Monday, October 6, 2008

"Is it real?"


So the wedding was held in a ceremony hall.

The building was built like an old European mansion, and there was a chapel inside the building. The ceremony was standard issue Japanese ceremony hall chapel wedding, which means that a non-Japanese, Caucasian English speaking male in minister garb presides over the ceremony. Note that I said "male in minister garb" and not "minister". The man, whose English had a standard American English accent, may or may not have been an actual minister. It's common knowledge that most of these people, who are always Caucasian males, are often English conversation teachers looking to make an extra buck or two. The ceremony is supposedly modeled after American Protestant ceremonies and is conducted in a mix of American English and Japanese (sufficiently accented for an exotic touch, regardless of the "minister's" proficiency in Japanese). The legality of the wedding ceremony due to its being performed by a fake clergyman is not an issue. From a legal standpoint, the wedding ceremony is unimportant, and what matters is going to the local city office to get your marriage registered. (It's rather difficult to commit bigamy in Japan, since if your marriage is registered, you end up on a national database)

The hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is always sung, which strikes me as a strange choice for a wedding, so if some of my Christian friends could inform me of hymns sung in actual American Christian wedding ceremonies, I would really appreciate it.


angelena99 said...

Hmmm, it's been a while since I was at a wedding where hymns were sung, i.e., in a church. But "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" doesn't strike me as a "Wedding-y" song. I'm trying to remember the words in my head, and I suppose they're not "Not Wedding-y" either.

I've just overdosed on quotation marks.

deeje said...

I can't remember the last time I heard an actual hymn sung at a wedding, but I would bet you money it was never "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

Most weddings I've attended were in a church but with secular music. (mr. d and I had Beatles tunes at ours) (played on a harp)

pumpkinmommy said...

Of course, when there is an actual clergyman and the hymn is actually something other than WAFWHIJ, none of the guests can actually sing it unless they went to a Christian junior high or high school, which is what happened at my best friend's wedding. I am curious as to how the first Japanese "quasi-chapel-quasi-Christian wedding" came to choose that particular hymn.

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Anne E. said...

"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" comes to mind (has the melody of Bach's Ode to Joy).

I'll have to look up the order of service for our wedding when I get home. I'm sure I also have the list of usual hymns given to us by the wedding coordinator as well.