Royal Wedding Represents Opportunity for Church

On the Friday after the 9-11 attacks, leaders of various sorts gathered in the Washington National Cathedral for a (mostly Christian) memorial service that also included leaders and speakers from various non-Christian faith traditions. The sermon, however, was delivered by the Reverend Billy Graham who, true to his calling, delivered a simple presentation of the Christian gospel to the many millions of viewers.

Now fast-forward 10 years: in April of next year, viewers around the world will tune in to watch a much happier ceremony at another famous gothic church-house of cathedral proportions:

NBC has recently speculated that the televised wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Kate Middleton on April 29th next Spring could be watched by as many as one billion people across the world. Presumably, a great many of these people will be not only in the United Kingdom and Europe, but also in former British Colonies such as the USA, Canada, Australia and so on.

This wedding service at the ancient (founded circa A.D. 960) Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, I believe, offers a unique opportunity not only for the Church of England but for the Christian message itself to gain a wider hearing with many of the people who have, for various reasons, turned away from the Christian faith and values of their fathers.

The question of how the ceremony will be handled remains: will the Christian content of the traditional wedding ceremony be allowed to stand or will it be watered down in favor of a more generic theism? Will the ceremony contain a homily and if so, will the preacher take full advantage of this opportunity to put forth the Christian faith in a way that will be comprehensible and compelling to post-Christian viewers?

No doubt more information about the details of the wedding will be coming in due course.
God willing, all of the planners on the Church of England's end will be aware of the opportunity that they have, not simply to lead in a dignified and beautiful royal wedding ceremony, but also to offer Christ in a winsome way to the whole world.

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