Saturday, July 31, 2010


Two weeks after "ordnungs" church we once again packed our lunches and headed to church for another all day service. Once again they touched on all the sermon points that they had the previous service but after several hours they started with the birth and life of Jesus followed by his crucifixion and resurrection. At three o'clock it was finally time to to partake of communion.

The bishop read a part of scripture and asked everyone to stand while he blessed the bread. All the children sat down as the members remained standing and bishop walked from person to person breaking off a small piece of bread. As the member received he/she would bend their knees slightly and sit down while placing the piece of bread in their mouth.

I used to enjoy watching everyone and felt a little nervous that I would now have to be a part of this important event. All the men got their piece of bread first then the boys and the women. I wished we girls wouldn't have had to stand there the longest with everyone watching.

Once they were finished with the bread the bishop returned to his seat and asked everyone to stand while he prayed a prayer of thanks for the bread we had received and blessed the grape juice. One of the ministers poured a big thick mug full of juice and the bishop took the first swallow and handed it to one of the ministers who took a swallow and then went from person to person giving everyone a swallow. The other minister would come and refill  the mug when ever it became empty.

By the time it was my turn the mug was all sticky and gross with multiple streams of juice that trickled down the side of the mug from all the people who had already had their swallow. I quickly took my swallow and handed the mug back as I sat down.

Once they were done with the grape juice everyone stood again while the minister read a little prayer of thanks. Then it was time to sing the last song and wash each others feet. The ministers brought in two pails for the men and boys while their wives brought in two more pails for the women and girls. Once the feet washing was done it was time to give Alms. One of the ministers would stand behind a door and everyone took turns going out and handing him a little bit of money.

My first communion was over and the bishop remarked that all those that had been recently baptized were now considered to truly be a full member now. I still didn't feel any different but I had enough other things to fill my thoughts that I pushed everything concerning church to the back of my mind.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Ordnungs" Church

Two weeks after baptismal services the second annual special preparatory services were held. I had wondered what goes on at those services as far back as I could remember, but now that I was to be a part of it I viewed it with mixed emotions.

Several days earlier Mom had given me a short piece to memorize saying that I agreed with and supported all the doctrines of faith they shared with us and also all the rules that they (The bishop and ministers) decided to make and enforce. That I confessed I was weak and unworthy to partake of communion and if anyone sees something in my life that they are concerned about that they would tell me and I would, with God's help improve my walk in life.

I asked Mom what I should do if I don't agree with all the new rules they want to make and she informed me that a woman can never do anything except agree with what ever the ministers say. Men had the option to disagree but the only thing a woman could do in order not to lie and say they agree is to say that they will be satisfied however the church decides.

I found this to be a little disturbing and wondered why we were supposed to vote on issues if the bishop already controlled how all the women voted.

We packed our lunch to take along and eat at noon since church would last all day.

Once church services were over all the members were asked to remain seated while everyone else was dismissed. Once all the children were outside and the doors to the main church room was closed the bishop rose and started talking. He again shared all the important points from the garden of Eden to when the Israelites finally entered Canaan. It took a long time for him to get through everything and I wondered why it was necessary especially since we had heard all of it earlier that day.

Once he got done with that he said it is now time to work with the church since they have quite a few things that need to be taken care of. To start off his list of things there were some changes made to what would no longer be accepted among farmers and then he said they realize that there are several people who don't have a farm and they want to strongly encourage everyone to not try to have something else as a main source of income. My stomach knotted up a little as I wondered what we were supposed to do with our woodworking shop. I glanced over at Daddy but his face was expressionless as he sat their listening. There were a lot of other things that they had decided would no longer be permitted and then it was time to address the things that concerned the womenfolk. There was something wrong with a few of the coverings that they didn't fit properly, they noticed that there were a few apron belts that were more than an inch wide, and they decided to no longer allow shoes with moc toes. I quickly tucked my feet under the bench where no one could see I was wearing those shoes, and had for every Sunday since I had been old enough to wear slippers.

By the time he got to the end of his long row of don't I felt hopelessly frustrated and irritated and I wondered what on earth I had gotten myself into when I had made all those baptismal vows a few weeks earlier. The bishop continued and said that they expect all these things to be taken care of before communion in two weeks.

