An altared wedding

Words and symbols matter. They are particularly significant in ceremonies, like weddings. So when Keagan and Charity and I started talking about their wedding, the cool thing came up. That’s what I call the symbolic action that couples do to represent their future.

altarIn recent US wedding history, couples have use a unity candle. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like unity candles. I’ve watched couples braid a rope, build a (Lincoln) log cabin, and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Charity was partial to pouring different colors of sand into a jar. Keagan wasn’t sure. We talked about some options. We found a good and meaningful approach.

Here’s what I said in the ceremony to describe what they did:


In the Old Testament, when there was a significant moment with God, a time and a place that needed to be remembered, there would be an altar built. Sometimes it was at God’s command. Sometimes it was the heartfelt action of the people.

But that pile of stones would remind everyone walking past, for generations, “God did something here. Let me tell you about it.”

Charity and Keagan have written their values on stones that represent their lives and the places that matter. One word per stone, a mixture of what they desire, they aspire to, they commit to. That’s what’s in the jar.

And then they are adding the sand that represents their time, their moments, their lives, their bit by bit commitment to God and to each other.

So that anyone looking at that altar they are building today will say, “What’s with the jar of rocks?”

And they will say, “God did something here. Let me tell you about it.”