A wee homily for Derek and Nelson

Derek and Nelson – you have come here to St Mary’s today to declare your love for one another and so that we can share your joy and give thanks with you.

Today is a feast day in the church. It is the Feast of St Mary – and here we all are in a church dedicated to her, St Mary’s Cathedral. And on a feast day we share in joy….and in thanksgiving.

Now, on this day the church remembers different events that happened in the Mary’s life. We remember her at the beginning of Jesus’s life sharing the joy of his birth and we remember her at the end of his life sharing her sorrows with others. And on this day, you’ve chosen a gospel reading all about another event in her life. You’ve chosen the reading about the wedding at Cana of Galilee.

As we’ve just heard, Mary was the guest at a wedding and at a given point in the proceedings, she nudged her son and declared that there needed to be more wine and that he should do something about it.

And sure enough, water was brought out and it was changed into wine and the party went on. No doubt there was joy, and considerable thanksgiving.

Looking around at all of you gathered here, I don’t know whether you believe in miracles or what you make of stories like that. I also don’t know how you all feel today – beyond being sure that you come here with a sense of joy and of thanksgiving and of love for Derek and Nelson. My guess is that many of you are sitting here surprised to find yourselves here – still surprised that such a ceremony like this is possible.

The truth is, for a lot of us who grew up as gay people, this was completely outside our expectations. We never expected to be able to celebrate a partnership in this way. It just wasn’t conceivable.

Yet here we all are.

I don’t know whether you believe in miracles. But for some of us here today, we have watched things change over the last few years. They have changed in ways that once we could never have believed. Those of us who are gay have watched water change into wine in front of our very eyes. And we have begun to drink. And the wine tastes absolutely wonderful.

Joy. And thanksgiving. And wonder.

Those are the things we celebrate here today.

Mary clearly wanted all the cups at the feast to be full, absolutely full to the brim. And running over.

And so it shall be.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

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