Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Wedding Ceremony


If a marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride, the Church then it just stands to reason that the wedding should be a picture of the great wedding feast that we will as Christ's bride will enjoy in Heaven.
We wanted our wedding to tell a story, if you will. We wanted our guests to be reminded of the beauty of the covenant that God has made with those whom He loves and calls His own.


As I am waiting for my time to walk down the aisle, I can hear the song playing in the background. While our parents and siblings were being seated we had "Here is Love" playing. I had the privilege of going into the studio with my dear friend, Kendra, and record this beautiful old hymn. Someday I will figure out how to download my own recordings!

Here Is Love
Here is love wide as the ocean
Loving kindness as a flood
When the Prince of Life, our ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heaven’s eternal days

VERSE 2
On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide
Grace and love like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
And Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love
CHORUS
Oh how marvelous, oh how glorious
Is my Savior’s love for me!
Oh how marvelous, oh how glorious
Is my Savior’s love for me!

VERSE 3
Of Your fullness You are pouring
Your great love on me anew
Without measure, full and boundless
Drawing out my heart to You
You alone will be my glory
Nothing in the world I see
You have cleansed and sanctified me
You Yourself have set me free

Waiting for their turn to walk down the aisle.


Phil's parents.


My son and my mom.


Brown Sugar didn't want to walk down the aisle by herself so she walked with her big sister who was my Maid-of-honor.


Foley and Chris walked down carrying the ring boxes in baseball gloves. The bridal party all walked down to "The Secret Life of Daydreams" from the new Pride and Prejudice movie.


The groom smiling as he sees his bride walk down the aisle.


My dad walking me down the aisle. This was the part I was not looking forward to...everyone staring at me. I just kept smiling at my future husband. The Bridal processional was "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" using the Josh Groban arrangement.


Phil accepts my hand from my dad.


After a prayer to start the service we sang, as a congregation, O God Beyond All Praising...

O God beyond all praising we worship You today
And sing the love amazing that songs can not repay
For we can only wonder at every gift You send
At blessings without number and mercies without end
We lift our hearts before You and wait upon Your Word
We honor and adore You our great and mighty Lord.

O Lord, my God, I plead-ed that You might heal and save
Lord, You from death have ransomed
And kept me from the grave
His saints, O praise Jehovah, and praise His holy name
His anger lasts a moment, His grace a whole lifetime
For sorrow, like a pilgrim, may tarry all the night
But, then a shout of joy comes when dawns the morning light.

O hear me now Jehovah be gracious unto me
To You I cry Jehovah O now my helper be
You now have turned my sorrow to dancing full of joy
You loosened all my sackcloth and girded me with joy
To You sing songs my glory and never silent be
O Lord, my God, I thank You through all eternity.

Then hear O gracious Savior accept the love we bring
That we who know Your favor may serve You as our King
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill
We'll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless You still
To marvel at Your beauty and glory in Your ways
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.



While Dr. Charles McIlhenny gave us a charge we allowed the boys to sit down. All of the kiddos were very well behaved.


Our vows...
Groom
I, Philip, take you, Heather, to be my wedded wife. With deepest joy I receive you into my life that together we may be one. As is Christ to His body, the church, so I will be to you a loving and faithful husband. Always will I perform my headship over you even as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires for my life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care. I promise I will live first unto God rather than others or even you. I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus. Ever honoring God's guidance by His spirit through the Word, And so throughout life, no matter what may lie ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful husband.

Bride
I, Heather, take you, Philip, to be my wedded husband. With deepest joy I come into my new life with you. As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord. As is the church in her relationship to Christ, so I will be to you. Philip, I will live first unto our God and then unto you, loving you, obeying you, caring for you and ever seeking to please you. God has prepared me for you and so I will ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may be ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as an obedient and faithful wife.


Heather, I give you this ring as a sign of our covenant in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Phil, I give you this ring as a sign of our covenant in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


"Phil, you may kiss your bride"


I love this picture...Phil was obviously happy to kiss me but even sweeter is the look on our Pastor's face. He and his wife have been such an encouragement through our courtship and engagement.


