I had another of those 'never done that before' moments yesterday when I sang at a wedding. The church choir was down on numbers so one of its regulars, who is also a leading light in the choir I belong to, asked if a handful of us would go along and swell the ranks. So, first time singing at a wedding for someone I didn't know, and first time wearing a proper chorister's gown (rather a fetching blue).
And what a lovely do it was. Before the service started, the vicar did a bit of a warm-up act. It so happened that one of the children was celebrating his birthday, so the vicar got everyone to sing 'Happy Birthday' accompanied by the organist. That broke the ice nicely. Then he rehearsed the congregation with their 'lines'. He announced that after the bride and groom had made their vows and done the 'I do', he would be turning to the assembled family and friends to ask them if they would support the couple in the years ahead, and was expecting a loud and enthusiastic 'We do!' in reply. They were tentative at first, but a couple more attempts got the volume up, and when we reached that part in the service there was a glorious outpouring of love and support. Then later, his address consisted of a couple of jokes offering advice on what not to do in married life, which went down very well.
I'm not a big church-goer, but I enjoy the elements of community spirit it can provide. For instance, I think baptisms should be incorporated into a regular service in front of the whole 'flock' rather than sneaked into a private ceremony with a handful of guests. So while this wedding might not have suited the traditionalists, I thought it was lovely. Congratulations, Dave and Jan. We all wish you well.