Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dressed For Christmas

Marc and I were engaged in March. At that point he was a medical student and because of the fact that his breaks fell in either July or December, we had a choice of those two months in which to plan our wedding. July seemed too soon, but December was just right. Besides, I remembered what the church I attended had looked like at Christmas during previous years......lovely, all dressed up for the holidays.

St. Mark's was large and old, and at that time looked somewhat unfinished both inside and out......which it was. Construction on what was meant to be a grand Episcopal Cathedral began in 1928, but due to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, the building was never finished in the style intended. The cement interior walls were tall and plain and water-stained. And rather than magnificent and ornate spires reaching toward the heavens as planned, it was finished as a simple box with a cross placed on top.

I love that cathedral and it's interesting history. Throughout the years it has been know for it's beautiful music,  pipe organ and prominent place overlooking the freeway from Capital Hill in Seattle. But back then, what I loved was how I felt when I went inside. As with many things, it's beauty was in the unfinished details and in the community that called it home. 

When I walked down the aisle on that foggy Saturday evening before Christmas, I was surrounded by family and friends and the collective beauty of all of our unfinished details. I walked on my dad's arm wearing a dress designed by my mom and I, and one that she had expertly sewn. I carried a bouquet of red roses, ivy and small Christmas balls designed and made by one of my sisters. Another sister watched her two young daughters walk down the aisle as flower girls, while another yet, stood beside me. My brother read.

White candles, pots of red poinsettias and one very large pine tree graced the space near the altar. I've often thought about the church members who most likely donated seasonal flowers and greenery in order to beautify their church for the holidays. We were so fortunate to have had it present at our Christmastime wedding. At the time we were young and on a budget, and may not have considered those things as much as we should have. We no longer live in the city and so no longer attend that church. Recently however, the church I do attend asked for donations for pots of poinsettias to surround the altar for the holidays. I wrote out a check......and silently thanked those who had helped to dress up St Mark's in December 26 years ago.

Wishing you some wonderful days as you prepare for Christmas!



PS. Today is my 100th post!!


Anonymous said...

What a great perspective and reminder of that time. Brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations to you and Marc on your anniversary, and congratulations to you on your 100th post!
-- Michele

thisfriendlyvillage said...

Thank you. And thank you for remembering and taking part in what was a very special day for Marc and I. :) XO

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