The Wedding at the Church of the Rock: THFWS&TTM’s

The Wedding at the Church of the Rock: THFWS&TTM’s

Darcy was well over six months pregnant the Sunday that she stood beside Mark to exchange vows of marriage. They were surrounded by Charles and Suki, Frederick, Merle and Kali as they stood before Ash at the altar of The Home for Wayward Souls.

In fact, it was on that Sunday that they would all be joined in wedlock, but for the sake of the sensibilities of the rest of the congregation they would be spared some details of the union. Although a significant portion of the congregation was aligned with Polyamory and Group Marriage, it would be up to them to put together the pieces and figure it out for themselves.

There are those that would argue that if you possess the courage of your convictions, you should be willing to stand up for them. And then again, there are those who would maintain that if you already know that you are in hostile territory, there is no need or purpose in making yourself a target for abuse at the hands of the ignorant and intolerant.

Not necessarily within the church itself, but these days, the whole world really did seem to be watching, and the TV ratings generally supported that at least a very large portion of it was.

Ash tried at every opportunity to provide his congregation with the necessary information and guidance to figure out what they needed spiritually and how to get there. Although he had devoted his life to the pursuit of all manner of things spiritual, he believed that he was a source for information and inspiration, guidance and council, but he was not a shepherd, and his congregation was not a flock of sheep.

Ash faced his congregation and the cameras.

“Dearly beloved…we are gathered here today to join this man and woman in Holy Matrimony.”

“My question to you is ‘Why?’ Do they believe that they have been living in Sin until this moment?”

“No, I can tell you with complete certainty that they do not.”

“Do they necessarily have to for the sake of their child? Of course they do not…”

“So why?”

“Because they have chosen to join their lives together. Because they desire to be one in each other’s eyes. They could have chosen a civil union if all they wanted was public recognition.”  

“Most marriages end in divorce; that may sound fatalistic, but it is a true fact, and I believe that the reason that it is true is because as much as people give lip service to the union of marriage, they are too selfish to recognize the commitment it requires of them and spend too much time and effort trying to control each other.”

“It has been said that a man marries a woman hoping that she will never change, and a woman marries a man with the hope that she can change him. Both points of view are fatally flawed.”

“One of the main premises of this church is gratitude, because no matter who you are or where you are, the fact that you are here at all is a miracle and a privilege, just to be alive.”

“People use God to explain the creation. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you believe there is a God out there that can just bake a Universe like a batch of brownies, the real wonderment and awe of our existence can be explained away with a wave of the hand…‘God made it all’ is dismissive and puerile.”

“Why? Well think of it this way…it has been said that with an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters, eventually, they will produce Shakespeare…In the case of the Universe, there has been an infinite amount of time for matter and energy to combine to create life…to go from an inorganic to an organic state, and then to achieve the spark of life…no matter how many times it failed…no matter how many false starts occurred, eventually Life appeared due to subtle and unsubtle changes due to random occurrences that incrementally resulted in Life as we know it here on earth.”

“I recently read that as recently as perhaps five billion years ago, there may have been both water and life on Mars, long before there was life on Earth. Makes you sort of wonder…all that time and all that space, and here we are right here and now.”

“In the history of the Earth alone, Man’s existence on the planet is just a blip on the radar screen. If the history of the Earth was reduced to seven days, Man’s time here so far would be less than one second.”

“We know that the Earth, because of the finite life of our sun, is also on a countdown timer…with at least several million years before it collapses into a super-nova and explodes, but don’t worry…the super-nova that results will probably result in yet another ‘Big Bang’ much like the one that created our galaxy in the first place, so in a couple billion years, there May Be Life again in our solar system, so what’s your hurry?”

“To me, the idea that my existence is the result of an infinite number of coincidences and random chance over an infinite amount of time fills me with a sense of awe and gratitude that far exceeds the simplistic phrase ‘God made me’….”

“The truth is, if there is a God who created us like a batch of fresh-baked cookies, the questions that remain are so beyond anything that we could comprehend that they in effect are meaningless…just as meaningless as why such a God would demand worship and sacrifice from his creations, or what would render him so wrathful as to provoke him to damn them to Hell for Eternity, or why he would be so jealous and insecure as to demand we worship no other Gods…you mean there’s a choice?….”

