On June 10, my wife and I reached a milestone anniversary. She has graced my life and put up with my eccentricities for 25 years. Some memories of that day are as fresh today as they were when I experienced them 25 years ago. Part of those memories are the musical selections we used.
When each of us Tiegs children was married, Harry Shelley Rowe’s “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” was sung. For my sister, our music teachers from elementary and high (a married set of vocal instructors) sang. For my brother, I sang it with our high school teacher. For my wedding, my brother and I sang it. It still holds a special place in my heart.
We gathered several choir friends together with family to sing several songs during communion. You may not think this is unusual until you remember that my bride and I are Lutheran. We joined in the singing! “Make Us One, Father God” was one of the selections sung and the words have continued to inform our journey. It is a prayer we share with all newly- and oldie- weds as we work hard to make our marriages work.
Our recessional was a piece that I love by Paul Manz. His arrangement of the Welsh hymn Cwm Rhondda is festive and danceable. It was the perfect ending to worship for an important day in our lives. Our organist had lots of time to play things she enjoyed as my bride and I ushered people out to help avoid the long receiving line. We still sit and listen to postludes after worship. We both love organ music.
At the reception, we did away with the clinking of glasses and, instead, asked our guests to come to a microphone and sing us a song with “love” in it to get us do the usual smooching thing. To help them out, I created a list of 100 songs and actually had the music sitting in a file by the microphone. We have pictures of several individuals and groups who sallied forth to sing. I must confess I even went and did “Abba Dabba Honeymoon” myself.
The coup de grace for the evening was our engagement of the J Hall Trio to provide both background music for visiting and dance music. Without any prompting on my part, Jim chose my favorite song as the first dance. “All the Things You Are” has always captured my heart and I sing it to my loving bride every chance I get when it is played. We filled the floor with polkas, schottisches, and waltzes. Jim even knew that new song “Hakuna Matata” for the younger set.
In this time when we are still social distancing, music has the power to help us celebrate and to remember important times in our lives. Our prayer for all of you is that your song, your music for your life’s soundtrack, still inspires you and reminds you of reasons to get up each morning and go about your business. After all, “the dearest things I know, are what you are!”
Richard Tiegs not only celebrated his 25th anniversary, but his 63rd birthday shortly after his anniversary. He is a local musician who sings and plays in orchestra pits, both things he can’t do publicly right now.
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