This Sunday evening coming I am preaching at the ordination to the diaconate of a particularly fine set of candidates for admittance to that order of ministry: Jolyon White, James Ullrich, Chris Spark, and Spanky (Joshua) Moore. Recently I took part in a wedding at which I did not preach. Between the two events I am thinking a little about the intent and purpose of sermons at such occasions.
One line seems to be 'last minute advice'! Weddings are prepared for with marriage preparation; ordinations are preceded by training, education and, finally, a retreat. Each can have a sermone which, effectively, is 'last minute advice.'
Another line seems to be 'definition.' What is marriage all about? Why do we ordain people? What happens when we ordain someone? Some such sermons answer such questions. Quite useful this can be too, since weddings and ordinations are not regular, weekly events for the congregations, so some kind of renewal of our minds on these matters can be helpful.
What line will I take this coming weekend? I will let you know ...