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Wedding Readings

Over the last 16 years of photographing and conducting beach weddings we have created a list of over 100 popular wedding readings our brides have used in their weddings and added many more to our ongoing collection. These readings range from Doctor Seuss to  Albert Einstein and everything in between,  It's our hope you will find the perfect reading from the many we have collected over the years.  Please enjoy these  popular wedding readings. Let us know if you use one of them in your wedding.  Email us your favorite reading or scripture so we can add it to the collection.  These wedding readings run a wide range of secular readings to Christian verses.



When God Created Man

When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden he saw that it was not good for man to live alone.  So God prepared a helper and a companion for man--woman.  In this act of creation, God didn't that the woman from man's head, lest she should rule over him; nor from his feet, lest he should trample upon her--but from his side, that she should be equal with him and from close to his heart, that he should love, cherish, and honor her.  then God presented woman to man that each might be the other's helper and companion.  Marriage is God's gift to deliver us from our isolation and loneliness.  It is our opportunity to give each other the gifts of God and to receive the gifts of God from each other.




THE PRAYER
 By St. Francis of Assisi


Lord, make
us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen



Wedding Prayer
 By Robert Louis Stevenson


Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.

Amen


Marriage is a Promise of Love
by Edmund O'Neill

Marriage is a commitment to live--to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.  It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.  A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.  There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.  Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger; even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.  It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.  Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.|


How Do I love Thee?  Sonnet XLIII, from Sonnets from the Portuguese
 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's father.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


IF Thou Must Love Me
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love's sake only.  Do not say
"I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently, for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mind, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"--
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee--and love, so wrought.
May be unwrought so.  Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and love they love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Though mayst love on, through love's eternity.


by a medieval poet named Kuan Tao-Sheng, and it was written in the 13th century

You and I
Have so much love,
that is burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
then we take both of them.
and break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water.
and mold again a figure of you
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt,
In death we will share one coffin.



Perfect Love
 Author Unknown


Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone. To have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God to the Christian says, "No, not until you're satisified and fulfilled and content with living, loved by Me alone and giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me, to have an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.

"I love you, My child, and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with Me -- exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or belongings.

"I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait.

"Don't be anxious and don't worry. Don't look around at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you'll miss what I have to show you.

"And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working this minute to have both of you ready at the same time, and until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I've prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me, and this is perfect love.

"And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with Myself. Know I love you. I am God Almighty, believe and be satisfied."


A History of Love
Diane Ackerman

“Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful. It has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love’s spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable? Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots spreading into deep and mysterious days. The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving, and being loved.”


excerpt from Any Husband or Wife
Carole Haynes

“Let us be guests in one another’s house, with a deferential “No” and courteous “Yes.” Let us take care to hide our foolish moods behind a certain show of cheerfulness. Let us avoid all sullen silences. We should find fresh and sprightly things to say. I must be fearful lest you find me dull, and you must dread to bore me any way. Let us knock gently at each other’s heart, glad of a chance to look within—and yet let us remember that to force one’s way is the unpardoned breach of etiquette. So we shall be host and hostess, until all need for entertainment ends. We shall be lovers when the last door shuts. But what is better still, we shall be friends.



Blessing of the Hands
(best to be read just before the exchange of rings)

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”



Apache Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for the other.  Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth to the other.  Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.  Go now to your dwelling, to enter into the days of your life together, and may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.  Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.  When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship--as they threaten all relationships at one time or another--remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.   In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives--remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.  And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.




Cherokee Prayer

God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.  We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.  We honor mother earth, and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.  We honor fire, and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts.  We honor wind, and ask we sail through life safe and calm as in our father's arms.  We honor water, to clean and soothe our relationship, that it may never thirst for love.  With all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony and true happiness as we forever grow young together.  Amen.


Traditional Native American Prayer

O Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
Whose breath gives life to all the world,
~ Hear me ~
I come before you, one of your children.

I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty,
And make my eyes ever behold
The red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things You have made,
My ears sharp to hear Your voice.

Make me wise, so that I may know the things
You have taught my People,
The lessons You have hidden
In every leaf and rock.

I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers,
But to be able to fight my greatest enemy...
Myself.

Make me ever ready to come to You,
With clean hands and straight eyes,
So when life fades as a fading sunset,
My spirit may come to you without shame


from a Navajo Wedding Ceremony

Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out. The two of you now have a fire that represents love, understanding and a philosophy of life. It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness. The new fire represents a new beginning - a new life and a new family. The fire should keep burning; you should stay together. You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.


