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The fifth and final blog/podcast in a series of Easter Week reflections from a Middle Eastern perspective by regular Ekklesia contributor Dr Harry Hagopian. These talks (see MP3 below) are being broadcast by Premier Christian Radio, and are reproduced with their cooperation.
Today is a special and joyous day for many across the British Isles. A few hours from now, at Westminster Abbey in London, Prince William will wed the woman he loves, Kate Middleton.
For me, when stripped of its formal significance to the future of the monarchy, this extraordinary moment of joy is actually no more extraordinary than the marriage of any other couple.
It is always a special moment when two people take their vows to become one and forsake all others. The King James Bible, whose 400th anniversary we celebrate this year, puts it poetically, according to St Matthew’s Gospel (19.6): “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
As I wish the newly-weds endurance, patience and love, I also pray that their commitment for each other in times good and bad will serve as an example for many other couples. My own Christian upbringing teaches me that giving joy to others far outweighs that of receiving it from them.
And so as I join the millions of men, women and children rejoicing with Prince William and his bride-to-be, let me also offer all newly-weds a customary Armenian wish: May you grow old holding hands, and may both your heads always rest on the same pillow!
© Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer, ecumenist and EU political consultant. He also acts as a Middle East and inter-faith advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Politics) in Paris, and he is a regular Ekklesia contributor (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian). Formerly, he was Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches. He is consultant to the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK) and author of The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Dr Hagopian’s own website is www.epektasis.net