Prayers at a Wedding

At the wedding of his son Klass Hart to Anita Dubey, the groom’s dad Hendrik Hart delivered a prayer to bless the couple and another to thank the bride’s parents at the wedding reception. The sentiments so eloquently expressed in these prayers exemplify the unity of human spirit that transcends all artificial barriers in the minds of humankind.

Blessings at the wedding
God of heaven and earth, we pray to you as God of all people: Dutch and Indian, Canadian and American; Hindu and Christian, Jew and Muslim; rich and poor, healthy and sick; women and men, children and the elderly. Our hope in life is that you are a God who cares. Today we seek your blessing for a new beginning, a marriage in which two people from different cultures are united in love. The cultures are of light skin and dark, of saris and jeans, of maple syrup and curries; but the people share one love and one God because you are Love. You give us the hope of finding happiness in love blessed by you.

Anita and Klaas caress one another as all people of all ages have done throughout all generations and yearn for each other’s affection as we all do. In all ages you have taught us to bless one another in your name, for you bless all who seek your favor.

As parents we now ask you to grant us the favor to bless our children, to pass your grace from one generation to the next. We have already experienced your blessing as you have sustained our families. We now pass on to them the path of blessing all generations seek, the path that leads to you as the giver of long, healthy, and happy lives, lives filled with the love and wisdom that lead to life, lives strong with the trust and faithfulness that will keep them united, lives graced by courage to face trial and grief, lives whose riches will be sources of compassion with the poor, lives whose hearts of love will go out to those who suffer, lives whose spirits of justice will plead for the oppressed.

We know these blessings are fragile and that Anita and Klaas will need your support. We also know you can be hard to find because your mystery is great. But you have taught us that the body in which you dwell is the fellowship of human community. Allow us then to bless them with our own availability when they seek you and with their readiness to be present for others to find you in them.

Grant us the favor to bless this couple with the knowledge of the sure sign of your blessing, the sign that is not always wealth or success but is often found in the adversity, illness, and death in which we know our own frailty. We bless you, Klaas and Anita, in the name of God with the knowledge of blessing. You will be blessed with that knowledge in sharing the humanity of all people, seeking the fruit of your lives in enriching your own humanity and that of others through caring for one another and all God’s creatures, building up their fragile goodness as creatures of one God.
Grant all of us the favor, God of all nations, that through us all, you will bless us all as we love one another. And allow all of us to know that this love we all seek is not of our own making, but is your gift to us as we make ourselves vulnerable to one another in your name. Amen.

Thanks at the wedding reception
I also want to thank the Dubey family for generously giving us the opportunity to participate in the wedding ceremony with a prayer, making two different ways of walking with God come together under one canopy. This helped us realize that God moves with Klaas wherever he goes, as well as that God is not a member of the Christian church, but is the Love that embraces all creatures. Our own scriptures know God as loving a Persian emperor named Cyrus, as caring for a city called Nineveh outside of Israel, as taking Jesus to be a priest like Melchizedek who did not worship as Abraham did, and as showing in Jesus that in human form God is with us all. So this coming together today of two religious traditions seems to us a symbol of a future humanity for which God gives all of us hope.

Dr. Hendrik Hart