There’s a brief silence as you reach the church, before the bells peal and the organ plays the Wedding March. Jesse motions to you to continue. You nudge Sausage to go beyond the lych gate and watch from the other side of the wall. Again, only the congregation spill their faces aglow with light and joy, as they gather and fill the area on either side of the path to church doors.
An individual voice sings out, different groups singing in different languages join in, it’s the priestly blessing that so impacted you last night. Your embarrassment at being here dissipates with a need to be part of it. You nudge Sausage forward as the song reaches its crescendo. Peoples’ heads begin to turn, they smile and beckon you in. The very air feels electric with anticipation. Sausage turns under the lych gate, and stops as though waiting for the song to end.
A lone voice sings, you recognise it as Joseph’s. “Will you come, will you enter in?” Jesse echoes that as Mary and her generational family come on to the steps of the church to add to the melody of the same refrain. This time you have no doubts about entering in. Sausage waits until the song fades before moving forward. The crowds begin to cheer and throw red and white rose petals in the air as you head down the long path towards the church steps. A harmony of voices begins, the people become silent. When you and Sausage are only yards from the group on the steps, their chorus ends, and Joseph sings alone, and Jesse adds a parallel narrative. “You are beloved, I wanted you to know” and those words leave you in no doubt you are welcome here.
Read: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs (NKJV)