Shoshone Wedding Song

Him:
"Not a spirit, not a bird,
That was my flute you heard
Last night by the river.
When you came with your wicker jar
Where the river tugs at the willows,
That was my flute you heard
Calling, Come to the willows."

Her:
"Not a spirit, not a bird
Made the lupine rustle.
That was my heart you heard
And the rustle of my hem
As I walked in the grasses.
That was my heart you heard
When you came to the willows.


Eskimo Love Song
 Author Unknown


You are my husband
My feet shall run because of you
My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love because of you.


Hindu Marriage Poem

You have become mine forever.
Yes, we have become partners.
I have become yours.
Hereafter, I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me.
Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, unite.
You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.
May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.
May the plants be honey-sweet for us.
May the earth be honey-sweet for us.


"On Children"
by Khalil Gibran 

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, ‘Speak to us of Children.’ And he said, ‘Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies, but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness, for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.’”


"On Marriage"
by Khalil Gibran

"Then Almitra spoke again and said, and what of Marriage master? And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone."


"On Love"
by Khalil Gibran

"Then said the student Almitra, Speak to us of love. And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said: When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth."



"You Were Born Together"
by Khalil Gibran

"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spades in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the land of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow."



The Buddha's sermon at Rajagaha; verses 19-22

 "Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere. Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind and mild.

 Cherish good will right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, what ever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving-kind.

Gifts are great, founding temples is meritorious, meditations and religious exercises pacify the heart, comprehension of the truth leads to Nirvana, but greater than all is lovingkindness.

 As the light of the moon is 16 times stronger than the light of all the stars, so lovingkindness is 16 times more efficacious in liberating the heart than all other religious accomplishments taken together."


Shall I Compare Thee To a Summer's Day? Sonnet 18
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
And summer's lease hath all to short a date
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd.
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd.
Buy they eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st.
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see.
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


"Romeo and Juliet"
William Shakespeare  (1564-1616
)

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.


Sonnet 116
William Shakespeare  (1564-1616
)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.   Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rose lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev'n to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


"Love's Labours Lost", 4.3.327-55
William Shakespeare  (1564-1616)

But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain;
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world:
Else none at all in ought proves excellent.


"The Merchant of Venice", 3.2.17-9
 William Shakespeare  (1564-1616)

One half of me is yours, the other half yours
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so all yours.


The Merchant of Venice,  Act 4, Scene 1 (spoken by Portia)
William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then
show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, [Jew,]
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy."



"Hamlet", 2.2.123-6
 William Shakespeare  (1564-1616)

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.


 William Shakespeare  (1564-1616)

No sooner met but they looked;
No sooner looked but they loved;
No sooner loved but they sighed;
No sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason;
No sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.


 

Arthur Davison Ficke

Love is the simplest of all earthly things
It needs no grandeur of celestial trust
In more than what it is, no holy wings
It stands with honest feet in honest dust
And is the body's blossoming in clear air
Of trustfulness and joyance when alone
Two mortals pass beyond the hour's despair
And claim that Paradise which is their own
Amid a universe of sweat and blood
Beyond the glooms of all the nations' hate
Lovers, forgetful of the poisoned mood
Of the loud world, in secret ere too late
A gentle sacrament may celebrate
Before their private altar of the good.


Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove.
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks, Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks.
By shallow rivers to whose falls, Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle, Embroidered with all the leaves of myrtle,
A gown made of the finest wool, Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold,
A belt of straw and ivy buds, With coral clasps and amber studs.
And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing, For thy delight each May morning.
If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me and be my love.


Desiderata
Max Erhmann (1927)

"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."





Kenneth W. Phifer

The institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might learn how to love and, in loving, know joy; that a man and a woman might learn how to share pain and loneliness and, in sharing, know strength; that a man and a woman might learn how to give and, in giving, know communion.

The institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might through their joy, their strength, and their communion, become creators of life itself.
Marriage is a high and holy state, to be held in honor among all men and women.  Marriage is a low and common state, to be built of the stuff of daily life.

Men and women are not angels, nor are they gods.  Love can become hatred; joy sorrow; marriage divorce.  But human beings are not condemned to failure.  Love can grow even in a real world.  The wounds of sorrow can be healed and new life built on the learnings of the old. 