It was finally time to vote on the changes and the two ministers got up while the bishop sat down. The one minister went to the men's side of the church while the other one went to the women's side where he bent down so they could whisper their little memorized piece into his ear. It took quite a long time as they made their way to each person and everything in the church house was quiet except for the sound of low whispers and the ministers moving quietly along the rows of people.

As I waited for my turn I tried to decide which was worse. Leaving part of the piece out about how I agreed with everything or lying and saying I agreed. I decided I would not lie and by the time he got to me I hurried and whispered my piece omitting the part where I agreed with all the changes.

On the way home I asked Daddy what we were going to do since we could no longer have a woodworking shop. I was relieved to hear that we would continue woodworking and that even Jesus had been a carpenters son.

I was glad ordnungs church was over and already dreaded the one that would come the next spring.

Monday, July 26, 2010

When It Rains....

..... it pours. And I'm not speaking literally.

We have had an exceptionally busy week with things basically piling on top of each other. I have a hard time trying to decide which things are important and which can wait a little while.

I finally managed to wrap up the most pressing things and just came back from a little walk to the barn with my daughters where we discovered there are numerous schools of fish travelling down the creek. We had to stand and watch them for a while until I noticed a big patch of jewel weed growing on the banks. The plants were loaded with pods and remembering how much fun I used to have with them as a child I had to take a few minutes to show the children how when you lightly pinch the end the whole pod explodes into delightful little curls.

After we popped all the pods we could find I came back to the house feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle everything life has been throwing at us.

I hope you can be patient with me as my time online will be very limited for a while. I can't wait for things to slow down a little and I can visit your blogs again.

Friday, July 23, 2010


We have quite an assortment of sounds surrounding us. This morning when I focused on individual sounds I was amazed how many different things I listen to at the same time. No wonder I feel tired.

  1. This sheep is lonely and spends the majority of it's time bleating for it's departed friend. I feel very sorry for it that it still has to wear it's thick wool coat even during this extra warm summer.
  2. Living right next to a busy road lends lots of sounds, cars and pickups aren't too bad but the semi's with their noisy engine brakes, and all the motorcycles make a lot of noise.
  3. The sound of the wind in the majestic pine trees behind the house.
  4. The birds enjoy the trees and their sweet songs fill the air constantly.
  5. A very happy elderly neighbor whistles all.... day.... long. But only one note. And rests only long enough to take a breath before whistling again. I'm getting used to it now but there were days that I had to close the windows because I couldn't take it any longer.
  6. Mama beef cows and their calves calling to each other.
  7. Several mourning doves calling for rain.
  8. A family of very noisy Canada geese.
  9. The chatter and laughter of three happy children.
  10. The hum of the refrigerator and the washer and dryer.
  11. A lawn mower. We live in a very mow happy neighborhood and we hear someone's lawnmower everyday.
  12. Then of-course there are the occasional unusual sounds. Like that of a woman giving a horrified gasp when she is on her front porch right beside a busy highway trying to hang something on a hook that requires her to use a chair to stand on. And in her efforts she happens to step on her skirt.    I would like to apologize to the poor unsuspecting motorists who were passing at that unfortunate moment and assure you I will do everything in my power to keep that from happening again. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ready for Baptism ~ Part Two

Sunday morning dawned and we prepared to go to church. Before we left Mom and Daddy told me how glad they were to be celebrating this great occasion in my life when I would start becoming part of the family of God. And how fresh, clean, and forgiven I would feel right after being baptized. I would not be considered a full part of the church family until I partook of communion several weeks later.

I really looked forward to experience that, not that I considered myself to be a sinner. I knew I wasn't perfect, but considered myself to be a good person.

After everyone was seated in the church house and the singing started we joined the ministers in their little conference room for the last time where they talked to us about the sacred importance of the vows we would be making later that day.

When we were dismissed we went back into the church house but this time instead of sitting at our usual places we sat on the front bench that had been reserved for us. Church continued much the same as any other service and then it was time to be baptized. The bishop addressed us and once said if we were still willing to forsake all the world has to offer and our own desires and come to God and the church we can kneel down.

As we knelt he asked if we believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. We took turns answering "Yes, I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God.  He then asked if we can promise to stay with the church until we die. Again we answered "yes."  The next question was if we promised to help keep the church the way it is supposed to be by helping vote, work, and discipline. Again we each answered with a yes. 

