Hotels of North America by Rick Moody:
My cousin Dennis asked me if I would consider officiating at his nuptial event, and I agreed and therefore needed to find a way to get myself ordained fast. Now, it occurred to me that officiating at weddings was a sideline, a moonlighting gig not at all dissimilar to my primary business line of motivational speaking. What kind of wedding-related oratory, after all, is not motivational at its core? Just about everything that comes out of your mouth in the nuptial theater inspires, transports. It seemed just and right that I should apply to the Infinite Love Church, which is one of those seminaries that ask of you only the eighteen dollars that will thereafter enable you to carry out the scared rites associated with marriage. The Infinite Love Church requests that you read a few rather sugary pamphlets about their ecumenical views, and then they send you an e-mail confirming that you are in law ordained, after which you are advised to contact the county clerk wherever you are intending to serve to ascertain that an online ordination is considered valid in that state. In this case, the affianced parties were Dennis and his bride-to-be, Olga, of Ukrainian origin. Olga had been in this country since she was seven and had no trace of an accent. She favored brightly colored athletic gear, a little on the baggy side, as though she were trying to hide a third breast. She had read a lot of Dostoyevsky. I learned all of this at a meeting I had with Dennis and Olga, which seemed like something that I ought to do before conducting the nuptial ceremony. If you’re officiating, and you’re trying to seem as though you are an intercessor, that the Word of God speaks through you, then you had best meet with the parties concerned.