This is the reason for our gathering today; to renew our faith in the strength of hope and the power of love.


Walt Whitman

I did not offer the old smooth prizes,
But offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you.
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid-up stores,
However convenient the dwellings,
You shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port,
And however calm the water,
You shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
You are permitted to receive it but a little while
Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before you,
The long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law.
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?


The Good-Morrow
by John Donne

I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not weaned till then ?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die


Foundations Of Marriage
by Regina Hill

"Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything... In marriage, all of the moments won't be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together. Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments. Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It's inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up... even when all the odds say to quit. It's allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren't in total agreement or exactly what you'd like them to be. It's getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness."


“Sooner or Later”
anonymous

“Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all -- one known only by those who love."


"The Magic of Love"
by Helen Steiner Rice

“Love is like magic, and it always will be, 
For love still remains life's sweet mystery. 
Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange, 
And there's nothing in life that love cannot change! 
Love can transform the most commonplace 
Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. 
Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, 
For it sees with its heart, and not with its mind. 
Love is the answer that everyone seeks; 
Love is the language that every heart speaks. 
Love can't be bought, it is priceless and free. 
Love, like pure magic, is life's sweet mystery!!”


"Friendship"
by Judy Bielicki

“It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life-it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. (Bride) and (Groom) came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.”



"Will You Give Me Yourself?"
Walt Whitman

I give you my love, more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?


Time In A Bottle"
by Jim Croce

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to save every day ‘till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you. If I could make days last forever; if words could make wishes come true; I'd save every day like a treasure and then, again, I would spend them with you. If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true; the box would be empty, except for the memory of how they were answered by you. But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them. I've looked around enough to know that you're the one I want to go through time with.”


“Hug O' War”
by Shel Silverstein

"I will not play at tug o' war. I'd rather play at hug o' war, where everyone hugs instead of tugs, where everyone giggles, and rolls on the rug, where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”


“The Promise”
 
by Heather Berry

“Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits. As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places were you’ve both only dreamed. Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms.”


From "The Irrational Season"
by Madeleine L'Engle

"Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling."



“Love Is Friendship Caught Fire”
by Laura Hendricks

"Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough."


excerpt from “The Art of a Good Marriage”
by Wilferd Arlan Peterson

"A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the "little" things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say, ”I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values, and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person -- it is being the right partner."

 



Bridal Song

 John Ford

Comforts lasting, loves increasing,
Like soft hours never ceasing:
Plenty's pleasure, peace complying,
Without jars, or tongues envying;
Hearts by holy union wedded,
More than theirs by custom bedded;
Fruitful issues; life so graced,
Not by age to be defaced,
Budding, as the year ensu'th,
Every spring another youth:
All what thought can add beside
Crown this bridegroom and this bride!


United Methodist Hymnal
A responsive reading that incorporates popular wedding scriptures;
P: Pastor, C: Congregation

P: Let love be genuine and live in harmony;
hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.
Outdo one another in showing honor;
be humble and never conceited.

C: Love is stronger than death
and jealousy is cruel as the grave.
Floods cannot drown love
and wealth cannot buy it.


P: Put love above all else;
let Christ's peace rule your hearts.
Always be forgiving,
as Christ has forgiven you.

C: Love is not jealous or boastful,
arrogant, rude or stubborn,
irritable, resentful or possessive.
Love is patient and kind.


P: Do not love in word or speech only;
love also in deed and truth.
Receive each other in sincerity,
find mercy and grow old together.

C: Love rejoices in the right;
it bears, believes, hopes and endures all things,
for love is faithful and endless.


P: When the lord builds the house,
the labor is never in vain.

C: Happy are those who take refuge in God;
those who serve the Lord are redeemed.


P: This is my commandment,
that you love one another as I have loved you.

C: And two shall become one in love, for we are members of Christ's body.


Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever
Richard Bach


A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
 


 

Wedding Prayer of spouses to Each Other

Lord Jesus, grant that I and my spouse may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony.

May we always bear with one another's weaknesses and grow from each other's strengths. Help us to forgive one another's failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of self.


May the love that brought us together grow and mature with each passing year. Bring us both ever closer to You through our love for each other. Let our love grow to perfection.

Amen.


The Way -- Unknown origin

The way is long -- let us go together
The way is difficult -- let us help each other
The way is joyful -- let us share it
The way is ours alone -- let us go in love
The way grows before us -- let us begin


A Wedding Wish

All earthly goods I wish thee.
All that's good for thee and thine
And still, not only earthly
But all we know to be divine.

