Kate Middleton’s brother, James Middleton, read the only Scripture reading during the Royal Wedding. Prince William and Kate Middleton chose the royal wedding reading after spending time with the clergy in preparation for the ceremony. And they chose to have it read in modern, gender-inclusive American English, from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. It’s a great reading about being transformed, love being genuine, and, as James Middleton read on Friday, it urges the royal couple to “associate with the lowly.” Reading the Scripture from the American NRSV may have been a bit controversial with Church traditionalists, including The Prince of Wales who is the Patron of the King James Bible Trust and is known to be a passionate advocate for the "poetry and cadence" of the old Authorized Version. Prince Charles supported this year's 400th anniversary celebration of the King James Bible and even recorded this video reading of John 14 in the KJV. So while it may have been a bit controversial, it was certainly the right decision. When Scripture is read, it should be clear and understandable (See: "There's a lot to be said for clarity" by Ken Symes.) This reading at the royal wedding sounded relevant to Prince William and Kate Middleton, and to all of us as well.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Truly a great passage of Scripture that gives us all a lot to think about, to experience and to live. I don’t recall ever hearing it read at a wedding before, but it was great. I’m presently updating an Internet resource I authored a while ago for couples who are getting married: Bible Readings for Weddings. Please feel free to direct anyone you know who is getting married to this link.
The Royal Wedding also included a prayer written by Will and Kate. Such a prayer is typically included in the Anglican wedding ceremony, but it was refreshing to hear a couple write something new and fresh in place of the traditional prayer for families.
God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage. In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy. Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.
All in all, I must say I was impressed by the Royal Wedding. It was uplifting and inspirational. In the midst of all the pomp and circumstance of the event, I just wanted to highlight the great Scripture reading chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton as well as the great prayer which they wrote together. I hope they will be true to this Scripture and prayer. May God bless them.