lovely post.. It was fun to watch the clips; but their wedding can never compare with the joy of a Temple sealing. Thanks for your thoughts and links. Hope you are feeling better.
    Blessings to you!
    LeAnn

  5. As a latter-day saint living in central London, I can report that marriage as an institution is generally in decline in this country. Fewer and fewer couples are choosing to marry.

    For that reason, I’m delighted that this couple chose to get married in the first place! “Til death us do part” yes, and it’s not a temple sealing, correct; but can we not at least celebrate and be glad of the fact that they have chosen to do this?! To get married in a temporary, earthly way is surely still better than not at all. They are doing the best they know how.

  6. mormonwomen

    David,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I actually hesitated writing what I did for the very reason that I didn’t want to be misunderstood as minimizing the very real significance of what William and Kate did. We celebrate marriage! I don’t want my sharing of Mormon perspectives on marriage to overshadow that.

    And so I will just say that I agree with you. And I am sure that heaven celebrates when people choose to marry and commit to each other according to the faith and knowledge they have. It was wonderful that 2 billion people witnessed something of this significance.

    Thank you again for your comment and for reinforcing what I obviously did not do a good enough job saying in my post.
    ~Michelle

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