May earth and heaven mingle
May earth and heaven be one
All through your earthly journey
Till sets your earthly sun.

In Sunshine and in shadow
Through dancing and in song
May heaven bless your union
Throughout your whole life long.



Love
 Author Unknown


Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad.  It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weakness.
Love is content with the present. It hopes for the future and it doesn’t brood over the past.  It’s the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals.

If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you don’t have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough, so search for it, ask God for it, and share it!



In Love Made Visiable
 By Mary Swenson

In love are we made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed

With love's alertness
we recognize
the soundless whimper
of the soul
behind the eyes
A shaft opens
and the timid thing
at last leaps to surface
with full-spread wing

The fingertips of love discover
more than the body's smoothness
They uncover a hidden conduit
for the transfusion
of empathies that circumvent
the mind's intrusion

In love we are set free
Objective bone
and flesh no longer insulate us
to ourselves alone
We are released
and flow into each other's cup
Our two frail vials pierced
drink each other up



I Love You
 By Roy Croft


I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
 



True Love
 By Author Unknown


True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.


“I Am Love" 
Unkown

“Some say I can fly on the wind, yet I haven’t any wings. Some have found me floating on the open sea, yet I cannot swim. Some have felt my warmth on cold nights, yet I have no flame. And though you cannot see me, I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces. I am the twinkle in your child’s eyes. I am hidden in the lines of your mother's face. I am your father's shield as he guards your home. And yet… Some say I am stronger than steel, yet I am as fragile as a tear. Some have never searched for me, yet I am around them always. Some say I die with loss, yet I am endless. And though you cannot hear me, I dance on the laughter of children. I am woven into the whispers of passion. I am in the blessings of Grandmothers. I embrace the cries of newborn babies. And yet… Some say I am a flower, yet I am also the seed. Some have little faith in me, yet I will always believe in them. Some say I cannot cure the ill, yet I nourish the soul. And though you cannot touch me, I am the gentle hand of the kind. I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night. I am the hug of a child. I am love.”






Why Marriage?
 By: Mari Nichols-Haining


Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.


A New Beginning
 Gwen Frostic

On this earth there is a oneness
A rhythmic flow through everything that lives
The things with roots and stems and leaves
The things with shells and fins and furs
The things with wings with which to fly
The things that crwal and those that walk
Each thing must eat and breath and rest
Each thing must seek and each is sought for
Each has a birth, a purpose to fulfill
To each an end and then a new beginning.



Dove Poem

 Author Unknown


Two doves meeting in the sky
Two loves hand in hand eye to eye
Two parts of a loving whole
Two hearts and a single soul

Two stars shining big and bright
Two fires bringing warmth and light
Two songs played in perfect tune
Two flowers growing into bloom

Two Doves gliding in the air
Two loves free without a care
Two parts of a loving whole
Two hearts and a single soul



Hope is the Thing with Feathers

 By Emily Dickenson


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.
 


“Looking For Your Face”
by Rumi

“From the beginning of my life I have been looking for your face, but today I have seen it. Today I have seen the charm, the beauty, the unfathomable grace of the face that I was looking for. Today I have found you, and those who laughed and scorned me yesterday are sorry that they were not looking as I did. I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty, and wish to see you with a hundred eyes. My heart has burned with passion and has searched forever for this wondrous beauty that I now behold. I am ashamed to call this love human, and afraid of God to call it divine. Your fragrant breath, like the morning breeze, has come to the stillness of the garden. You have breathed new life into me. I have become your sunshine, and also your shadow. My soul is screaming in ecstasy. Every fiber of my being is in love with you. Your effulgence has lit a fire in my heart, and you have made radiant for me the earth and sky. My arrow of love has arrived at the target. I am in the house of mercy, and my heart is a place of prayer.”



“Sonnet 17”
by Pablo Neruda

“I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom, and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I know no other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you; so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.”

From "The Hungering Dark"
by Frederick Buechhner

"Matrimony is called holy, because this brave and fateful promise of a man and a woman, to love and honor and serve each other through thick and thin, looks beyond itself to more fateful promises still, and speaks mightily of what human life at its most human and most alive and most holy must always be. Every wedding is a dream, and every word that is spoken there means more than it says, and every gesture - the clasping of hands, the giving of rings - is rich with mystery. And so it [is that] we hope with every bride and groom, that the love they bear one another, and the joy they take in one another, may help them grow in love for this whole world where their final joy lies."


