recessional wedding songs

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Final Bows in ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway (NYT):

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s final bows for his farewell performance in “Hamilton” on Saturday night seemed routine, if overly humble for the departure of the show’s star and mastermind. He even shared his bows with the other cast members also exiting the show, including Phillipa Soo and the Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr.

But then the theme song to “The West Wing” kicked in from the orchestra pit.

Mr. Miranda giggled and took a couple of shy bows, only to turn around and be embraced then pushed back to the front of the stage by Christopher Jackson, who plays George Washington, for a proper bow.

Still, the curtain call lasted no more than two and a half minutes, despite fervent applause, which had been consistent throughout the night. The opening number received multiple standing ovations, as did many others. But Mr. Miranda and other performers would pause for only a minute each time before moving the show forward.

Afterward, in the pouring rain, hundreds and hundreds of fans filled West 46th Street, waiting for Mr. Miranda to emerge from the stage door at the Richard Rodgers Theater.

Instead, Mr. Miranda appeared, “Evita”-like, on a balcony atop the theater’s marquee. Holding an umbrella and waving to fans, he paced from one side of the marquee to the other, occasionally stopping to hold his left hand over his heart to show gratitude.

Then he was gone.

“It’s over, folks,” a police officer yelled as he tried to keep the crowd out of the street. “There’s no more.”

Death In His Grave

Job, by Leon Bonnat

I grew up Evangelical Protestant and something I heard thrown around quite a bit was the term “life verse"—a verse or a passage from Scripture that encapsulated in some way your particular grasp of the deep and abiding hope of the Faith. As a young adult I always struggled to decide.  Should it be Jeremiah 29:11, or Philippians 4:13? Many of the ones I considered seemed ‘cliche’ to me, which seems terrible to say about a verse from Scripture, but I couldn’t help myself.  And I felt disconnected from their tone—on their own, removed from their surroundings, they rang hollow to me, as though stripped of the rightful dignity of context. I felt more connected to passages in Ecclesiastes that spoke of the vanity of life.  I was more enamored of Job than of Paul or Peter. You might say that, when it came to the Bible, I was really in touch with my emo side…<insert bad joke face emoji>

Anyhow, many years later and I still don’t have what you might call a "life verse.” The Word of God is alive and powerful, to be sure, and sharper than a two-edged sword, as the writer of Hebrews says…but I can’t say that I could pinpoint one verse that  captures my faith, and I’m not sure I feel a need to. 

However, I will say this much: the following passage is one that has truly sustained my hope in some very dark times—and, at times compounded with the beautiful John Mark McMillan song I’ve linked to beneath it, has been a light to my soul in the darkness. 

It was my privilege to cover this song on my most recent project, “Death, Be Not Proud"—it has long held a meaningful place in my heart. My husband and I, not knowing that a mere year would pass before his cancer diagnosis, chose the song "Death In His Grave” as our wedding recessional song. Walking back down the aisle to these lyrics proved prophetic in ways we could never have predicted—we would come face to face with death in the form of an illness that has taken many lives—and in that conversation with death we would find that the verses from 1 Corinthians quoted here do indeed comfort, promise, and bolster the hope we have been given.

—death, even thou shalt die.

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”
-1 Corinthians 15:20-27