Monday, September 22, 2008

A Confederate wedding

On Tuesday night I am privileged to officiate in a Confederate-period wedding for a great couple, Ronnie and Penny. Ronnie is our camp commander (chapter president). I had the honor of leading Penny and her daughter Paige to the Lord -- Paige during Bible School at Amis Chapel; Penny just the other night as I talked with the couple about marriage.

The Chatmam-Boyd wedding will take up the Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting Tuesday night (our camp website). It will be held at the American Legion / VFW building on 158 in Oxford, NC. Nathan Black will play his pump organ. Many of the members will come in period dress, and instead of crossing swords, they will cross bayonetted rifles. It should be quite an event.

We will begin at 7pm with the wedding service, then Roy and Debbie Laney will serve supper afterwards for members and guests. We should have a big crowd since a number of people have never seen such. I will be using the wedding service from the 1819 Book of Common Prayer.

Here is the uniform I was given to wear -- a Lieutenant General's 3-star, the same uniform that Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee wore (Though Lee was a 4-star full general, he always wore 3 stars). Confederate chaplains ordinarily did not hold or display rank, and usually wore black, but a number of clergyman during the war were officers, some like Father Abraham Ryan and Bishop Leonidas Polk who himself performed a wedding during the war. One chaplain, perhaps Ryan, commanded four cannon he dubbed Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He often gave his order with a prayer, "Lord, have mercy on their souls. FIRE!"