Wednesday night I got a call asking whether I would be available to do a wedding this Saturday. "I can't; I'm not ordained yet." "That doesn't matter; they're already married." Apparently, the couple got married two years ago, but didn't have money for a ceremony, so this now was to be the "wedding" for family and friends. But they had somehow not realized they needed to find a minister to do the ceremony for them until the big day was less than a week in the future. Amazing, isn't it?
So I got to do my first "wedding" (technically: renewal of vows ceremony). I was hesitant at first because I felt sure I did not look at all like what they thought a minister should be (too young, too short, female). But it quickly became apparent they were just grateful to have found anyone who was willing and able to do the job. And besides, I also quickly realized I could do it well. Everything ended up going smoothly, and the bride seemed sincere in her effusive thanks to me afterward, which is the most important sign of success. (They even gave me an odd sort of honorarium in the form of a Costco gift card.)
It is such an incredibly wonderful feeling to do a job that one is really trained and gifted and prepared to do. Which is not at all to say that my performance was stellar--actually, I've been thinking about the many things I could have done better--and hope to improve next time. Especially, the homily was not my best work--I thought about posting it here, but at the moment I am too embarrassed. It was the work of just a few hours, though, so I won't be too hard on myself.
Anyway, it's very exciting to think that soon I can make a career out of this whole minister/pastor thing. I really can't wait to get called to a church and start doing what I love.