Monday, December 25, 2023


On Saturday, December 2nd, I officiated Anita and Anthony’s Eastern Orthodox-Muslim wedding ceremony at Anita’s parents’ home in Plano, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests: 

What stands out to me the most about Anita and Anthony is that they embody the opposite of one of the deepest ideas of Henry David Thoreau. In Walden, Thoreau contends that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Mike Turitzin explains this idea thus: “We feel a void in our lives, and we attempt to fill it with things like money, possessions, and accolades. We think these things will make us happy.”

Tutritzin adds: “We lead lives of quiet desperation when we resign ourselves to dissatisfaction. Quiet desperation is acceptance of–and surrendering to–circumstances. Quietly desperate lives are frustrated, passive, and apathetic. They’re unfulfilled and unrealized.” Why do I say that Anita and Anthony embody the opposite of this idea? Because they are both seekers. 

Anita recounts her seeker journey growing up: “I plunged into prayer and reflection to understand God and the whys of life. My older brother and I purchased the best English-translated Qur’an we could and studied to understand our place… It was eye-opening to me that my non-Muslim friends believed in the same Higher Power but simply understood this Supreme Being differently. This shared, innate, and unifying belief in so many of my friends from different walks of life was so powerful and comforting through my college and young adult years. Continuing to delve into different philosophies, visiting various houses of worship, and learning more and more has humbled me so much but also brought me to connect to so many others!”

Anthony recounts his seeker journey, which began a little later in life: “I began investigating other religions… I began visiting Orthodox Christian Churches… Despite my oscillating I was always drawn back to the… Orthodox Church… Psalm 143 and G-d’s “unfailing love” has been an obsessive curiosity of mine for many years… I have continued to grow in the Church… I am… always learning new things about Church traditions. Even though I have grown firm in my belief I continue to enjoy learning about other religions and listening to religious debates and lectures from a wide variety of scholars and speakers.”

In this Anita and Anthony embody the mythical common father of our religions, Abraham, who the Bible and the Quran describe as the ultimate seeker, who through his seeking came to know God. Anita and Anthony, what we wish for you is that you continue your seeking journey, as individuals and as a couple, and that through your seeking you continue to grow in your understanding of the divine and its manifestation in your lives. 

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