I was invited to the home of a young woman whose wedding was coming up so that I could get to know her parents. The senior couple lived in a very fine house, with large well-proportioned rooms, many open fires, lovely art on the walls and then as the invitation was for Sunday lunch we got to see the dining room too. I’ve actually never been in a private home with a table which seats 24, but there it was, quite stunning. As we walked in I noticed that there were no places set for us at this huge table, as we were seated at the smaller table set in the bay window. As I looked around this wonderful room my eye was drawn to the two floor to ceiling cabinets, one full of Waterford Crystal, the other Silver. There was a glass for every drink, one for water, at least three sizes for wine, two for sherry and one for liquors, 24 of everything, it was a lot of glass and I couldn’t imagen how they kept it all clean. The other cabinet held his collection of silver gravy dishes, collected over a life time, there must have been almost 50 of them. The conversation at the table included a bit of about where the young couple would live, a modern apartment, where the talk of glass was all about the sliding patio doors and silver was the colour of their appliances. Would they be expecting to start their own collection of Waterford Glass I asked, maybe from wedding gifts? Well they roared laughing, there was no interest or place in their lives for the things their parents held so dear. I’ve rarely been as conscious of how quickly one generation can move on, with no disrespect to the parents, but finding their own interests, deciding what sort of radically different home they aspired too and how they would create a beautiful home. The desire was for exactly the same outcome, the choices and way to create that, totally different.

The same couple were keen for the church wedding, but not the same sort of commitment to parish, Sunday liturgy or the ministries and social mission of the church. They, and all their friends, hadn’t quite worked out what sort of church they will build up, if any at all. But they were confident of their love for each other, their commitment to marriage and to family life, they were and continue to be highly motivated to make a better world.

I wonder who will take all that glass, and the silver gravy boats, when the big house is sold?