I can thank the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the busiest day on this site. More than four thousand searchers were sent here from the google to research the “royal” Scripture from Romans 12. No such bump today–only 16 visits–for the Song of Songs. At St George’s Chapel, they read a version abbreviated from the Catholic Lectionary choice. BCP, I presume:
My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.
My wife was noting the programming of the song “Stand By Me” as one of the musical items for the wedding. It’s a nice pop song. And like the passage from Song of Songs, focused on the lovers with no explicit mention of God. I don’t have a problem with that. The setting of a church wedding gives a context. A film or juke box, another. Not unlike the actual usage of the name of God. Church and prayer, one context. Personal disappointment, another.
My wife also reported the omission of a verse of a favorite hymn of mine, “Lord of All Hopefulness,” the last:
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.
Does omission speak as much as inclusion? Or were three verses deemed adequate enough to fill the time allotted?
I didn’t view the liturgy. Perhaps that omission speaks of my priorities: that I will get up early for soccer, but not royal weddings. Anybody who did, anything noticed?