There was a wedding in our family this past week. The one's marrying hold mostly, but not entirely, to a more Quaker (early) form of the faith.
It made for some uniqueness since they chose to have a minister preside but made it clear the minister was only making public and visible a spiritual and inward reality in their lives.
Which led to lots of good talking and sharing both during the ceremony and during the reception.
Part of Quaker teachings (some groups) posits that reality is far more important than ceremony.
Examples would be: the person who is truly knowledgeable and educated may not be the person with the most degrees. (Not slamming the degrees at all. Just saying more than one way to get an education, and that not all degrees are indication that the education "took.")
Another example would be that some who marry for life do forego the license and the officiant, while some who get the right piece of paper and the right ceremony practice serial monogamy at best, and often not even that.
Or that some who legally adopt children do not go on to function as the child's parents, and some who "only" shelter or foster function as good lifetime parents.
Or that there are those who forego water baptism and the communion rite with the elements but truly trust in Christ and walk in close fellowship and obedience to Him.
Which led to a good rousing laughing discussion question:
Given that one can have both the rites and ceremonies and the real deal, if you could only choose EITHER doing all the rites and legallities OR having the real, albeit not legal, marriage/education/adoption etc, which would be a better choice?