Prayer of the Father of the Bride
The pomp and ceremonies of the wedding are over, the last revelers have gone home and the young couple has embarked on their honeymoon. Here am I, O Lord, sitting quietly before you. I wish to thank you for the privilege of being the father of the bride. My heart is bursting with gratitude that come from your wonderful generosity. When I first held my little girl in my arms - so small, warm, fragile and beautiful – I know that it is pure grace that brought her into my life. As I watch her grow from a baby to childhood and gradually blossom into womanhood, I can feel your presence in our little family and your smile upon us all. Father, I confess that I have not been a good father but I have been trying my best. For whatever my shortcomings have been in bringing her up, I trust in your Holy Spirit to fill in the gaps.
Father, I pray that you will help her to become the helpmate to the man you have so carefully chosen for her. Let them be anamcara to each other. Now, they have to learn from each other. Please give them lots of grace for each occasion, overflowing with forgiveness, and joy in their new life together. May their love grow into hesed love – a covenant love of commitment.
As they grow closer to each other, let them grow closer to you, O Lord, the originator and finisher of their faith. And as they begin their journey together, may they partake of the goodness of your table fellowship, drink deep of your living water, and dive deep into your fathomless depths. You are a self-revealing God. Please help them to appreciate your presence in their everyday life. May they grow in their marriage as they grow deeper into knowing and becoming like your Son. Yet in their growing, let them allow one another to reach their full potential as themselves, not as each other’s expectation, but as their own unique personalities.
As you have taught us, there is a season for everything. There will be times of great rejoicing and there will be times of great sorrow. Here, in the springtime of their marriage, give them joy as they discover the pleasures of each other. Protect them with your angels and build a hedge around them that they may be safe from pettiness and violence of this world. Lead them to your communities of faith that will nurture and nourish them in all ways. Give them a sense of vocation and involve them in your missio dei.
Father, help me to ‘let go’ of my little girl and to welcome a new ‘son’ into my family. It is a time of transition for me and my joy is bitter-sweet. This is a new experience for me though I know that many fathers have walked this path through time immemorial. I must now take on a different role. Teach me, O Lord, to be a blessing to them.
18 July 2009