The Nuptial Vultures

Nuptial Vultures

So I went to a Ukrainian wedding. I trained for this by singing with a German chorus for several years, and surviving the dinner dances that followed their concerts, though I forebore to mention anything about this to the celebrants; the bride’s mother had told me years back about Wehrmacht soldiers billeted in her house when she was seven. Still, if you have danced with a good whack of booze in you while someone worked the squeezebox, you are prepped for this kind of thing. One of the guests bent in toward me and the Engineer later and congratulated us on being able to keep up.

Eastern Rite Catholic wedding traditions are something to witness. Most of the service is sung. The priest could have given aces and spades to the choir’s entire tenor section, and I think we have all heard that Saint Paul cantrip about Love Is Patient And Kind enough times to make our eyes glaze over, but I’d never heard it done in Gregorian style, about the only part of the service that was in English. Foliage was everywhere.

The church was a little traditional keepsake box built entirely of timbers — I think the bride told me there was not a nail in it, old country craftsmanship — surrounded by new growth woods north of the city. As we approached it, looking for the entrance, two vultures settled on the roof tree. While we watched, they scrabbled around on the slope of the roof shingles several times, using their wings for lift.

I do not know the significance of this as a wedding omen. I’m going to go with one of those counterintuitive “good luck” things, like the Italian tradition if a bird shits on you. Maybe it’s a thing and they live there like the ravens at the Tower. I’m just kind of afraid to ask.

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7 thoughts on “The Nuptial Vultures

  1. I want video! Oh well.

    Ireland has that bird poop is good luck thing, also. I first learned of this at a wedding in a reconsecrated ancient church with no roof and a lot of swifts. The bride got splattered.

  2. Wow, vultures! Such bad creatures 😉

    I think we have all heard that Saint Paul cantrip about Love Is Patient And Kind enough times to make our eyes glaze over, but I’d never heard it done in Gregorian style

    We hear it so often in Rome, the Gregorian style, so medieaval, fascinating.

    By the way, tommorrow night I will publish the Italian post dedicated to you translated into English, for my readers (and for you, dear Sled).

    Hope all is well.

    All the best
    From Roman West

    Giovanni

  3. This puts me in mind of the occasional wedding, birthday celebration, and wake of my New Jersey relatives that I used to get dragged to as a kid. They were inevitably held in a dark wooden-floored dance hall with a polka band (squeezebox included) laboring away. I would dance with the abandon only a small child can muster. Now that I am grown and the dance halls and polka bands are long gone, I wish that I’d paid more attention. BTW, in Poland a stork nesting on your chimney is considered good luck.

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