Wedding Sermon

Welcome to this grand day of celebration to witness the union of Tony and Rachel. Today is a day for love: love of old, love of new, love inside us, and all around us.

We are gathered here today to wed these two lovely souls, but while some folks talk about matrimony as a day of unifying two souls into one, when you find the right one, don’t you realize that you were always one all along? That kindred oneness is precisely what we’re celebrating here today.

Well, that, and to make this thing legally binding since the soulless government otherwise doesn’t recognize what the heart already does.

Whatever it is we’re doing here today, we know not everyone is here that we would have liked to be here. There are, of course, the folks watching at home who couldn’t make it, and then there are those who are just a little further beyond our reach anymore. However, the presence of all of them are felt here today since, without everyone who was part of your individual stories, we wouldn’t be here on this day.

Think about that for a second. The astronomical odds of this day at all. None of us knew it all along, but every moment in each of our lives have led to this moment. That each of you finding each other in this dense forest of humanity, emerging at just the exact time in history for your paths to cross at all, is nothing short of extraordinary.

Now, Rachel and I have the advantage that we’ve literally grown up together, even independently deciding to go to the same out-of-state college. And when we were kids, we were constantly working together to produce shows for our friends and families, so of course we find ourselves up here together again putting on yet another show for everyone. Hopefully, the production value and writing are a little better this time. While Tony is the newest cast member, we look forward to having him around for the rest of the show and sticking it out for the long haul through to the final season.

Speaking of long hauls, Tony and Rachel are no stranger to them. When I asked them what their greatest adventure so far has been, they said it was moving across the country to North Carolina together. And I know each of their college and post-college lives required lots of moving across the country and some periods of long-distance relationship. Plus, Rachel has experience driving a big van around. Maybe one day she and Tony will drive the rest of the family around the country on long haul road trips like our Grandpa Woody used to do.

Ah yes, Grandpa. You would have loved him, Tony, and I’m sure he would have loved you too.

You know, when I was trying to gather my thoughts for this, there’s a quote from one of my all-time favorite shows that just kept coming back to me.

“People talk about that a lot: feeling right. ‘When it feels right it’s easy.’ But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do.”

Grandpa Woody was the strongest man I knew in every sense of the word. Tony and Rachel are quite strong, too, and I’m also not just talking about CrossFit for you guys, either. You guys are up for the challenge of love.

And I know you do have quite a challenge ahead of you. I hear that marriage isn’t easy. But when times get tough, I want each of you to stop, take a breath, and remember my favorite story about Grandpa Woody that I think all of us could learn something from.

One day towards the end of my freshman year of high school, I rolled out of bed and went downstairs to eat breakfast and try to wake up. Grandpa had already been awake for a while–he was always an early riser. Grandma had slept in that morning, so Grandpa was finishing making himself breakfast when I came down. He quickly ate and finished getting ready for work, then ran out the door as I was just sitting down at the table, still not entirely awake yet. About ten minutes after he left, he reappeared at the door and went quickly back to his room. As he was coming back to head out again, I asked if he had forgotten something. He said he got halfway down the street before he realized that he forgot to kiss grandma goodbye. I said, “oh, is she awake now?” To which he said, “oh no, she’s still asleep,” before he ran out the door. He had come all the way back home to kiss her goodbye, even though she was still asleep and wouldn’t remember it.

This is the kind of love for which we are gathered here today. May you all remember and cherish this ceremony, just as Grandpa cherished Grandma, and as Rachel and Tony cherish each other.


And now, with love, we will forever bind these two together. As we proceed, of course, we must acknowledge that marriage is a very solemn matter. We are all about to be witnesses to life-altering commitments Tony and Rachel are making to each other. We must have as much respect for the serious legal and emotional implications of marriage itself as the respect you have for one another. Minding this, we shall begin the formalities of this most revered human tradition of wedding rites, some nearly as old as civilization itself.

Exchange of Rings

The wedding ring’s round shape reflects the unending power of love–with no beginning and no end. Like the orbits of the planets. In fact, it was Johannes Kepler who first showed that…oh wait, wrong speech. (Turn page)

You should wear these rings proudly and let them remind you each day of your commitment to one another.

Unity Ceremony

While the words you have spoken have sealed your union, we must now symbolize this so-called unifying of your souls. Some couples choose to do this by means of combining two amorphous physical things into a single unit that are then impossible to separate, such as the flames of candles or vessels of sand. But what is a flame, anyways? What is it even made of? It’s not exactly made of candle, or of oxygen, or even both…so what the heck is it? What about sand? How big do the grains have to be before it’s no longer sand but gravel? There’s something far deeper there about the nature of these things that are mere abstract concepts, these sort of ideas without definite boundaries, that make them interesting subjects for this ritual.

Consider, then, the concept of something else boundless and abstract like…a taco. Just having all the ingredients for a taco does not a taco make. None of the ingredients on their own are the thing that make it a taco, and sure, while you can separate out the ingredients of a constructed taco, without any one of those critical ingredients, it’s suddenly no longer a taco. A flame without oxygen or a candle also is no longer a flame. The taco only exists as an intentional combination of its ingredients, each of which bring something special and different to the table, much like how Tony and Rachel bring their own unique flavors to this marriage taco.

Let’s now construct your unity taco to bring the ingredients of your marriage together into one…thing.

Rachel will now fetch the tortilla. This tortilla, while round like the rings earlier that symbolized love, is not a perfect circle, nor is it perfectly flat. The tortilla represents imperfect love, the occasional mistakes and misunderstandings that will inevitably arise, but the tortilla brings texture to the taco like these bumps will add texture to your marriage.

Tony will now add the chicken. The chicken represents the foundation of the relationship. It’s the friendships and events that brought you together, seasoned with your shared memories, your quirks, and marinated with time. It brings substance to the marriage.

Rachel will add the cheese. The cheese symbolizes…cheddar. Like money. A good omen to your prosperous financial future together.

Finally, Tony will add the jalapenos. The jalapenos add spice to the marriage, keeping things ever fresh and exciting. The jalapenos, though, are seedless, per prior negotiation with Rachel who initially objected to the jalapenos. The seedless nature of these jalapenos, therefore, represent compromise–to a future where you will learn to work together to solve your problems and resist setting ultimata.

A life built together, like a taco built together, is only enjoyable together. Tony and Rachel will now take a bite from their love taco to seal their fates as one soul.


Today, your two spirits come together to form one singular entity, just as your ingredients have combined to form a taco much grander than you ever could have accumulated on your own. Note also, that, now eaten, the taco may never again be separated. Your lives, like the taco, have become all the grander for the involvement of your partner. Your spirits so intertwined that they may never again be truly torn asunder. As you move forth in life, keep your partner close to the heart, recognizing that they are an integral part of your being.