Maybe it's because I wasn't into the royal wedding as much as my colleague Sarah here, but I ended up being absolutely delighted by it. I happened to be up for work and had the wedding on in the background. At first I wasn't paying attention to anything but the dress, which was gorgeous. But I was also delighted by it because I can't stand that way that brides are barely dressed on their wedding day. I have no idea how that trend got going, and I'm all for ladies looking their best, but the strapless, cleavage-baring look has had a lengthy run and I'm tired of it. Slate noticed, too, in a piece that featured this bit of analysis:
Might the lovely Kate, with her modest allure, her natural bosom and her quiet mystery, have the power to stem the flood of boob-jiggling hooker style which has engulfed not just fashion, but our entire culture?
But then my thoughts turned to higher things. Namely, the higher things being emphasized in the service. It was a surprisingly rich and deep Christian service. I'll be curious to see how much of the media coverage focuses on the homily, which you can read in its entirety over at religion reporter Cathleen Falsani's blog.
Someone at the Dallas News picked up on some of the Christian themes in this blog posting.
And the folks at the Telegraph are blogging up a storm (this must be like 40 Superbowls rolled into one for those who care), and a couple of posts caught my attention. Religion journalist Christine Odone wrote an enthusiastic post headlined "The royal wedding proves this is still a Christian country. Hallelujah!":
In a glorious abbey setting, today’s royal wedding spoke of spirituality rather than celebrity. As Bishop Richard Chartres said so eloquently in his sermon, the young couple had taken the “solemn” decision to marry in the eyes of God – not just the world’s media.
At a time when Christianity seems to shrink from public space, here is proof that at heart, Britain is still very much a Christian country. Hymns, prayers, bishops, priests and a heavenly choir: this was the Anglican Church in all its majestic beauty.
There was pomp and circumstance, but its spiritual context was never forgotten. Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, had written a prayer, which the Bishop of London read out. It was heartfelt, and moving. The young couple asked God to grant them joy in their marriage, energy with which to discharge their royal duties – and keep their eyes fixed on what was real. These two wise young heads understand the empty promise of fame and glitz, and reject it. Instead, they want a happy union blessed by their Lord and recognised by his Church.
It goes on to discuss the hymns they chose and why they have meaning to society. It also quotes the line from the homily about St. Catherine of Siena, whose feast day is today.
It does seem that this newly married couple takes a more serious approach to their religion than many of their peers or, for that matter, predecessors do. Not that any of us know them or anything, but just based on their public persona and relationship with their priest.
The uber-Catholic religion journalist Damian Thompson praised the wedding in his post "This is what the Church of England is for":
It pains me to say it, but when it comes to religious pageantry, Catholics cannot hold a candle to the Church of England. The Anglican choral tradition is the finest in the world; its anthems perfectly capture the sentimental grandeur of great state occasions. Listen to the way the fanfare from Parry’s I Was Glad melted into Edwardian gracefulness as Kate Middleton walked down the nave.
Of course, Thompson also linked to the video embedded here of a verger doing cartwheels in Westminster Abbey. I love it.
Perhaps the American media is less comfortable discussing the religious aspect of this religious service than the British media. But do let us know whether you see any particularly good coverage -- whatever its origin -- in the media.
Top image via the awesome Kate Middleton FTW blog on Tumblr.