From "The Hymn of the Universe"
by Teilhard de Chardin

"Only love can bring individual beings to their perfect completion, as individuals, by uniting them one with another, because only love takes possession of them and unites them by what lies deepest within them. This is simply a fact of our everyday experience. For indeed at what moment do lovers come into the most complete possession of themselves if not when they say that they are lost in one another? And is not love all the time achieving - in couples, in teams, all around us - the magical and reputedly contradictory feat of personalizing through totalizing? And why should not what is thus daily achieved on a small scale be repeated one day on world-wide dimensions?

Humanity, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, of the one with the many: all these are regarded as utopian fantasies, yet they are biologically necessary; and if we would see them made flesh in the world what more need we do than imagine our power to love growing and broadening, till it can embrace the totality of human beings and of the earth?"




"The Invitation"
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of you fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being a human. It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see the beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!" It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children. It doesn't interest me who you are, or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."





Excerpt from "the Gift From The Sea"
By Anne Morrow Lindbergh



When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, mot in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.


I Promise
Dorothy Colgan



I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realise that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost fears
and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.
Completely and forever.



Marriage Joins Two People in it's Circle of Love
By Edmund O'Neill



Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.

Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.

Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.

Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.

When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfil.


The Most Wonderful of all Things in Life
By Sir Hugh Walpole



The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.



Never Marry But For Love
William Penn



Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely. If love be not the chiefest motive, thou wilt soon grow weary of a married state and stray from thy promise, to search out thy pleasures in forbidden places...
Between a man and his wife nothing ought to rule but love ... As love ought to bring them together, so it is the best way to keep them well together.

A husband and wife that love and value one another show their children... that they should do so too. Others visibly lose authority in their families by their contempt of one another, and teach their children to be unnatural by their own examples.

Let not enjoyment lessen, but augment, affection; it being the basest of passions to like when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

Here it is we ought to search out our pleasure, where the field is large and full of variety, and of an enduring nature; sickness, poverty or disgrace being not able to shake it because it is not under the moving influences of worldly contingencies.

Nothing can be more entire and without reserve; nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere; nothing more contented than such a couple, nor greater temporal felicity than to be one of them.



The Seven Blessings
From "The New Jewish Wedding"
 By Anita Diamant



“We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, expressing our appreciation for this wine, symbol and aid of our rejoicing.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, realizing that each separate moment and every distinct object points to and shares in this oneness.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, recognizing and appreciating the blessing of being human.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, realizing the special gift of awareness that permits us to perceive this unity and the wonder we experience as a man and a woman joined to live together.

May rejoicing resound throughout the world as the homeless are given homes, persecution and oppression cease, and all people learn to live in peace with each other and in harmony with their environment.

From the Divine, source of all energy, we call forth an abundance of love to envelop this couple. May they be for each other lovers and friends, and may their love partake of the same innocence, purity, and sense of discovery that we imagine the first couple to have experienced.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, and we highlight today joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, delight and cheer, love and harmony, peace and companionship. May we all witness the day when the dominant sounds through the world will be these sounds of happiness, the voices of lovers, the sounds of feasting and singing.

Praised is love; blessed be this marriage. May the bride and bridegroom rejoice together."


Talmud (Ketubot 8)

Blessed art though, O Lord, King of the Universe, who created mirth and joy, bridegroom and bride, gladness, jubilation, dancing, and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and fellowship. Quickly, O Lord our God, may the sound of mirth and joy be heard in the streets of Judah and Jerusalem, the voice of bridegroom and bride, jubilant voices of bridegrooms from their canopies and youths from the feasts of song. Blessed art though, O Lord, who makes the bridegroom rejoice with the bride.


I Ching

When two people are at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.

And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.


Braham-Sutra

When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angels desert heaven and sit in that hour and sing for joy.


Traditional Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.


A Good Wedding Cake, Author Unknown

4lb of love
1 lb butter of youth
1/2 lb of good looks
l lb sweet temper
1 lb of blindness for faults
1 lb of self forgetfulness
l lb of pounded wit
lb of good humour
2 tablespoons of sweet argument
1 pint of rippling laughter
1 wine glass of common sense
1 oz modesty

Put in the love, good looks and sweet temper into a well furnished house.
Beat the butter of youth to a cream, and mix well together with the blindness of faults.
Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling laughter and common sense.
Work the whole together until everything is well mixed, and bake gently for ever.