He then asked the rest of the church to stand while he read a long prayer from the little black prayer book. My legs were beginning to fall asleep from kneeling so long and my knees were creaking. Finally he got to the end of his prayer and everyone sat down. The bishop's wife came and removed my covering while the bishop cupped his hands above my head and one of the ministers brought a cup of water and poured three small trickles of water into his hand as the bishop said I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and smoothed his hands over my head. I waited expectantly for this great feeling of cleansing that Mom and Daddy and the preachers had talked about but other than my slightly damp hair I felt exactly as I had before.

I felt disappointed and wondered what was wrong with me that I didn't feel anything different as the bishops wife replaced my covering, gave me a holy kiss and presented me to the rest of the church as a new member. As I sat down the bishop said that he always has to think. What nicer time to die than right now when all your sins are forgiven."  I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat knowing that I didn't feel a bit more ready to die than I ever had.

After church was over all my uncles and aunts gathered for dinner in honor of the important milestone in my life. Most of them gave words of encouragement about the important journey I embarked on as a child of God. A few added that it was very comforting to know that even if I happen to do something I shouldn't after I'm baptized that communion is a sort of renewing. I was so relieved to hear that and hoped that sometime I would start feeling as if I truly was a child of God because though I knew I was considered to be one now I still didn't feel different.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ready for Baptism ~ Part One

Every church Sunday that summer Simon, Nancy, and I joined the ministers in their little conference room while the rest of the congregation was singing. They would explain to us the eighteen doctrines of our faith.I tried hard to listen because I really did want to be a good person, but as they droned on and on in their boring fashion I always gave up and let my mind wander to things much more interesting than their boring  German recitation.

The third Sunday they told us they would be having a special meeting with all the members after church to tell them to watch us carefully to make sure we lived a life worthy of being baptized by fall. I wasn't thrilled about that and the rest of the summer was spent trying extra hard to make sure I didn't do or say anything that might be held against me when ever they voted whether or not to baptize me.

The Sunday before baptismal services they again had a special members meeting where they asked everyone individually whether or not they had noticed anything in our conduct that summer that would warrant being excluded from becoming a member of the church. There were a few small complaints, someone had seen one of us with a piece of gum on a Sunday evening before the singing. The bishop decided it wasn't important enough to put off baptismal services if the parents would talk to the guilty one and let him know gum was forbidden on Sundays.

On Saturday afternoon before Sunday services we had to meet with the ministers again. This time Daddy went along and we sat in the church house where the bishop got the Martyrs Mirror and started reading the first article of faith. Once he got done with it he tried to explain it a little more plainly and then passed the book to the minister sitting next to him. And so it continued all afternoon and into the evening until they had read all eighteen articles of faith. By the time they were done I was more bored than I had ever been in my life. And so very tired of sitting unmoving on the bench in front of them.  Just as we were ready to be dismissed they asked Simon if he can promise to be willing to be a preacher if the time should ever come that the church would vote for him. He answered with a yes and I was so happy that I was a girl so that I wouldn't have to make a promise like that.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dog Day Blahs

It's official. We are experiencing the dog days of summer when the heat and humidity make you seek out the coolest places. Unfortunately my kitchen does not qualify and laboring over a hot stove to cook a meal that we really don't appreciate because we're all craving something light and refreshing.

My mother-in-law used to make a cold soup for summer evenings. Taking a loaf or two of day old bread, cubing it and pouring cold milk over it. She would then add several cups of what ever fruit was in season. Set it on the table and expected everyone to either eat it or go hungry.

As a young bride it was one of the most disturbing meals I had ever been served.

My husband still likes it but we don't want to have to buy a cart load of milk every time we go grocery shopping and I still wouldn't want to eat it.

I am trying to find some easy summery recipes that would relieve my time in the kitchen. If you have any summer time favorites let me know. .......  As long as it's not a cold soup.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Additions

Daddy's woodworking business was growing too large for the confines of the basement. Plans were made to build two 75' long buildings, one for woodworking and the other for a large show room to display the many different styles of furniture available. The shop would still be connected to house.

