Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wedding in Regina

It’s been several days since I returned from attending the wedding in Regina. It was a good trip; quite long and I am still tired. But, on the emotional level it was worth it. My cousin Darlene, whose daughter Shantel got married, and I are almost like sister and brother. I lived with her family when I was 5 or 6, and regarded her then as a big sister. It’s a relationship that we continue to foster since reconnecting several years ago. Her parents, due to their age and declining health, were not able to attend. Her younger siblings chose not to attend, leaving outside her immediate family, her younger sister-in-law and older sister as the only family at the wedding. So she said that my coming all the way was really meaningful. That’s enough for me.

In addition to the grooms’ family and friends, there were friends and some distant relations from around the Smiley district at the wedding, I met some of them and had no difficulty fitting in. Actually, more people at the wedding knew me than I knew them. So it was fun to receive some attention.

One couple and I stayed at the same hotel. I met them over breakfast on Saturday morning. As they sat down next to me I felt prompted to converse with them. I cannot say it was a Holy Spirit moment. But they just seemed to be people whom it was reasonable to expect to be attending a wedding. Indeed, that what I asked, “Here for a wedding?” To which they positively answered, and I probed if it was the same wedding. Their faces lit up and the mention of Shantel and Lyle’s name. Carl, Cathy and I hit it off pretty well. We ended up sharing a table at the reception later that evening. As Carl and I talked I learned that we probably shared the same school bus on those trips to Marengo, Sask. He didn’t remember me, but we were able to share a lot in common.

The wedding ceremony was completed in a Ukrainian Orthodox church. It was steeped in ritual that dates back almost 1,500 years. The priest’s approach included a mixture of informal and formality that made being involved a pleasure. The sacrament of marriage in this faith requires the prayers and rites to be repeated three times for the benefit of each person of the Holy Trinity. It makes for a rich, but a tad long ceremony.

The reception was held three hours later. Each guest was received with bright, festive music and introduced to each member of the wedding party through the reception line. The speeches before the meal were kept short. Each person was given generous helping of Ukrainian food and prime rib. The refreshments came from an open bar (a rarity these days).

I didn’t dance, except once with Darlene; but watching it was quite fun. The music was great. I think I want to get some dance lessons because it looks like a fun environment to be involved.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's neat what Darlene said about you coming all that way and how it was meaningful. It shows that you value your relationship with her, and she values you. grr