(The spoken version shall take precedence)
It's common knowledge that the faster you speed around the track and the longer the race, the more vital the pit-stop. This is where you refuel, maybe change your tyres, get things checked over. But speed is of the essence. The turnaround is measured in seconds, because, as a matter of principle, momentum must be maintained. So, it's out onto the track again, on towards the finish line!
Dear Carl Philip and Sofia!
I'm thinking of your home.
Because a home has something of a Grand Prix pit-stop about it, as surely most of us have experienced: you refuel and get changed as fast as possible – and then you're on your way again, heading off for the next round of events.
But we know that we cannot sustain the same momentum all the time. We know that our home must also be a pit-stop of a different kind. Sofia and Carl Philip! A different kind of refuelling station, one where you do not need to constantly count the seconds, but rather where you can be with each other, where you can unwind, and where you can exhale all the stress, and inhale your trust in each other, and love for each other. A pit-stop for replenishing your energy certainly, but in peace and intimacy, within a family life which will soon be your own.
Your days and weeks will be overflowing with obligations from without, and ambitions from within. Both of you certainly wish to create, to shape your world; whether this means your surroundings, or your children's future. Of course, both of you certainly wish to do good, not least for young people. Such things cause us to speed up.
But ultimately, our life is not a Grand Prix race. This is a prize you have already won – in your "I do" to each other. Let your home and your life together also be a relaxed "playground", not because life is only light-hearted, but so that you save a shared space for sweet laughter and loving smiles. And let it be a place of rest. Or to be with friends. Your home will then become a source of strength to help you cope with all the pressures from outside, and, with renewed energy, to focus on what you are passionate about.
"Athair ar Neamh." Sofia and Carl Philip: You walked up to the Royal Chapel's altar enveloped in the music of a Gaelic song which is a prayer: "Father in Heaven, bless us." "Athair ar Neamh, Dia linn." – The Royal Chapel is filled with best wishes for you both. You allow us, along with all who are following the service on television, to share in your joy, and we wish you all the best for your life together.
Added to all these good wishes, you have God's blessing, which is the very foundation of this service: Father in heaven, bless us. Continue to say that prayer, throughout your life, and keep in mind that your "I do" to each other is sacred, a promise for all your life.
Yes, our life is indeed a holy and loving gift from God to us. God blesses. God is the source of love; from God springs commitment, artistry and creativity and joy, as well as all compassionate care.
Paul wrote in one of his letters: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) "Law" sounds burdensome, but what it signifies is the "meaning of life." Look to one another, and you will find the meaning of life. And in your choice of song, this is translated into contemporary language; in the English lyrics we heard: "Fix you." "When you try your best, but you don't succeed ... I will try to fix you." I will try to fix you. This is to be prepared to carry another's burden. And this is how you will be for each other. Or, as we shall soon hear, "Now that it's raining more than ever, Know that we'll still have each other ... You can stand under my umbrella."
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ." It is with these particular songs that you have chosen to describe your love for each other and what you mean to each other.
Yes, share your joy with each other, your light with each other. Illuminate each other, so you may shine together. That is your ideal, to be each other's joy. But you are not alone. Let God also be your joy and your protection, a divine umbrella, in sunshine and in rain. Therein is the answer to the prayer in the opening music: "Father in heaven, bless us."
Then you will be in blessing.