The wedding was between Joe, a young member of St Clement’s, a musician and teacher, and his fiancee Maureen, a pilot in the US Air Force. The ceremony was in St James’s, Milwaukee, and I married them according to the same rite as the one Prince William and Kate had in Westminster Abbey. The big difference was that their wedding was embedded in a Nuptial Mass, so that their first act together after they were united was to receive Communion. (My traditionalist friends will be happy to hear that, although I used the church’s free-standing altar, I never went behind it, but celebrated facing east!)
The next day, however, I concelebrated the Mass with Bishop James Mongomery, formerly Prince-Bishop of Chicago (He and Cardinal Cody and Mayor Daley the Elder ran the city before President Obama was a twinkle in his father’s eye) facing the huge congregation in the Church of the Atonement in Chicago. This was in honour of Bishop Montgomery’s 90th Birthday, and was a wonderful occasion. Many of the concelebrating priests had been ordained by Bishop Montgomery, and the other Bishop was Frank Griswold, his successor in Chicago and then Presiding Bishop.
Now, after all these excitements (which, I forgot to mention, included FOUR formal dinners!) I’m back to the simple little Gospel services of St Clement’s – and bread and cheese.