One of the first things that had to be done was cut down most of the pine trees that surrounded the house to make room for the building project. We all felt sad as one tree after the other crashed to the ground and only seven out of the original sixty pines remained standing. Daddy assured us once the new buildings were finished we would plant more trees to replace the ones that had been cut.

I looked forward to having a living room and sewing room in the house instead of having everything crammed into the kitchen to make room for a showroom in the other two rooms. Especially since LV had asked to come calling. Mom and Daddy had given their blessing but we would have to wait until after my seventeenth birthday.

This time instead of having frolics to build the addition Daddy hired a construction crew and every evening after supper he would get John and David to help him work on it. It took all summer and most of the fall before the building was done. We were all hoping to get everything done by August since there was another baby on the way. But the construction crew worked extremely slow and babies don't wait.

This time I was sure I would finally be getting a sister, but once again I welcomed another little brother. He was just as ugly as all my other brothers had been, but this time I didn't fret about it since I remembered how in several days they would start looking a lot better. I said something to that effect to Mom and she sounded horrified that I would even think her beautiful baby was less than beautiful and assured me once I have my own children I will think they are beautiful even if they don't appear that way to anyone else.

It was nice to not have to worry about getting hired help while Mom rested for six weeks. I was quite capable to go ahead and care for the family and the house on my own.

Around Thanksgiving we were finally done with the building and were able to move everything into the new showroom. The kitchen looked strangely empty when we moved the living room furniture out. As we were ready to take the shelves out of what used to be our store Daddy suggested he build a nice front on them and add doors and drawers.

Mom was thrilled at the idea and before long we had a beautiful sewing room where many happy winter days would be spent sewing and visiting.

Baby Raymond grew and was a great source of joy for all of us, an addition we are still enjoying. Unlike the additions that were built to the house which was sold nine years later.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday Hiking

The Reimans Country magazine used to have a section called This is God's Country and then shared photos from a different scenic area every month. I had to think of it yesterday afternoon when we went hiking on some of the local trails.
We enjoyed climbing the observation tower on Mount Davis. It was very windy on top and heights have a way of making me dizzy but the breathtaking view was worth it. It wasn't quite as hazy as it usually is and we could see mountains in several different counties, including West Virginia.

After we left the tower area we went a short distance to the Baughman Rocks. This rock field has giant rocks approximately 30 feet high with crevices just wide enough to fall to your death. I didn't venture out very far on the field since heights have a way of getting me discombobulated.

On the way out we noticed a sign sharing a tidbit of history of this particular spot. Not exactly sweet but interesting nonetheless.

I absolutely love the forests in this area. To us they look like forests are supposed to. The woodland floor is covered with ferns and wildflowers which makes spending time in the woods most pleasant. Especially since there aren't many insects at all.
Going a little farther we had an excellent view of High Point lake.

To finish off our enjoyable afternoon we drove to the Ohiopyle in hopes we could watch some white water rafting. The riverbank and park was clogged with people so we didn't stay very long. The next group of white water rafters were suiting up and getting ready to go but we didn't stay to watch. We will definitely be going back so I'm sure there will be other opportunities.

I love calling the Appalachians / Alleghenies my home.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

These Are the Moments

Today was one of those days when I hardly got anything done that I had planned to when I got up this morning, but I have a sense that it wasn't wasted at all.

After the breakfast dishes had been washed and the morning work done Rosebud dug out a jumping rope and wanted to learn how to use it. I went out behind the house on a cement slab safely hidden from sight of any passing cars or neighbors and proceeded to demonstrate how fun jumping rope can be. We spent half of the forenoon taking turns. I finally got tired and hot and had to go indoors and cool off under the fan.

Rosebud went on practising and has greatly improved. She, unlike her mother, doesn't have any qualms of jumping in front of the house.

Once the mailman went I found the next disk in the series of Andy Griffith movies we have been enjoying. I popped it into the player and grabbed some hand sewing and we sat down to enjoy it. Once we were done with that I decided to tackle the pile of mending. Sunbeam remembered a dress that Rosebud used to wear and after making some alterations she had to try it out. To her the only proper way to try a dress out is to spin in circles.
Before we knew it the whole day had passed, and I had accomplished zero things on my list to do, but for some reason I really don't mind.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

LV and Ridge

Ridge was a little older than LV and the two of them were good friends. Though they couldn't communicate with words there seemed to be an uncanny level of communication between them.

