Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Five weddings and two funerals

"The good news is we are getting married, the bad news is you are doing the ceremony."

I was shocked on two fronts; first that my friend, a professed bachelor, was indeed getting married and the second being the fact I would somehow have to become ordained in time for the ceremony. This phone call from my friend jump started my journey, and with a little help from an online Christian organization, I received my ordination in time to perform the wedding ceremony.

For many of my friends, the thought of me being a Pastor was akin to me being named Mary, Queen of Scots. I am a terrible example of a Christian, and I did not want people to look at my shortcomings and take anything away from God’s glory. I still struggle with this today, but maybe that is why I am here; if people look at my life and think that God can forgive and love this guy, He can surly forgive and love me.

This is how I came to be the "DP" or Designated Pastor for the Capay Valley. I know a few of the churches in the valley, and they have great Pastor's and Ministers; I just wish more of my friends would connect with them.

The harangues from my friends who have known me a long time notwithstanding, I have come to appreciate the position. Since that first wedding ceremony, I have had the honor to officiate four more weddings for friends. I have also been asked to perform a funeral service for a family friend.

All things considered, I like weddings better.

As much joy and celebration one finds at a wedding, eventually, our life here on earth will come full circle. While there is pain and sorrow at a funeral service, it is also a time when everyone must think about their own mortality. They must think about their own life, and take a measure of who they are, comparing that to who they want to be. It can be turning point, a time to rethink priorities, a time to put first things first.

None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, our lives are like a vapor in the wind. Not to be morbid, but death is a fate that awaits us all, and it is appointment we hardly ever get to schedule.

Friday, June 12th, I have been asked to perform the funeral service for my friend Ray Bargagliotti. Ray was a fixture in the valley, a family man, and a person who gave of himself always. He will be truly missed.

I will try to keep it together as we remember Ray, but I can’t make any promises.

Services will be at the Capay Cemetery at 11:00AM.


Melissa J said...

Walt, I couldn't think of anyone who will give Ray a better send off. Please give him a wave from me, I'll be stuck at the ole UC of D.

Joe D said...

You Sir have stated things very well. I have attended, I think, all (most?) of the weddings that you have officiated and will be there tomorrow, and I anticipate most of the valley will be there.

It says so much about you, as a person to be asked to officiate over a funeral. More so than a wedding, in my opinion. In talking with the family the past week it was so important to them for it to be YOU, somebody that knew Ray and that they knew. Somebody that they trusted, that they know will do a great job, even if you stand up there and say nothing at all it will be you, and they will find peace and comfort in that, if in nothing else.

Yolo Cowboy said...

Thanks so much, it means a lot to have such good friends.

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

Peace be upon you.