I didn't always want to officiate weddings. When I went to One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, I thought that my calling was to minister to the dying and their loved ones. I was a hospice volunteer, and although the work was hard, I loved it. I loved having the capacity of being the person who could sit with someone's grief, who could hold it with them as I held their hand, and acknowledge the truth that life ends, while the rest of the world was trying hard to deny it.
I know, I know, I sound really fun to be around. Actually, I think I am pretty fun to be around. I love life. I love all the magic that happens in life. Although I was raised to be a worrier, I do honestly believe that the thing that makes life so amazing is that you never know what is going to happen next. When I was growing up, I had no idea that I would one day be a professional Flamenco dancer, which I am. Once I was a Flamenco dancer, I never even dreamed that one day I would feel called to go to an Interfaith Seminary and be "one of those God people." And here I am--one of those God, or Goddess, people.
So one day, on my way to New York for my ordination and graduation, I posted about my ordination on Facebook. This was the first public admission that I was now one of those people. The response I got was amazing. So many people told me how perfect it was, how much it made sense, which surprised me. The next surprise was that an old friend sent me a message and told me that he and his fiancee were having a hard time finding the perfect officiant, someone who understood his Dominican culture (I'm Cuban), who spoke Spanish, and yet at the same time understood that he and his fiancee were very spiritual, but not necessarily religious. He wondered if I would be willing to marry them.
Just a few months later, I was in South Carolina, officiating their wedding and found that I loved it. I loved talking to them on the phone and hearing all about their love story. I loved writing the ceremony, which started as a blank page and then magically became this beautiful script that served the purpose of changing two people's lives forever. And like life, when I write, I never know what I am going to write next. Every script is a mix of my writing, the couple's story and their edits, and Spirit guiding us through from beginning to end. The ceremony itself took on its own life. When we finished the final hand-washing ritual that they had chosen to symbolize starting their new life together, right as I said something about water and light mixing to create rainbows, a baby started giggling, which was the perfect ending.
After having done many weddings, I feel like the best seat in the house is mine. I get to hear all the little whispers between the two getting married. I get to see the little looks they give each other, the soft touching of each other's hands or brushing the hair out of each other's eyes. It's just special, and magical, and awesome, in the true sense of the word--awe-inspiring.
I do weddings because I absolutely love to do it. I love meeting all the people I have met, learning about how they all fell in love, meeting their families, seeing everyone gussied up and excited. I just absolutely love LOVE. And, I've been happily married for almost 18 years now. I feel I have a pretty good handle on what a loving marriage looks like and so I especially love it when I recognize that a couple has what it takes.
So, maybe I didn't expect to be doing this, but I am so glad that life has surprised me once again.
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Welcome to my blog. I'm Mercedes Ibarra, aka Rev. Mercy. I officiate weddings, baby blessings, funerals, and other sacred rites of passage in people's lives, in both English and Spanish. I also provide spiritual counseling. I try to live my life from a place of love and compassion. This blog reflects some of my personal thoughts from my own experience, and should never be taken to be the final word on anything. I just hope my words are of use, always kind, and hopefully timely. Thank you for taking the time to visit.