In Yesterdays Post I provided a link to Cerys Mathews' beautiful rendition of Gwahoddiad (Arglwydd Dyms Fi) and the tingle I felt when I heard it.
I get the same tingle when I here many of the Old Welsh Hymns Calon Lan , Cwm Rhondda, Llef and one of my great regrets about my lack of welsh is that I cannot read the sheer beauty of the words of Ann Griffiths in it s original.
But I have no religion and describe myself as an agnostic boarding on atheism since I am prepared to accept that there is a small chance that there may be some form of supreme being.
I did cause some consternation years ago with some the family years ago when I declined to be a Godfather to my nephew .Pointing out I was definitely not a Christian. and did not even attend the ceremony and do not attend christens.
I do attend Weddings and Funerals where I stand silent during prayers but join in the hymns because I simply regard them as part of my culture.
With funerals it has been almost as people had no choice than to attend a religious ceremony in order to say goodbye to a loved one.
But a few years ago I attended a Humanist funeral of Brother-in-Law and found it just as moving and cathartic as any I attended d before.
Similarly I have attended Weddings not in drab soulless Registry Office, But Places like Castell Coch and Fronon Castle which were to equal to any church in their splendour.
So in reality I can Name a child get married and be buried without any form of religion whatsoever.
Which might explain the Church of England opposition to same -sex marriage . They are no longer the only arbitrators of these ceremonies and The legality has passed to the state.
Indeed the do not seem to realise that only when people sign the registrar (a state document) are people legally married and a large people no longer even feel they need the Church Blessing. Particularly when they can make a big day in a venue of their choice.
The Church of England only conduct the ceremony and although It is unlike France where you have to have a state ceremony and can chose to have an additional Religious ceremony only the former is valid.
The church might believe that Marriage is only in the eyes of God but it is the state which has the final say.
The current plans are for the churches to be able to opt out (though this may be open to a legal challenge). So the Church of England is trying to define Civil law and the definition of marriage for us non-believers.
Whether the Churches should be legally obliged to conduct same sex-marriages is a moot point. Would we tolerate a church refusing to marry people of a different race?
The Church of England are not in charge of marriage in the UK even though they might think so. Many of us have moved on from the church and people tend to turn to them in Marriages and Death often out a cultural nostalgia rather than belief . Why should they influence what the rest of us do?