Rev. Bill Freeman

Hello, I'm Rev. Bill! 👋

Since 2011, it has been my honor to offer uniquely personalized and all-inclusive Catholic and interfaith wedding officiant services to hundreds of couples. This has been true for first or second marriages, interfaith celebrations, and same-sex unions.  It has been such a joy to support so many couples as they crafted their perfect day – and created a memory that will last a lifetime.  Many have become wonderful friends who have stayed in touch as they travel life’s journey.

However, due to the global pandemic, I am suspending officiant services until further notice. Please read my explanation for this decision below.

Important Message

The author of the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiasticus advises: for every time there is a season: a time to celebrate and a time to refrain from celebrating.

Now is not the time for a wedding celebration.

[April 18, 2021 – Updated]. Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that weddings are super-spreader events and the last thing any couple would want is for someone to become infected, or God forbid, die from attending their wedding. We are all devastated by the sheer magnitude of the suffering, the tragic losses, and the continuing hardship that has accompanied this ongoing health crisis.

We are now entering the fourth wave of the U.S. pandemic.  Unlike other waves, this one is targeting adults 30-50 years of age with an alarming increase for those 20-30 years of age.  And while we are in the early stages of countrywide vaccinations, now is still not the time for a wedding.

The United States leads the world in COVID infections with deaths exceeding 500,000. It didn’t have to be this way. Effective public health prevention strategies have been apparent since March 2020: wear masks when outside of the house, wash your hand frequently, clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, practice social distancing, and isolate yourself from those outside your immediate family/household. Unfortunately, millions who have chosen not to follow these simple and effective protections have paid an enormous price.

For many who contracted and survived COVID, we are seeing alarming long-term adverse health complications. Although the virus often attacks the lungs, it is increasingly associated with a range of problems including blood clots, neurological disorders, and kidney and heart damage. Further, researchers are reporting both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in 14% of recovering COVID patients.

And on top of all this, a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus detected in other countries has now been confirmed in the U.S.  In fact, new variants are now spreading around the world are associated with a higher degree of mortality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that these mutations are now dominant in U.S.

While we are witnessing the initial distribution of vaccines to frontline caregivers and those at most immediate risk, we will not see widespread vaccine distribution until late Summer 2021 at the earliest. Given the breakneck speed of development, we have no indication of the vaccine’s long-term effectiveness.

For all the above reasons and so many more, wisdom and common sense instruct us that this is not the year for a wedding. I will not be officiating at any wedding for the coming year or foreseeable future.

As a wedding officiant and a public health professor with a doctorate in the discipline, the advice is obvious: don’t get infected, don’t put others in harm’s way, and don’t get married in a traditional setting in 2021.

It is the very actions that we take now that will decide the post-COVID future that awaits us. To that end, I leave you with words from Pope Francis writing to Italy and the world amid the pandemic:

“Tonight before falling asleep think about when we will return to the street. When we hug again when all the shopping together will seem like a party. Let’s think about when the coffees will return to the bar, the small talk, the photos close to each other.

We think about when it will be all a memory but normality will seem an unexpected and beautiful gift. We will love everything that has so far seemed futile to us. Every second will be precious. Swims at the sea, the sun until late, sunsets, toasts, laughter. We will go back to laughing together. Strength and courage”

Stay safe; be mindful.

– Rev. Bill