Ridge had been a race horse before he went to LV's home and he still loved to run. All he had to do was hear another horse and his racing spirit came alive again. It wasn't uncommon to see the two of them enjoying the wind in their face as they sped to where ever they needed to go.

But the instant I stepped on LV's buggy Ridge knew he could walk where ever we were going and that there was no use trying to trot as long as I was in the buggy.

We used to try to make our rides last as long as possible and Ridge seemed happy to oblige. He could run all he wanted to during the week, but on Sunday evening he was honored to provide long rides to his young master who was only beginning his courting years.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

Here are a few things that made me smile this past week.
It's amazing how a cake hand delivered by very good friends can cheer up an entire week!

I walked into the living room to find Sunbeam taking a nap in what I would consider a very uncomfortable position. She stayed that way for several hours and woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go help her Daddy feed the calves.

Little leaf people created by Rosebud. I wish I would have thought to make these cuties when I was a little girl.

A handful of flowers from our yard. Presented to me by the person most dear in my life.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Wedding ~ Part Three

As evening approached buggies started streaming into the driveway, the youth had spent their day with families that had not been invited to the reception and were now coming for supper and singing. As the buggies stopped at the house and the girls hopped off, their arms laden with gifts that needed to be carried upstairs and piled on the bed that was already filled with gifts.

I was happy to see my best friends Nancy and Esther arrive and went to visit with them until LV came back and it would be time to have the youth pair up to go sing. It was the first wedding for both of them to attend and they were nervous about have to be paired up with someone and were hoping desperately it would be someone that wouldn't be too awkward. As we were talking I noticed my friend Edith* was strangely quiet and seemed almost upset about something. It wasn't very uncommon to see her miffed at someone so I didn't pay too much attention to her and went on enjoying my other friends.

Before long LV came and it was time to go outside and watch as the boys and girls paired off. The list of girls names that Vernon and Fannie had worked on that afternoon had been used at a first come first choice therefore the reason the buggies had all seemed to stream into the driveway at the earliest permissible time.

The two boys that traditionally took care of the transportation for the bridal party would call a girls name and she walked over to him where he told her which of the boys asked to be her escort for the evening. It was her one opportunity to decline but no one did in fear they would be one of the "leftovers"

After everyone had been paired up there were five more girls than boys. I felt very sorry for them as they stood there dejectedly. One of Fannie's married brothers came outside to tell everyone in what order to go inside. The bridal party of course went first followed by cousins and close friends then the rest of the youth. Bringing up the tail end were the five girls that didn't have an escort.

After everyone was seated someone announced a song and the next two hours were spent singing. Finally Vernon announced the last song and it was time to eat. After we were done eating LV told me if I would wait until the rest of the youth went home,  he would walk home with me. I was happy to consent. It had been a great day. My feet felt as if they weren't touching the ground as I went upstairs with the rest of the girls to get my bonnet.

It didn't take me long to come crashing back down to earth. As I stepped into the hallway there was a firm tug on my sleeve and I found myself facing Edith* "Come with me," she hissed through clenched teeth. Feeling flustered I followed her into a room where she closed the door. I was surprised to see three of her sisters waiting for me. They said some nasty things and then stepped outside while Edith let me know exactly what was on her mind. LV was going to be her husband. They promised each other they would marry when they were in the first grade and that I was a terrible person to come between them. I had no business whatsoever to have been escorted by LV or to have been Fannie's bridesmaid especially since she was her cousin and I wasn't even distantly related.

I stood there in stunned silence as her accusations poured over me. Finally she stormed out of the room and I went to get my bonnet. I wasn't sure if I should wait for LV to walk home with me or just try to slip away unnoticed. When I got downstairs LV's grandmother came to talk to me wondering who my parents were and a lot of other questions. She seemed genuinely friendly and by the time I was done talking with her Edith had already gone home and LV was waiting to walk home with me.

On the way he wondered what was troubling me and I told him that I never meant to come between him and Edith and that he really doesn't have to see me home.

I was glad to hear him laugh as he assured me that he had not the slightest intentions on ever having Edith for his girlfriend. when he was done laughing, his voice changed as he reached for my hand. "I have really been enjoying our rides to the singing together and once your parents say you are old enough I would really like to come calling if you would let me."