And, kiss me he did!


Woohoo! We are now officially Mr. and Mrs. Phil Olsson!

Oh how I love looking back at these photos. I enjoyed every moment of this ceremony. We walked back down the aisle to one of my former piano students playing the bagpipes. He played "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee". Seemed rather appropriate!
~Heather

10 comments:

Jeannie said...

Heather & Phil,
How beautiful, how Christ glorifying.
I am so happy for you all.
Love,
Jeannie

CristyLynn said...

What a beautiful ceremony! You had some of my favorite songs, too! I only wish that I had known O God Beyond All Praising before Thomas and I were married so that we could have had that song at our wedding.
I love how your photographers captured the emotions of your special day.
We praise God with you!

Crayl said...

Thank you Heather for sharing this with us. Although I mostly lurk I have been a reader for a long, long time, wept with you and prayed for you. Your testimony is a powerful example of God's love and faithfulness.
Congratulations to you both. May the joy of that day be with you through anything that comes your way.
Blessings!
C

Crayl said...

I forgot to mention how beautiful you all looked and how charming the whole thing was!

SarahF said...

Heather, what beautiful vows. How blessed were your guests to be there to witness them.

E.T.'s Mom said...

Beautiful! I especially love that first photo.

Julie Coney said...

Sitting here with tears in my eyes, desperately trying not to blink and cause them to run down my face.... tears of happiness, because weddings and all that they mean.... are just SOOO COOL!
I only know you through your blog, and I must say it has been fun getting to know you :) .... I do however, know Joan, Nan, Sandy, Phil, and love them all dearly.
I was actually praying for you and Phil this week... I am a wife of more than one marriage as well.... and I was prompted to pray for your family as it molds together. The journey isn't easy, but it is worth it, especially when we focus on our relationship with the Lord first.
I look forward to "eavsreading" more about your lives in the future. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all. ~julie

Colleen Taylor said...

Heather, I discovered your blog through searching for additional verses for the hymn "O God Beyond All Praising." I am marrying my fiance on December 30th and this hymn will be my processional song (piano & violin). I wanted to have the congregation sing it, but my mom thinks that might be awkward, so I was planning on just having a soloist sing it after I arrive at the front. But reading about your ceremony inspires me to reconsider it. The hymn will be unfamiliar to most of our guests, but perhaps the soloist could sing the first verse and then the congregation could join ...

Thank you for your blog. Wow ... what a journey you've been on! Not only does your hymn choice inspire me, your pregnancy after 40 also inspires as I'm 42 and would love to have a couple babies. My fiance has an 11 year old daughter, and we get along extremely well, but she'd love a baby sibling -- preferably a sister. :)

Bless you!

Colleen Taylor said...

Oh my goodness, and I just noticed that you had Joyful Joyful for your recessional! That's the song my violinist suggested! Too funny. I do believe you're a kindred spirit.

And your vision for a wedding ceremony that tells a story is compelling. I'm eager to share your thoughts with my fiance as we finalize details:

"If a marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride, the Church then it just stands to reason that the wedding should be a picture of the great wedding feast that we will as Christ's bride will enjoy in Heaven.

"We wanted our wedding to tell a story, if you will. We wanted our guests to be reminded of the beauty of the covenant that God has made with those whom He loves and calls His own."

Lazy D Ranch said...

Colleen,
Thanks for visiting my blog. Music is a huge part of my life...I am a pianist and soloist myself and so the music we chose at our wedding was very important to me.
A friend of ours (our best man) actually added the other two verses from Psalm 30 (I believe). It is so appropriate to what has happened in my life over the past couple of years.
I hope that your wedding is as beautiful and wonderful as you have planned it to be. Ours was amazing and I just drank it all in. Every detail! I listened to every note and enjoyed every moment. Take time to do this...it goes by so quickly!