Even perfect wedding weekends must end. But emotions and memories are strong as our son and new daughter-in-law fly off to honeymoon and the rest of life.

I’m told that, as I offered this wedding homily, a broad-winged hawk suddenly sailed into view and then soared off into the distance.

Wedding Homily

I have two brief words to say. First, to you who have come a long way to honor Mira and Benjamin — parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, some of you recently married, friends from childhood, one from as far back as age two, friends from college and the starting-out years, friends and colleagues from today’s careers — I say to family and friends, our job now is to let go.

We have raised and encouraged and befriended bride and groom for three decades. Now we must let them fly away, freely and exuberantly. Even for as solid a virtue as family, we must not clip their wings. We didn’t raise them to replicate us, but to be whatever they choose to become.

Second, a word,to bride and groom: your work now is to fly. As far away as you choose to fly, as freely as you can manage, with the wings we have tried to give you, with the Spirit of God lifting you higher, and with your eyes set on the future.

Yes, we hope to be a part of your lives for as long as breath shall last. Yes, you love your extended circles and are steadfastly loyal to them. But the measure for all of us will be your freedom. A future cannot be built on constraint and conformity.

So, turn around and face the people who love you dearly. They have come far to celebrate with you. They have come to welcome you into new extended families and circles. More than anything, they have come to bid you farewell.

Fly freely, fly as far and as exuberantly as your wings can take you. Go with God.