Friday, February 24, 2006

"Christian Divorcement”

A Service of Divorcement
John and Mary are both Christians and want to keep Christ as the center of all things – including at the center of their divorcement.
So they developed a Christian divorcement ceremony, complete with a pastor leading the service (in a church, too) to remain completely holy in all proceedings surrounding their decision.

A couple stood at the front of the dusky church. The pastor stood before them, with his Divorcement Handbook open, his eyes roaming the open page, as he waited for the music to die down, and the guests to settle themselves.
When silence reigned, he opened his mouth.
“We have gathered here together today, to perform an operation upon this which has been past united. What three years ago I joined together, I stand before you now to put asunder. Please bow with me in meditation and prayer.”
The rustle of starched collars and neatly pressed skirts whispered through the building as the people bowed and the insipid prayer echoed tastelessly off the vaulted ceiling of the small chapel.
The pastor adjusted the small glasses on his nose, and flipped through the pages of his book.
“Do you, John, fully intend to put away Mary from yourself: to separate all bonds, not withstanding your commitment, to reverse the act which was performed preceding this date?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Do you, Mary, agree to John’s decision: to fully put him away from yourself, to separate all bonds, notwithstanding your commitment, to reverse the act which was performed preceding this date?”
“Yes, sir.”
“All you have heard their intent. If any object, speak now, or forever keep your thoughts to yourself. John, please turn towards Mary and state your withdrawal.”
They stood diagonally across each other, facing the pastor more than each other, and tried to pretend they were elsewhere.
“I John divorce you, Mary, from being my wife. No longer will I have or hold you. Through better or worse, we will deal with our situations as individuals. Whether we are rich or poor, sick or in good health, we shall remain in this divided state. I cannot love or cherish you as long as we both shall live. To this I pledge myself, truly with all my heart.”
Mary repeated her vows in the same manner, looking over John’s shoulder at the stained-glass window beyond the whole while she spoke.
“Now, please return your tokens of your love for one another, and concede your commitments,” the pastor stated without emotion.
“Mary,” John began, trying to look anywhere but at her. “I take myself from you in divorcement, and cease to be your husband all the days of our lives. I take my hands from you, and you take your hands from me, as a symbol and a pledge of our one flesh, dividing into two separate components. I renounce my love and the outpouring of my heart, as a symbol and a pledge of our separating from being one spirit. I take this ring from you, back into my worldly goods, as a symbol and pledge of our permanent divergence.”
Mary repeated likewise, and thrust her delicate wedding ring and diamond engagement ring in John’s direction, her stumbling fingers grasping for the thick gold band he forced towards her.
“Please step forward for the extinguishing of the unity candle,” the pastor droned.
John and Mary stepped forward towards the thick, single-lighted candle on the center of the table. They reached for the individual candles on either side, lit them from the bigger one, and jointly blew out the center flame.
The last thing they would ever do together.
The congregation bowed as the pastor prayed the Prayer of Separation over the newly divorced individuals.
After the prayer, he asked them to face the congregation and pronounced their declaration of divorcement, then moved on to the pronunciation.
“I now pronounce you, Mr. John Smith, and Mrs. Mary Jones. You may all be dismissed.”
The piano music began to throb through the church as John walked out the door on the left side of the church, and Mary exited through the right-hand side.
She departed in her car, and he left in his truck.
Both …free?
The members of the congregation stayed afterwards to vacuum the church and put away the candles.


David Ketter said...


David S. MacMillan III said...

That is so totally disgusting.

And God says that he "hates divorce". Sad.

I just finished Family Law (I am getting my associate's degree). I had heard about this divorce ceremony, but not this in-depth.

BTW, I am the editor of the apologetics journal In Rejection of Mediocrity. When I get a chance, I will be putting Our Generation in my blogroll.

In Him,

David S. MacMillan III

melody said...

I read it! I'd also like it if you could let Dad read it sometime if you could. I know he'd enjoy it!