A wedding in Connecticut

JUNE has not failed marriage. We thought about this in a pew in a Connecticut college-town church last weekend -- the kind of church with a soaring white spire, and large spreading oaks and maples to the sides where the wedding party would gather after the ceremony to greet the guests . . . a sky-blue interior, windows open, sheer curtains lifted by a steady breeze . . . music by Mozart and Mendelssohn played on a new organ from Boston, at times accompanied by a viola . . . the bridal couple's mothers escorted respectfully to the front . . . the bride's father consciously steady down the aisle, nodding to a friend, carefully not stepping on his daughter's train as he crosses behind her to join the bride's mother . . . the bride as flushed as the wild roses in the pewter bowl on the altar, finding it hard for a moment to say aloud her lines of promise and acceptance . . . the groom self-assured in white tuxedo, eyes never straying from hers . . . the young minister with a trimmed goatee, clearly enjoying one of the happier moments of his pastoral duties, concluding that the marriage was recognized by divine authority and the State of Connecticut . . . .

The statistics show that June is still the month for marriages in the United States: some 280,000 weddings last June, or a monthly rate of nearly 16 marriages per 1,000 persons, compared with a recent average of about 10.5 marriages per 1,000 for the year as a whole.

Fewer weddings may follow a traditional ideal. There can be some surprises in the ceremonies or their settings.

But in a time when the failures of marriages and the tribulations of relationships are more often commented upon than their successes, it is worth noting that it is not the stunning weather of June that has failed us, nor the beauty of bridesmaids and roses, nor the congratulations and best wishes of family and friends. These regather forever in every new start of summer.

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