Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Marriage of Daniel Junkin and Madison Dugan

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The Marriage of Daniel Junkin and Madison Dugan
The young man Daniel stood in front of me showing some distress and nervousness.  He was not at ease at all.

He confided in me as we spoke privately, “This is my third bride this week. None of the others would marry me.”

I felt for the young fellow. It certainly had been a trying week for him,

It was then that Madison came up to where we were standing and I met her for the first time.  She was with her “mother” and her bridesmaid.  Madison was a beautiful young lady.

Madison said to me, “This is my bridesmaid, she was going to be the bride today but then she backed out.”

My eyebrows went up with this admission and the giggles from the young ladies.

I think the “mother” may have also been one of the possible Brides for today but she also changed her mind on Daniel.

As I walked away from the group to prepare myself for this wedding ceremony another young lady introduced herself to me.  She thanked me for coming for the ceremony today but also explained, “When you get to the part in the ceremony where you ask if there is anyone who objects to this marriage, I am going to object loudly! I hope you will understand. I was also supposed to be Daniel’s Bride today.”

My eyebrows went to the top of my face with this declaration and question for my approval at her coming actions.

What have I gotten myself into…?

I apologize if it seems that you are caught into some kind of circus at this point and might just be concerned as to how I might handle all these small twists in the plot that is developing.

I am a Minister as some of you know. I do conduct wedding ceremonies for couples that are starting their lives together.

I am also a volunteer at the Settler’s Village In Bobcaygeon, Ontario as well as Lang Pioneer Village in Lang, Ontario.

And it is in this role as Pioneer Volunteer that I was overseeing this Marriage Ceremony at the Fairbairn Church in the Settler’s Village.  The staff had contacted me to see if I would be willing to conduct a “mock wedding ceremony” for the kids at the summer camp being held at the Village.

The young counselors that were helping with the children were my volunteer Bride and Groom, Mother of the Bride, Bridesmaid and Groomsman… and Objector to the wedding(which was all the counselor’s idea).

This wedding was way too much fun.  And the children listened very closely to what was being said and what we were doing in the small church setting.

Pause here…
This was Friday afternoon and the parents had been invited to come in for the final afternoon of activities – and specially to take part in the wedding ceremony… which they did by making a video of it and also by shooting some photos.

Before the wedding I had walked into the Village with my black outfit on while wearing my Stove Pipe Top Hat.  I came up behind the group of parents that had gathered to the back of the church for a photo shoot of the campers. This was just ending as the camp leader announced that the kids should now come into the church along with their parents for the wedding ceremony.

I was standing behind the parents who were talking with each other… one woman saying “… a Wedding..? Really??”  It was just then that she had turned to face me dressed up like a 1860s minister from 150 years ago.  She then said it all, “Oh my God they even have a Minister!” – at which point she realized that I had heard her and she clapped her hand over her mouth.

Too funny!

The first conversation that I shared with you took place at the wedding rehearsal that we had just prior to the photo op behind the church.

The guests at this wedding all filed into the church and took their seats as we stood waiting for our entrance.

As we entered the church the campers lead by their leaders hummed “Here comes the Bride…” loudly.

The wedding party arrived at the front of the aisle prepared to answer my questions and listen to what I was about to say.

Here is my Text that was gleaned from a number of sources from the 1800s marriage ceremonies that I found for this special day.

(Beginning of the Marriage Ceremony Text)
Dearly Beloved we joined ourselves together today to witness this marriage between Master Daniel Junkin and Mistress Madison Dugan

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

§     Priest: Hast thou, Daniel Junkin, a good, free, and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take unto thyself to wife this woman, Madison Dugan, whom thou seest here before thee?
§     Groom: I have, reverend Father.
§     Priest: Thou hast not promised thyself to any other bride?
§     Groom: I have not promised myself, reverend Father.
§     Priest: Hast thou, Madison Dugan a good, free, and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take unto thyself to husband this man, Daniel Junkin whom thou seest here before thee?
§     Bride: I have, reverend Father.
§     Priest: Thou hast not promised thyself to any other man?
§     Bride: I have not promised myself, reverend Father.

Addressing the Congregation: I am asking now if there would be any here to today that can give just cause why these two cannot be joined in Holy Matrimony?

(The Explanation – at this point the Priest will address the congregation in matters related to marriage as it is based on the Holy Scriptures.  The Bride and Groom may be seated on two chairs before the Priest.)

The Vow
Groom: I, Daniel, take thee, Madison, to be my lawful wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Madison, take thee, Daniel, to be my lawful wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Now, as the groom places the ring on the bride's finger, he says the following:
“With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Final Prayer – for this new bride that she will have many children, she will know humility and obedience to God, to the Holy Church and her husband… and that he would worship her with all that he has.
(end of Text)

When I asked if there was anyone that might have a reason… the young lady playing the part of the Objector stood and shouted loudly that, “I object! Daniel promised me last year that he would marry me today!!”

Daniel then sputtered, “When did I do that?  I never said that at all!”

She cried out, “You did say that when we were feeding the pigs together that day!”

Daniel seemed to be without words… and then he said in a loud voice, “Don’t believe this woman! She is left handed and possessed with a bad spirit!!!”

She quickly pulled down her left hand that had been pointing at him and pointed her right hand….!!!

I paused for a long time as everyone was looking to me for a response.  Then I said, “I do not find this objection to be legitimate.  Young lady, would you please leave this building?”

And she did with her head down.

WHOA! Talk about drama!  These kids were good!  I needed only to show up.

I should explain that I didn’t preach a sermon. That would not have worked on this hot afternoon with the campers sitting in the pews.

I did bring along the hand carved Celtic Love Spoons and explained how they were used as a promise for marriage by the young man.  It was the engagement ring over the centuries where the young man puts his best abilities into his carving with hopes of impressing the young lady and also impressing her father that he was good with his hands.

I asked if they knew why the Bride carried flowers.

The answer is simple. Her Groom and perhaps most of the people in the church that day would not smell all that good… and she may be of the same smell as well. The scent of the flowers would help cover that smell… as well as being pretty and making her feel special.

Smell you say!?  Yep – when people only bathed once – maybe twice a year smell would be a part of what they were.

Another small tidbit of information that I shared was – the Spring Wedding was also the best time, after seeding of the fields, before the hot weather in the summer and after some of the stinky clothing could be shed – and maybe some could actually get a bath.

I shared that the wife was also supposed to “Obey” her Husband. There it was right in the middle of the text that I read for them.

When Madison heard those words and that she was supposed to repeat them after me (and he didn’t have to say that) she glowered.  In the ceremony she lowered her head and lowered her voice when she said them after me!  The audience caught this reaction and laughed out loud.

Oh… and at the end of the ceremony where the couple is to kiss… we had some problem with that part!  THESE WERE 14 year old teenagers and there was no cotton picking way that I would get them to go that far.  AND THEY WOULD NOT DO A Cheek to Cheek thing either!!!

Daniel did reach out his hand graciously bow to her – as her prince!
So now you know the story behind the photos that were taken….

Incidentally Madison was instructed by her mother and bridesmaid that she was not to look happy when the photo was taken!  Daniel picked that up as well.

In all – being a volunteer and helping the present world to understand that other world of years gone by – is priceless!

Thanks Settler’s Village for letting me be apart of this special day!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Photos from The Junkin Dugan Wedding Album 
The Wedding Party - Rehearsal

The Moment the Objector raised her Objections

The Following Two Photos of Reverend Father Murray Lincoln - Explanation/Sermon

The not so happy Wedding Party

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