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February 06, 2010



Three times people have asked me to use this passage for their weddings (and I've only done five weddings in total), once alongside the 1 Corinthians 13 passage.

On two occasions I used the three stranded cord as the basis for a symbolic action, whereby each member of the congregation was given three strands of embroidery silk, tied together, and invited to plait (or twist!) them together as a symbol of their support for the couple, or to symbolise that the unity of faith/hope/love or God/couple/them as they found helpful.

On two of them (one used both symbols)I used a three branched candle stick in a similar way, once to symbolise two birth families equidistant from, but united to, the new couple and the other to symbolise the common root of the faith/hope/love which would provide strength to the marriage.

It's a good little verse to ponder, and it does have echoes/hints of Trinitarian themes (even possibly of perichoresis in the plaiting!).

Mike Coumans

Hi Jim,

I remember volunteering at a children's address. You gave me and another volunteer (Lesley?) a strand of wool, and a pair of gloves. We pulled and the strand broke, quite easily. Then on to two strands. Not so easy this time. Three twisted strands ... could not be broken even with the protection of leather gloves.

A very powerful illustration of love and faithfulness between a married couple - together with love for God.

I do like the 'out of the box' thinking which has resulted in other illustrations such as faith hope and love. etc. etc.

Jim Gordon

Hiya Mike - and Lesley - and the gang of two. Looking forward to our invasion of the North East again, and the chance to pick up with the kind of friends who in the end didn't tell their minister to format his hard disk! :)

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