Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pastor: Learning on the Job

Had there been a secret video camera in the sanctuary this afternoon, the tape would show me coming in, turning on all the lights, and then wandering from back to front, pushing the communion table around, and silently waving my hands and moving my lips, as I planned and practiced.

I am conducting a wedding ceremony for the first time on Saturday afternoon.  I fully expect this to be a doable task, as it does not carry the personal weight of the one we skipped this week-end but, not having been to a wedding in years and having been in almost a literally catatonic state for the two we did try in '08 and '09, I basically had no idea what to do.

I think now that I know where everyone is supposed to walk, sit, and stand; who says what; and what happens with the rings. I'll just hope that neither the flower girl nor the pastor has a meltdown.

On Sunday, I'm doing a pulpit exchange, thanks to the local Methodist pastors' association.  The other minister and I exchanged bulletins today and put the rest of our ducks in order. I did  notice that hers refers to God exclusively and frequently as "He."

It's going to be a real fish-outta-water week-end for me.  But then, none of it is actually about me at all.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


  1. My seminary classmates collated a to-do list for the pastor for the rehearsal and wedding. I can send it to you if you like. It will not be exactly right since you are a different tradition, and even I change it up, but it's a good starting point...oh, and of course the list is now 13 years old. lol...but I have it on my computer.

  2. I officiated a wedding in February. I found it profoundly moving.

    You probably already know this from preaching and being a pastor, but I really, truly did feel something mysterious and almost tangible present with us as we all participated in their marriage.

    Beautiful stuff....

  3. Just imagine how cool it is to marry these folk. Be awed.

  4. You two are absolutely right. Thank you.

  5. Almost four years into this call and have yet to do a wedding...and from a personal standpoint I'm OK with that. I would of done the exact same thing you did...walk through it all...know where each is to stand...all of that.

    When I did my first baptism, I went down on Saturday afternoon and practiced with a stuffed animal bear I have. It's arms/legs act like hinges so they move...and the size was right.