A divine look at the royal nuptials

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It's time for another visit to the United Deities, the celestial gathering of gods past and present that monitors our comings and goings here below. Here are some of the minutes from the most recent of their meetings.

It's time for another visit to the United Deities, the celestial gathering of gods past and present that monitors our comings and goings here below. Here are some of the minutes from the most recent of their meetings.

1. The chairgod said that the next item on the agenda had been pencilled in by the Anglican God, concerning the forthcoming marriage of the British heir to the throne, Prince Charles.

2. A Mayan god said that divine beings had better things to do with their time than discuss wedding plans of human beings. They all knew that marriage was just a device to keep the human race multiplying. In fact, it was multiplying so fast that it was perhaps time to cut back on marriage. Perhaps this Prince Charles and his bride should be stopped before they had children ...

3. The Anglican God said he was not bothered about people getting married or not getting married. What was interesting was the religious status of weddings. Although Prince Charles was the future king of his country, he had been barred from marriage in a consecrated place ...

4. Quite right, too, said the Catholic God. Prince Charles was a divorced person, as indeed was the woman. They had no right to get married again. Marriage was for ever, in the sight of God.

5. Ah, but was it in the sight of God? asked the Anglican God. When a clergyman said to a bride and groom that they were being married in the presence of God, was that true? Had the Catholic God been present at all Catholic marriages? He himself had tried to be present at all Anglican weddings, but had missed a good few, especially about Easter time.

6. The Catholic God said he felt a little sorry for Prince Charles. The whole divorce caper meant he couldn't get married in a Church of England church. Being heir to the throne he couldn't really get married in a civil ceremony. Did that mean he couldn't get married at all? It looked like it.

7. Nonsense, said several gods. He could always change religion and get married in his new faith.

8. Ah, but then he couldn't be head of the Church of England, said the Anglican God.

9. There was much laughter at this. When the Anglican God asked what was so funny, the chairgod said that it was hard to explain, but there was a feeling that being head of the Church of England was not quite the plum job that the Anglican God thought it was.

10. Zeus, chief Greek God, said they were wasting time talking about some tinpot prince and his marriage plans. He wanted to talk about the Olympic Games, which were, after all, in his honour, even if everyone seemed to have forgotten it.

11. The Catholic God said he would like to ask Zeus one small question before they moved from marriage to sport. Zeus himself had been married at least five times. His marriage to Hera was his fifth and last. His first wife was Metis, his second wife was Themis ...

12. Zeus said he was aware what the names of his wives were, and wondered what the devil the Catholic God was driving at.

13. Well, said the Catholic God, he just wondered how divorces and marriages had been organised among the Greek gods.

14. Zeus said it had all been a long time ago and he could hardly remember, but he had the distinct feeling that gods didn't get divorced as such. They just moved from one wife to another.

15. In that case, the Catholic God was curious to know who took the marriage service when Zeus got married.

16. Zeus told the Catholic God not to be silly and measure everything by Papish customs. That was not how it was at all. As he, Zeus, was the chief of all gods, there was nobody senior to him to officiate at his marriage, so in a sense he took the service himself. Not that there was a service. He could not remember. Anyway, he had ended up married to Hera and he was quite happy with that. Even if she was also his sister ...

More of this tomorrow

Comments