Spell, Psalm and Solace

It was a glorious wedding! We’ve known the bride since the days when we would race her parents to be the second-to-last to pick up our kids from daycare.
On Sunday evening, there was lots of dancing, lots of hugging, crying, singing, eating and drinking. I was honored with leading Birkat Hamazon / Grace After Meals. Reflecting the joy of the occasion, we sang the introductory Shir Hama’alot / Psalm 126 to a rousing wedding melody.
A wedding Birkat Hamazon begins like all others: the leader announces “LET’S BLESS!” Those in attendance respond, blessing God’s Name. Leader repeats that blessing.
Then comes a unique formula, a poem by Dunash Halevi ben Lavrat (10th century, Spain):
Banish all grief, remove all wrath;even the mute shall sing with glee!Guide us on the righteous path; grant blessing from Aharon’s progeny.*
This translation (mine) echoes the rhyming Hebrew text. The rhythm of the Hebrew is akin to “double double toil and trouble….” However, this incantation is for unbridled joy in honor of the wedding couple, and bountiful blessing for them. Even absent mention of bride, groom or wedding, it is appropriate — it’s joyful! (*Aaron the High Priest / the priestly blessing)
Next morning, the bride’s family held services, Torah and all, in the hotel. Again, I was privileged to lead.
Psalm 30 is recited in every weekday, Shabbat and festival morning service. It is “a psalm of David, a song for the dedication of the Temple” that covers a gamut of actions and feelings, including exaltation, fear, gratitude, relief, happiness.
Since I prefer (and now I’m expected) to be at services from the start, I’ve prayed that psalm many times. On Monday morning, the penultimate verse resonated more personally and meaningfully than ever for me and, I hope, for the bride’s family:
You turned my lament to a dance all my own;You removed my sackcloth and robed me in joy.
Sunday night through Monday was the bride’s father’s first yahrzeit.
In memory of Charles Finder, יהי זכרו ברוך