A Blessing Ceremony in the tiny chapel of St. Jean in the valley beneath the medieval hill town of Cordes sur Ciel….
Donald Douglas’* daughter Eliza’s marriage to James in Michigan, is being blessed here–for friends and family this side of the Atlantic.
Eliza has asked Meredith to be the “Celebrant“.
Meedith is nervous–it’s yet another “first” for her and there has been no rehearsal.
We arrive early at the chapel–founded in 1224 near a place of safety from the plagues that hit the unhealthy walled Cité high above it.
There is minimal light for reading, which adds to the anxiety and the hour approaches.
But by the time the guests arrive–all decked out in white (the couple’s request)–by “Le Petit Train” from Cordes…
–more light has been shed inside (candles lit) and on the words (a few run-throughs) and Veronique is spreading calm from the strings of her celtic harp.
The chapel–decked out with white flowers–and Meredith, are ready to welcome the buzzing crowd–about fifty adults and children–to this ancient site.
The bride approaches on her father’s arm and the ceremony begins.
It goes off beautifully, of course–Meredith performing her priestess-like duties perfectly with clear-voiced sincerity.
Poems–chosen by the couple–including Shakespeare’s 116th Sonnet (“Let me not to the marriage of true minds…”) are thoughtfully read.
Donald sings in his broadest Scots brogue, “The Braes O’ Birniebouzle“, so splendidly, we all burst into spontaneous applause.
As everyone files out our aptly named friend, Puck, whispers in my ear: “You know that from now on you’ll be known as the Vicar’s wife!”
*(Captain McNeil in Poldark)