Thursday, July 16, 2015


I am often asked by [my college] students if I will perform their wedding ceremonies…

There are those who say, "We are the ones getting married.  We should have the kind of ceremony that is meaningful to us."  I always respond by saying that such a perspective shows far too limited an understanding of what weddings are all about.  While it is true that the couple in the front of the church is being married, it should be understood that, if the ceremony is properly constructed, those in the pews may go through a symbolic process of being remarried at the same time.  When we attend weddings in which we hear repeated the same words that we ourselves uttered when we were married, we experience a sense of marital renewal.

Whenever I hear a young man saying the same words that I myself said almost forty years ago, I seem to go through that same ceremony of commitment once again.  When he says, "I, John, take thee, Mary, to be my lawful wedded wife; and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be thy loving and faithful husband ... ," I can hear myself saying, "I, Tony, take thee, Peggy, to be my lawful wedded wife; and I do promise and covenant ... "  It all comes back to me in the ritual.  The past is renewed.  I feel again what I felt on my wedding day.  I sense the commitment I made on that day, and my marriage is renewed.

-- Tony Campolo in Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God


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