Vows are important. They show seriousness of intent for doing or agreeing to something. Renewing vows, it can be argued, are even more important because they take place after the doing or the agreeing to the thing has already happened for a time, so the people taking them can’t be accused of not knowing what they’re getting into.
_________________, the vows you took together years ago were taken seriously by you, even if the state where you took them eventually decided it didn’t. But the people of the state of Minnesota, in their wisdom, have realized that the vows you take together are as beholden as anyone else’s vows. So we come together, your friends and family, the people most important to you, to reaffirm those vows.
You’ve told me you don’t remember what it was like not to be in one another’s lives. I suspect, although I don’t know, that it was like this: lonely. I’m sure you enjoyed yourselves alone and with the friends and family gathered here, and you may not have known it. But there was, somewhere deep down, a ______- and a ______-shaped hole at the core of who you were. And you may not have felt it immediately filled when the two of you met, but for years you have recognized that you complete one another.
Nonetheless, there remained another important hole in your lives. The two of you have been accepted as a couple but not as the married couple you knew yourselves to be. It is to fill that metaphorical hole that we come together today.
Those of us who are married know that, after the ceremony, if we have been a couple for a long time, outwardly nothing changes. We go on living together, making meals together, being seen together, raising dogs together. But we know that inwardly everything has changed. It may be hard to put into words but I think that what runs through our minds when we continue to do those things and we happen to glance at the other person, we think, to paraphrase what God said about Jesus, “This is my wife, with whom I am well-pleased.”
There is, we know, a point to life and it is to make connections with one another. ____________, look around you at the friends and family gathered here to celebrate your vows, and know that you have made connections, together, with each of them. Now look at one another and know you have made the deepest connection with her.