There are quite a few lessons to learn from the widely viewed wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Some are obvious, such as do everything well and ensure that is so by appropriate rehearsing. Some are less obvious, such as think deeply, widely and slowly about what music will go well with the occasion (and what will not). Whoever put the music together for this occasion deserves an Oscar.
One lesson to think about is the number of voices it is appropriate to have in the leadership of a service. On this occasion we can all understand that the Dean of the Abbey and the Archbishop of Canterbury needed to have a role. But what with each contributing to the leadership and yet another bishop preaching and another cleric leading the prayers, I am reminded that too many voices can fragment the overall sense of unity and continuity in a service.
But the most important lesson to learn, not just for any wedding, but for any service of worship, is that out of the ordinary staples of worship: liturgy, prayers, reading, sermon, music, ritual an extraordinary, riveting, and (dare I say it in a Christian context) magical event can be created.
17 hours ago