I was blessed to be asked to sing in the choir for the uniting in holy matrimony of Steve Hall and Luda Chuba (now Hall), two members of our church here in Ft. Worth who met during their teen years, fell in love and are now man and wife. God grant them many years!
I am going to Wal-Mart to drop off the pics of the wedding immediately after publishing this post, so in a couple of days there should be a "wedding walk-thru" post akin to the chrismation one several posts down, but what I can describe to you now is the absolute joy that is a Ukranian wedding reception.
Seriously. Ukranian. Wedding. Receptions. Rock.
Or polka, I should say. We got there after the ceremony and at first went through the buffet, sat, talked about how gorgeous Luda looked, how dated some of the late-70s/early 80s music was (I still contend that when I was born, good music died), etc. But when they started playing polka music, I had to get out on the dance, um, aisle between the rows of tables. As I am currently sans wifey and daughter, Hope's godmother Lindsey graciously agreed to stand in. T'was a bit awkward dancing in a cassock, but there you have it. Also polka-ed w/the bride; now that was a fun thing to see...a twirling mass of black, white, black, white, black, white. I did, however, dreadfully missed not being able to dance with Audra; I also missed not being able to scoop up my little Anza and take her for a whirl out on the floor. She giggles like crazy when we dance together. All in all, though, good times, good booze, good food, and...hopak! (NOTE: the pics and video clips are not from the reception, but they're a good representation.)
Now, seriously (I say that a lot), I tend to enjoy things like art, music, dance, and many of these things evoke emotions of various kinds, but the sheer celebration that was conveyed on the faces of these people when they danced the official national dance of the Ukraine was the most fun I've experienced in recent memory, and all I was doing was just clapping and yelling "HEY!" in time with the music while other people danced! What an amazing way to show your joy for what has just occurred in the lives of these two young Christians!
The party went on until about midnight, and on the way out to the car, I was stopped by a couple--friends of Steve and Luda--who had seen me in my since-shed cassock during the wedding and the first part of the reception (hey, dancing works up a sweat, especially in a heavy cassock!), and asked me about the Orthodox Church. They were both disaffected Christians from other confessions whose specific issues with their former confessions were really non-issues in Orthodoxy, much to their pleasant surprise. What followed was about a 45 minute Q and A time about the faith, ending with their asking when Vespers would be this week. God works. Lord, have mercy, and many, many blessed years for the newly-united servants of God Steven and Ludmila Hall!