This post reflects upon my experiences as a witness this past weekend at the wedding of my daughter Anna to her life partner, and now wife, Bridget. The officiant at the ceremony was my daughter, Kara, Anna’s elder sister. Also present and participating was my daughter Eva, as well as Anna’s father, John Volkmann and his wife Kathy, Bridget’s father Jack O’Shea and her brother Brian. A few representative members of quite large extended families on both sides were present as well as a circle of friends and co-workers that have gathered round Anna and Bridget throughout their lives. All told, perhaps 50 souls bore witness and celebrated this beautiful marriage of these two mature, wise, joyous, accomplished, talented and dedicated women who model all that love is asking of us: A willingness to be open and touched by the love of another; a willingness to offer the kind of love that can transform everyone and everything it touches, beginning with the lover; a willingness to invite and welcome the support of a community in this most powerful of commitments. Volo Restaurant on Roscoe Ave. in Chicago was the perfect setting for this unique and moving ceremony.
Anna and Bridget devised, with Shay’s willing and open-hearted participation, a variation on the Celtic HandFasting ritual. In their ceremony, they dedicated themselves to forming a family of love, dedication, patience, forgiveness, and joyous celebration of each other’s unique gifts, held fast in the warm embrace of family. And so the binding of all six hands was made after the promises made by each member.
In these two photos, the WayMaking Cairn continues its role as my avatar, spiritual symbol of witness and giver of mute testimony. I offer the words of honor. The Cairn offers visual remembrance.
The couple is now on their honeymoon. After their return and the gifts are opened, there will be another post on the extended role of art in all aspects of this beautiful ceremony.