Historical setting: 589 C.E. The monastery at Annegray
The father tells me that the promises Ana and I are making with one another can’t be blessed as a marriage because he assumes Ana can’t bear children; and apparently in these times marriage must be about procreation or it isn’t marriage. Of course that is how it is celebrated among the Celtic Pagans with their druid priests and maybe it always is; whether Pagan or Christian, Celtic or Roman, or just a legal contract, it is commonly assumed that marriage is a commitment for the generations.
But then isn’t every human being already a part of generations past and generations to come. We are all the unison of humanity as surely as people are before us and people are after us. It can’t just be about children. We share in God’s spirit of love and when we join our hearts and minds and strength in this flowing river of spiritual life each is complete. We are one in the Spirit. This eternal flow of creative love makes us part of all generations regardless of the tangible spawn of humanity. Birthing children is just one metaphor for life continuing. And a possibility of birthing our own children is just one way to celebrate the gracious gift of all Creation. There are many signs in nature pointing to a truth beyond now toward evermore. And we aren’t asking for eternity, just a sign that evermore is the nature of God.
The father breaks into my thoughts, “Son, by your silence you must have been assuming a marriage could be proclaimed without a promise of children.”
“I was thinking that through, yes, Father.”
“Of course, I understand.”
I can agree with the father that it wouldn’t be appropriate to invite this community of monks to a big feast. But…
And so I answer, “We can respect the solemnity in the simple. In fact I believe we would both welcome a simple blessing. But just because there is an unknown possibility of children couldn’t our vows to one another and to God be opened to a wider ‘maybe’ as are all marriages I would suppose? I mean, Jesus didn’t speak of the wedding ritual, except to offer a sign of abundance at a wedding where there had been a dearth of wine. Abundance comes many ways not just children. So when the wine ran out Jesus simply asked for water and with a blessing it became more than anyone could imagine. It was good.”