The thrum of excitement swells and abates rhythmically as family and friends await the bride. The groom stands with his best man and groomsmen, at the front of the church, facing the door at the back, through which will soon parade the woman with whom he has chosen to spend the rest of life.
He smiles and jokes with the men who stand with him. The bride is always late, and although somewhat of a tradition, it is the source of some anxiety for the groom. Keen anticipation monsters his emotions as he stands and waits. The bride is busy: she's moving, coming towards him. She's anxious too because she knows he's waiting. She doesn't want to keep him waiting. He would wait forever but she would never ask him to do that. More than passion, a deferential and reverential love has brought them to this place. They are crazy about each other and everyone in the church hopes that they always will be, even though they know they won't.
To last, love must be strong, self sacrificing and reciprocal. It must have the strength to persist when the madness and obsessiveness of being 'in love' fades or dies. No one who comes to the altar and makes their vows realizes how much marriage will require of them. They know nothing of the agony and ecstasy which lies ahead. They are not ready. No one is truly ready for that.
May God bless all those who make the commitment. May He give them the strength they need to find lasting happiness and peace in marriage. The risk may be great but the rewards are greater.