Get this! I have been asked to be a minister at a Chinese wedding!
Ok, ok–for some of you who know me well, this may seem a bit unusual, if not outright unbelievable. But this is an interesting situation. Now pay attention and follow along carefully; this may seem a bit convoluted.
A young couple is getting married at the end of May. It is common for young couples in China to plan a theme for their weddings. This couple wishes to stage a western wedding during the afternoon, prior to their actual Chinese wedding in the evening. Evidently they have been watching a lot of western movies, and they are compelled by the notion of saying, “I do.” (Don’t you just love it!)
And so, the quest began for a western minister. They asked their friend, “Where can we get a western minister?”
“I don’t know,” the friend said. “But I have a friend, Mei (May) Hong. She teaches at Hangzhou Foreign Language School. She knows lots of westerners.”
That leads to Char, which leads to me. I am, after all, the ministerial type. (Please, do not post any unkind comments!)
“Yes, Mei,” I say when I finally return her phone call. “I understand you need a minister. I would be more than happy to help.”
“Oh, that would be wonderful. Thank you so much.”
Mei was concerned about asking about this. “I hope you are not offended. I don’t know anything about Christianity, and I certainly don’t want to offend you, but I think the western movies have influenced this couple. They just want to say ‘I do.'”
“Not at all, Mei. Please do not be concerned. Believe me, I am not offended.”
“They will be happy to pay you, of course.”
Yikes! She really opened the door on that one.
“Well,” I said, “it is customary to pay a minister for his services.”
I thought about mentioning a customary fee of a thousand dollars, but I didn’t have the guts.
“Please do not worry about a fee,” I said. “I am happy to help your friend.”
I left it at that because I am such a nice guy. (Please, do not post any unkind comments!)
So, we are now on course to simulate a western wedding for this Chinese couple. I find it rather charming. What I would like to have is a robe of some kind, which I do not have here. Perhaps somewhere in our house in Minnesota we have a graduation gown that might serve the purpose, but, alas, I cannot get it. I’ll have to make do with what I have–a pair of dress pants and a sport coat.
With luck, I’ll have a photo of Rev. Koppi to post later.