“But instead, every day when I wake up I think to myself that I must be the luckiest man in the entire world because I know that everyday my beautiful, loving and sexy wife Kali will do everything she can to prove me right, and I do exactly the same for her.”

“God will choose to inspire and influence each of us according to our natures…but if anyone claims to actually hear or see God…they are labeled Schizophrenic…and let’s face it, virtually everyone who does claim to have direct communion with God these days has either just murdered someone because they claim God told them to do it (not unlike Abraham) or else they are trying to extort money from the public to do his bidding.”

“I believe that a just and loving God will possess the understanding, intelligence, and compassion to deal with us without punishment…and with infinite time, comes infinite patience…”

“So for here and now, these children of God are the Rock upon which I shall continue to build this church, this Home for Wayward Souls who don’t believe in Sin or Damnation and refuse to carry guilt for being themselves and wanting to be happy…That don’t fear God or Hell or wrath or jealousy and don’t want to believe that they are miserable sinners in need of forgiveness and salvation.”

“So give me your Tired, your Poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…I’m sure if Jesus was alive today, one of his disciples would have been a drug addict, or a former roadie for The Grateful Dead, and maybe even a groupie or two; give me those who are tired of feeling guilty or shameful or selfish or wicked…I can’t promise to show you the way to God, but I can promise you will find more love, support and acceptance than you ever thought possible in this life.”

“These others here with me today on this stage, in front of this altar are also equally committed to the same kind of love and support of each other. They too, are choosing to renew their vows of love and commitment. They have become the core of my support of all of you. In this ceremony today, we will be committing our vows of love and loyalty to this Church of Reason insofar as they are committed to each other, so are they wed to this church.”

“For Mark and Darcy, this is a beginning; for the rest of us, this is an extension and renewal of what we began some time ago, and in this pursuit we are equally committed to each of us, as well as all of you.”

“This is the rock upon which we shall build this church.”

“Speaking of Rock…ladies and gentlemen, children and primates alike I give you the ArchAngels, my Minions of Music, charged with helping you find escape velocity sufficient to cross the abyss between all things living and inanimate.”

For the last six months the ArchAngels, having also expanded their horizons by way of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil began a song cycle they had written especially for the occasion that was a masterpiece of cooperative inspiration and genius encompassing all forms and genres of musical and sonic interpretation imaginable.

Guest stars and former band members from Ash’s college days as well as numerous orchestral players from several of the local symphonies crowded the stage until it looked like the finale of one of the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions.

It was indeed their Magnum Opus and took over four hours to perform, with breaks for each individual player throughout so as not to burden anyone excessively and yet still provide a continuum of movements and progressions the likes of which may have never been performed in public before. It was planned to last through the entire reception as well.

With that, each of the group of eight joined hand in hand in a circle as Ash placed a beautiful sabre on the ground between Mark and Darcy as they began to jump across it as the circle began to orbit Ash at the center in a clockwise fashion until all had jumped over the sword, including Frederick who held Darcy’s right hand and Suki’s left. With that, Ash joined hands with Kali on his right as Merle held Kali’s right hand while the three of them successively jumped over the sword together, whereupon they began to rotate counter-clockwise as all jumped over the sword again.

This they did four times before they stopped and bowed deeply to each other before turning outward toward the congregation to bow to them as well.

What most the rest of the congregation did not see (having not yet been offered the sacrament that united the eight of the group, plus the band) was that from every rafter, every precipice, the altar, both podiums, the stairs and the chandeliers one or more of the Ancient Ones perched, clapped, and danced, and zapped back and forth in blinding flashes everywhere you looked, if you looked with just the right eyes.

Also, several children, two seeing-eye dogs, their masters, a warlock, two Wiccan practitioners and a homeless man who sometimes wandered in all gave varying indications of their acknowledgement of the Ancient Ones. Most of the rest of the congregation was so mesmerized by the music, the ceremony, and the hypnotic effect of the Sephirot that they did not even notice anything else.

And throughout it all, Stanley Linderman sat silently, almost motionless in the back of the church, expressionless, with his sunglasses still on.

It is doubtful that even if Sebastian Galbraith Lodge had been present, he would have noticed the briefest of moments when Stan the Man in Black pretended to cough so as to disguise his need to wipe a tear from his face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “The Wedding at the Church of the Rock: THFWS&TTM’s”

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