This coming May, I am really looking forward to going to England. May is a lovely time in England, but what I’m most looking forward to is marrying my niece Katherine. That is, I will be officiating at her marriage! It will be particularly moving because I also married Katherine’s mother, my sister Elizabeth, just after I was ordained.
As a priest, it is a great joy to conduct weddings, and there is the unique opportunity beforehand to spend time getting to know the couple, and helping them understand the nature and meaning of the commitment they are about to make. I remember that one of the first choices the couples had to make was whether they wanted the modern or traditional wedding service. When it came to making the vows, the modern version had each couple say to each other, “and this is my solemn vow.” The traditional words though, had this very strange sentence, “and thereto I give thee my troth.” So what’s a troth? I don’t think any of the couples I married knew – but it is in fact a wonderful word, rich in meaning, and I don’t know any other word in English that is a synonym. It’s “I give you my love and my loyalty.” So it’s a special kind of love. Troth is the love between two people who have made some kind of commitment to each other – who are tied by a mutual commitment, or we could say covenant – in this case, between two people who have publically promised to love, comfort, honor and keep the other, in sickness and health, forsaking all others, as long as they both shall live.
Jeremiah 31: 31 – 34
Psalm 51: 1 – 13
Psalm 119: 9 -16
Hebrews 5: 5 – 10
John 12: 20 – 33
Mr. Bredin was one of the best teachers I had in high school. He taught history to all grades from grade 8 to grade 12. His specialty was Canadian history, especially the development of responsible government in Canada and he had a way of making, what could be a rather dry and boring subject for teenagers, come alive with all the drama, intrigue and backroom machinations that are a part of all history especially political history.