Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On Marriage and Footwashing


I've heard others remark on this too but...what is up with people saying that marriage isn't about kids?  It begs the question well, what do you think marriage is?  And what do you think this means civilly?  I'm confused.  Because I've had the gushy warm fuzzies for numerous people I've dated.  The difference is that either they or I or both did not want or agree to have children with each other.  I married my husband because we both agreed to have children together and commitment to raising them together.  My husband may have an apoplectic shock over that.  But there's no point in being married to my husband otherwise.  My husband and I don't fit the standard bill of what society says marriage is about.  We don't share very many common interests.  We don't even agree on the type of music that we play in the car so we don't play anything.  We argue frequently.  He even sent me a cracked article that equated love with cleaning up a person's feces should that person become sick.  I remarked that I must love everyone then and he concurred. 

No marriage is a commitment to raise offspring.  People made marriage agreements to financial reasons (see the movie Sabrina).  People hardly knew the person.  And at times even if your marriage started out all warm and fuzzy it does slowly dissolve into wondering who this person is that is next to you.  My husband is my best friend (before you think I hate him or something), but I also have many other best friends male and female.  I just didn't commit to having children with any of them. 

I'm sure there is some thing called love, but I think it's a gift from God.  I don't think you can generate that yourself.  Nope.  The thing that separates our relationship from those I have with other people is our children.  I'm not sure what my husband thinks, but I know at times he's had to decide what his commitments are too.  Relationships are full of disappointments, so you need to decide at what level and why you are in them.

Oh, thought you'd like to know but the "pregnant man" is seeking divorce through Arizona from his wife.  Problem is Hawaii granted him/her a same-sex marriage because he/she is transgendered and not fully male yet.  The news interviewed his/her girlfriend who said she didn't want to be dating a married man (problem because you've been dating him a year...and technically he's not married in Arizona) and the "man" says he/she wants to have more children.  I'm guessing he/she is really confused.  He/she thinks Arizona is being prejudicial to him for not granting him a divorce even though his/her marriage is not legal in Arizona.  So technically he's/she's never been married so how can he/she be given a divorce.  It smells like political stuff to me in the court system.


When I worked at the church from hell, I had a run in with my boss over footwashing.  I was the youth minister and during a staff meeting my boss told me that I was in charge of the footwashing.  My boss had told me if I had any questions I could always ask.  So I did.  What was I supposed to do?

My boss turned ugly.  She asked me if I hadn't ever been to a Holy Thursday service and then proceeded to berate me and basically all but called me stupid.  That is until I reminded her that I had been a volunteer in the choir and spent the entirety of the footwashing rite doing what I was supposed to do...that is paying attention to my music and the music director.  Only slight glances at the proceedings did not tell me anything.  She softened but stiffly.

It seems that every church I have been to has it's own rite.  This church had the priest wash the feet of the confirmation class and then those students would turn around and wash the feet of a congregant who then turned around and washed someone else's feet.  Basically you washed feet and got your feet washed.

Last Thursday the priest washed the feet of female and male candidates/catecumens. 

I'm guessing neither secured any kind of permission.

I get that the ceremony can be viewed as 1)showing humility and service and 2) a reenactment of the last supper.  And frankly I don't care which.  And I don't care that Pope Francis decided not to follow the rite (although it set a bad example but considering that I've illustrated few churches follow the rite correctly I doubt by much).

Nope the problem is the need for consistency.  If there's a rubric, why aren't we following it?  And how come I didn't know?  And my boss who ignored directives from the Bishop, yelled at a priest calling him stupid, etc etc also thought it was appropriate to yell at me for her own inconsistencies.  Although truthfully I'm not surprised that she did her own thing.  She was a trained liturgist but she didn't obviously do what she was supposed to.

I'm hoping that this whole footwashing thing has shed light on the need for consistency in the universal church so that at the very least some poor youth minister somewhere doesn't get berated for not knowing what the church does. 

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