Licensed to Wed.
Yesterday we went home for my final dress fitting (and choose a veil as well. I absolutely love the veil and plan on wearing it to work for weeks after my wedding), to get our marriage license, to confirm arrangements with our florist, and to attend our marriage classes.
The fitting was perfect, the license was quick and easy, and the florist was efficient. But what surprised me most was our meeting with the priest. I don't often discuss religion here on my blog because, to be honest, I am not a very religious person. I have my beliefs but I do not have a specific church that I follow. I've seen religion come between couples, refuse to recognize certain relationships, and alienate people who need support the most. Needless to say, my view of organized religion is one that is respectful, yet highly skeptical.
Last night we met with the priest who will marry us nineteen days from today. He was warm and approachable, making me feel welcome in his Catholic church instead of feeling ostracized for being the only non-Catholic in the room. (He was also a big Red Sox fan, so I liked him instantly.) He talked to the group of engaged couples about the importance of communication and respect in a relationship. "Talk to each other. Be honest with one another. There is nothing more important than the strength of your relationship. Be lovers. But also be friends. There are so many different religions, but we're all on the same road."
I've never been married before, and most of my friends are unmarried, but I know that relationships are different now than they were in the past. People spend more time working than they do having fun with one another. There are more infidelities, or more time spent talking to strangers on the internet than people in their real lives, more time focused on things that, in the long run, don't matter nearly as much as love. Relationships today seem far more selfish than those of the past, with couples more focused on "me" than "we."
It made me think a lot about my own relationship. I am thankful that my fiance and I have a healthy romantic relationship, but he is also my best friend and the person I trust most. We share trials and triumphs alike, and he has made caring for my disease a seamless part of "what we just do." The priest talked about communication as the cornerstone of a strong relationship, and I am thankful that I am able to talk freely to my future husband.
"The world is burning out there. You need to hold one another close."
I am looking towards marriage with joy and excitement. I am thankful for the opportunity to feel such hope.