May the 4th be with you…
The congregation responds: “And also with you.”
Gather ’round, my flock. Her Holiness, the Most Reverend Miz Nattie, has a new sermon for you. Let us break bread, drink wine, and rejoice.
No, but seriously folks…I just got ordained online so that I may preside over the upcoming nuptials of two of my oldest friends. Friends who should have been miserable and married YEARS ago, just like the rest of us, if it wasn’t for that whole “gay marriage isn’t legal” thing that was happening in Maryland until 2013. I could totally pull out my big ass soap box right now and go off about how we live in a world where there are now computers fashioned out of eye glasses, and weaponized drones that could potentially wipe you out while you’re sitting on the toilet, but somehow what we’re really afraid of is gay people falling in love and getting married?!
But, I won’t get on my soapbox today. Nope. Not gonna do it!
Instead, I’m going to climb up on my fabulously decorated new church altar and just say… I’m so happy for my friends, and for all the couples in Maryland (and elsewhere) that were previously denied the right to stand up in front of their families and loved ones, and attest their love and declare their commitment to each other. It’s a beautiful thing, and I can’t wait for them to say “I do.” (Note to self: don’t forget to ask them to say “I do.”)
In preparation for my duties as the wedding’s MC (wiggity-wiggity-whack), I found a nice little place online with a mission that states:
The Universal Life Church Monastery strongly believes in the rights of all people from all faiths to practice their religious beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs are, be they Christian, Jew, Gentile, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Shinto, Pagan, Wiccan, Druid or even Dignity Catholics; so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others and are within the law of the land and one’s conscience.
That seemed like the right kind of place for me to get my pastoral practice up and running. Accepting and open to all views and beliefs — perfect. I read through all the appropriate materials and formally signed up. In the State of Maryland, you need to provide proof that you are “licensed” to perform a wedding ceremony, so I went to the church’s “online store” to order an official certificate. While I was in the store, I learned you can buy all sorts of things: certificates, ID cards, badges, how-to booklets…and don’t even get me started on the CLOTHING! I’ll just say, given the time and a few extra dollars in my pocket, I could seriously rock some of those vestments –particularly the all-black Hanes T-Shirt that just says “MINISTER” in white block lettering across the chest. Very official looking!
So, I clicked on the link for certificates and started perusing the list of options. As I scrolled down, my eyes got super-big, and I could barely contain my glee!!
For an additional $32.99 (plus shipping), I can become a “Master of Wicca”!!! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at casting spells, but I always figured I needed some serious schooling, à la Hermione Granger at Hogwarts. But apparently you can master it right online…and for an incredibly reasonable fee! That, in and of itself, is like a kind of magic!! EXPECTO PATRONUM!!
Then I scrolled down more…and there it was…the pièce de résistance. For the low-low-low price of $10.99, I can become…
Wait for it...
Wait for it…
A JEDI KNIGHT!!!
That’s right… A lightsaber-wielding, peace-guarding, object-levitating, friend of Yoda!
I wonder if it comes with my own R2D2?
I joke, of course, but the sentiment associated with being a certified Jedi Knight is actually quite lovely. As a Jedi Knight, one is to endorse tranquility, protect and defend others–but never attacking without just provocation, respect life and diversity, serve for the good of creation, and seek wisdom, knowledge, and maturity!
I’d like to think in that regard, we should all work to become Jedi Knights, whether we pay for the certificate or not.
So, I hope my first “gig” as a minister later this month goes well–Help Me, Obi-Wan! Maybe I’ll arrive by broomstick, wear my minister t-shirt, and rock some Princess Leia hair buns just for the occasion. It will be an affair surrounded by loved ones, so I’m hopeful and optimistic!
But to be honest, with all the new credentials at my disposal, I’m really looking forward to maybe being called in for a Bar Mitzvah, or a local coven convention. Ooooooohhhh, or maybe an exorcism!!! God knows I’ve seen Linda Blair vomit pea green soup enough times to be able handle any run-of-the-mill possession–as long as it’s not happening in a house right next to a 4-story high cement stairwell! But just in case, I’ll be sure to come armed with my lightsaber (I sure hope I can order one in swirly pink) and practice up on some of the more popular “defense against the dark arts” spells.
It’ll be swell.
Let Us Go In Peace!