On Seventh Day, 6/27/2009, John Edminster and Elizabeth Crownfield, both of Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, wed at the Meeting House under the care of their Meeting, after an eight-year engagement in which Elizabeth had lovingly helped John parent his two children, who are also members of the Meeting, and were present. On a sunny, seasonably cool morning, following a centuries-old Quaker tradition, the couple rose from silent worship, took each other’s right hands, and made vows “in the presence of God and these our friends … promising with divine assistance” to be a loving and faithful husband and wife to each other “so long as we both shall live.” They then signed the traditional Quaker Marriage Certificate, which John had calligraphed with an ornamental border of true lovers’ knots. As they settled back into worship, Carol (of this blog) read the document aloud to the assembled company, and at rise of meeting, ninety-five witnesses signed it, beginning with the four Marriage Oversight Committee members appointed by the Meeting, of which Kate (of this blog) was the first signatory. These four also, in lieu of an officiating clergyperson, signed the marriage license to be returned to the City Clerk’s office. Volunteers from the meeting helped with everything from flowers and food to childcare. Several Friends reported feeling that the wedding had been strengthening and nourishing to the whole meeting community. The bride, formerly of Midcoast Meeting in Maine, has taken the name Elizabeth Edminster.
Before making his vow to Elizabeth, John asked inwardly for a sign to direct him when to stand up and take her as his wife. Then before his mind’s eye appeared a vision of Jesus Christ gesturing to the entire white-robed host of heaven to stand, and his response was without hesitation.
The accompanying photographs are copyrighted by Lorcan Otway of Fifteenth Street Meeting.