I didn't even have to think twice and told him I would be happy to have him come calling. I would have to talk to my parents but I was sure they wouldn't mind. When we got home we stopped under the pine trees in front of the house and said goodnight. I went into the house, my heart singing happily. LV wanted to come calling. I couldn't wait to tell Mom and Daddy about it.  I wasn't sure what Edith would do when she found out but determined to not let her put a cloud over my happiness.

*Name changed to protect identity.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Wedding ~ Part Two

As the last notes of the song faded away we watched for Vernon's signal and stood up in unison and walked to the coat room to get our bonnets, and hats. As we stood in line to get them LV kept holding my hand and I was secretly happy that he didn't let go the minute we got into the coat room.

Since Fannie's home was so close to the church house we all just walked to the reception and went upstairs to where her bed was piled with gifts. She started opening them until her Dad came and said the meal was ready and it was time to go downstairs.

It seemed like a happy daze that I was getting to sit at the most important spot, the prettiest dishes were used for the bridal party, and the best food. As we settled into our chairs LV started visiting pleasantly as we watched the rest of the wedding guests being seated at the tables.

Once everyone had been seated the Bishop announced it was time to pray. After a silent prayer the table waiters started bringing bowls of steaming food to the tables. It was nice to not have to wait as we enjoyed special service in our corner.

Once the meal was over the married folks started singing. I thought they would never quit and we had to stay seated at the table until they were done. Finally once it was time for the farmers to go home and do their chores they quit and we were able to go. LV told me he had to hurry home and milk the cows. He would try to be back as soon as he could. I stood at the window and watched him walk across the yard and then break into a run as soon as he thought he was out of sight of the house.

I felt strangely alone when he left and wasn't sure what to do with myself, especially since the youth were never invited for the noon meal.  Vernon and Fannie were busy writing all the girls names on a piece of paper for the evening meal when all the boys and girls would pair up and sit together to sing for two hours and then have supper.

I looked forward to seeing who got to sit with whom and was glad that I didn't have to worry about having to spend several hours with someone I didn't even know.  I found a chair and sat down to wait until LV came back from doing their chores.

~Come back for part three tomorrow.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Wedding ~ Part One

As my best friend Fannie's wedding day approached I was filled with nervous anticipation. I found myself looking forward to being a bridesmaid and escorted by LV ever since we had that pleasant buggy ride.

When the morning of the wedding came John hitched our horse, Fern to the buggy and took me to the church house where the rest of the bridal party was meeting several hours before services began. As I walked into the coat room I felt a little overwhelmed that everyone was already there and waiting on me to start rehearsing.

After practicing how to hold hands, and walk with careful even steps and making sure we could all see Vernon's signal when to stand up or sit down we were all confident we knew what to do, and after we along with the  six table waiters and the two boys that took care of the transportation for the bridal party gathered back inside the coatroom and shut the doors.  There was now nothing left to do except wait for everyone to arrive and church to start.

It was fun watching the buggies arrive and knowing that everyone else was wondering who the bride and groom had chosen to have part in their special day. After what seemed like a long time the ministers started to make their way to the church house and a little bit later the first song was announced. Fannie quickly went to the adjoining coat room and closed the door that opened into the main church house, and we all went over while Vernon and Fannie stayed to have a premarital session with the ministers.

After what seemed like a long time they came back, the expression on their faces made me wonder what all the session had entailed. There wasn't a lot of time to spend wondering as the third song was announced and as they started to sing it we stood ready to enter the church house once they started singing the third line.

The short distance between the door to the bench that had been reserved for us right in front of the ministers seemed long but everything went just like we had rehearsed. As we sat down it seemed funny to not help sing as the rest of the church's voices rose and fell in the hauntingly beautiful wedding melody.

The rest of the service was much like any other church service and promptly at noon the Bishop announced that if they are still both willing to get married they can rise and come stand before him. After asking them a series of questions to which they answered with  a yes he asked the rest of the church to stand while he prayed a special wedding prayer from the little black prayer book. After the prayer everyone sat down while the bishop joined their hands and said pronounced a blessing over them.

As they returned to their seat the rest of the ministers added their thoughts on the sermon. I was glad once the last song was announced and it was finally time to go to the reception.