Sunday, June 1st 2003, Dave Trowbridge a Vestry and Choir member of St Andrew's Church amazed and astounded the congregation, and his girlfriend, by proposing to her during the service! The following has been reprinted with permission from Dave Trowbridge's web site:
Endings and BeginningsToday was a day both Deborah and I have been looking forward to, but Deborah didn't know that today was the day. We've been looking forward to marriage for some time, but, being of a somewhat conservative cast of mind, I wanted to wait until her divorce was formalized with the return of her maiden name before I proposed to her. I also wanted to surprise her. I did.
Yes, I proposed to her, in my choir robes, in the middle of church, in the middle of the service, between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, after the announcements and blessings. It was the only way I could be sure of surprise—and it was nice to have it witnessed by my faith community, of which Deborah is becoming a "flying buttress" (being a Jew, she supports it from the outside). Father Keith was a delighted co-conspirator, as was Donna, the parish secrectary, who took these pictures.
There had been a baptism during the first part of the service, and that afternoon there was to be a memorial service, so I introduced the moment somewhat as follows:
This is a busy day for our parish family: one of endings and beginnings. A few minutes ago we celebrated the ending of little Elijah's unregenerate life and the beginning of his new life in Christ. This afternoon we say farewell to Alice and celebrate her entry into her new life among the blessed. And so Deborah and I would like your help to celebrate the end of loneliness and the beginning of a new life together.
Being also one with poetic pretensions, I spoke my proposal as a sonnet, giving her my maternal grandmother's wedding ring at the ultimate couplet.
We bless God for this grace: that He once said,
“It is not good for you to be alone;”
That, two-by-two, he weaves a tale whose threads
Are intertwined as close as bone to bone.
As Christ ‘twas this he chose to bless with His
First miracle, as water became wine;
‘Twas this He meant that evening we first kissed:
A first knot in our tapestry divine.
For then, as if in echo to that greater
Story that Abraham and Sarah heard;
Passing, much like them, through tears and laughter
We found a destiny we’d judged absurd.
And so, to tie the next knot in our life I ask you,
Deborah, will you be my wife?
Great poetry it is not, but it had the desired effect—although, being speechless, she could only nod at first.
Unfortunately, Donna didn't catch my compliance when Deborah found her voice and asked "Aren't you supposed to be kneeling?"
The reactions of my parish family were interestingly gender-dependent. The women all said it was one of the most romantic things they'd ever seen, and that they'd teared up or cried; the men, with a couple of exceptions, said they thought it was one of the bravest things they'd ever seen. (One of the exceptions, Elijah's father, confessed that he'd been weepier during my proposal than at his own wedding; the other, Alice's husband, that it was the most touching thing he'd ever seen in church.)
We haven't set the wedding date yet, although it will likely be in the fall when the San Lorenzo Valley starts to cool down. We're looking forward to blending our two traditions in the ceremony—and making a joyous noise in the process!
This site was designed courtesy of Crystal Cloud Graphics using digital camera images of the historic St. Andrew's Church in Ben Lomond, California and modified using XARA. This site is navigable for the seeing impaired. Contact web mistress Kythera Ann with comments or questions.
l GENERAL INFORMATION l E-MAIL l ACOLYTES l ACTIVITIES l ALTAR GUILD l ARTICLES l CALENDAR l CHOIR l CHURCH HISTORY l EDUCATION l WEDDINGS l LAY MINISTERS l LINKS l OFFICE l PLEDGES l READING GROUP l VESTRY l