Thursday, October 20, 2005

Is it over?

Warning: Personal rumination follows.

My least active avocation, or certainly the least frequently consummated one, is solemnization. I have spent more time careering on roller blades than addressing my dearly beloved for a wedding...and I'm not much of a skater.

Is two my limit? A brace of couples, one straight, one gay, is not insignificant. Yet, this year retreats into early evenings with none clamoring for my services.

solemnization certificate sealMassachusetts alone permits the non-justices-of-the-peace and non-ministers, plain adult citizens, to officiate at a wedding. For reasons yet to be revealed, it restricts such one-day designations of solemnization to one per year. Perhaps that is a sop to the JPs and clergy who earn well from the ceremonies born of hope, lust and affection.

In 2003 and 2004, I threw myself into the events. That is not surprising, as both couples were long-term friends. Blessing the legalization of loved ones is worthy of fuss.

And as a minister friend of mine recently asked, is that legal? Yes, but only in this commonwealth, where marriages were from colonial days into the constitution and beyond civil contracts. I sign the license, they file it with the city, and their marriage is as valid as if a JP, Sean O'Malley or Mitt Romney (also empowered by the commonwealth to marry and not restricted to one per year) had done the deed.

That surely is no odder than my own marriage imprimatur. By the power invested in him as a notary public by the state of South Carolina, Arthur Horne (also chairman of the Beaufort County Council, president of the Citizen's Loan, and friend to us both) pronounced us married.

Perhaps by the Christmas season, I shall have resigned myself to knowing that my solemnization streak ended at two.

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