An Old Wedding Blessing

May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
An Old Wedding Blessing


Scottish Wedding Blessing

May joy and peace surround you both,
Contentment latch your door,
May happiness be with you now;
God bless you evermore.


Irish Wedding Blessing -I

You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,
You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.
No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.
Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths.
You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.



A German Blessing

With faith there is love,
With love there is peace,
With peace there is blessing,
With blessing, there is God,
With God there is no need.


Druid's Blessing

We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand to hand.
Hark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our Sacred Vow.


Traditional Irish Blessing of a bride and groom

I wish healing upon you
The healing of Mary with me,
Mary, Michael and Brighid
Be with me all three.

Fly with the birds of the air
Fly with the wasps of the hill
Swim with the sea-going whale
For they are swiftest

Be upon the clouds of the sky
For they are the rainiest
Be upon the river's current
Cascading to the sea


Irish Wedding Blessing -II

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.


Irish Wedding Blessing -III

May God be with you and bless you
May you see your children's children
May you be poor in misfortunes,
Rich in blessings
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward


Salish marriage blessing

Now for you there is no rain, for one is shelter to the other.
Now for you the sun shall not burn, for one is shelter to the other.
Now for you nothing is hard or bad, for the hardness and badness is taken by one for the other.
Now for you there is no night, for one is light to the other,
Now for you the snow has ended always, for one is protection for the other.
It is that way, from now on, from now on. And now there is comfort.
Now there is no loneliness. Now forever, forever, there is no loneliness.


Native American Blessing

Great Spirit, Grant that our hearts may always be young and that our dreams may last forever.


Celtic Blessing

We swear by peace
and love to stand
heart to heart
and hand to hand
Mark O Spirit
and hear us now
confirming this
our sacred vow.


A Gaelic Wedding Prayer

May the blessings of the Lord who brings love and joy and health pillow you all the days of your life.



Blessing for a Marriage
James Dillet Freeman



May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another - not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!" and take no notice of small faults.

If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another's presence - no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.



Love Is
by Adrien Henri

Love is feeling cold in the back of vans
Love is a fanclub with only two fans
Love is walking holding painstained hands
Love is

Love is fish and chips on winter nights
Love is blankets full of strange delights
Love is when you don’t put out the light
Love is

Love is the presents in Christmas shops
Love is when you’re feeling Top of the Pops
Love is what happens when the music stops
Love is

Love is white panties lying all forlorn
Love is a pink nightdress still slightly warm
Love is when you have to leave at dawn
Love is

Love is you and love is me
Love is a prison and love is free
Love’s what’s there when you’re away from me
Love is…


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"The Confirmation"
By Edwin Muir

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.






"One With Each Other"
By George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.





"A Marriage"
by Michael Blumenthal


You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.

But then,
unexpectedly,
something wonderful happens:

Someone,
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arms up
to the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.





"Patagonia"
by Kate Clanchy

I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on at high tide. I thought

of us in breathless cold, facing
a horizon round as a coin, looped
in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
from sea to sun. I planned to wait

till the waves had bored themselves
to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
growing worried in the hush,
had paddled off in tiny coracles, till

those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
had dropped slack into your lap,
until you’d turned, at last, to me.
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant

skies all empty aching blue. I meant
years. I meant all of them with you.





"Hinterhof"
by James Fenton

Stay near to me and I’ll stay near to you -
As near as you are dear to me will do,
    Near as the rainbow to the rain,
    The west wind to the windowpane,
As fire to the hearth, as dawn to dew.

Stay true to me and I’ll stay true to you -
As true as you are new to me will do,
    New as the rainbow in the spray,
    Utterly new in every way,
New in the way that what you say is true.

Stay near to me, stay true to me. I’ll stay
As near, as true to you as heart could pray.
    Heart never hoped that one might be
    Half of the things you are to me -
The dawn, the fire, the rainbow and the day.





"The Present"
By Michael Donaghy


For the present there is just one moon,
though every level pond gives back another.

But the bright disc shining in the black lagoon,
perceived by astrophysicist and lover,

is milliseconds old. And even that light’s
seven minutes older than its source.

And the stars we think we see on moonless nights
are long extinguished. And, of course,

this very moment, as you read this line,
is literally gone before you know it.

Forget the here-and-now. We have no time
but this device of wantonness and wit.

Make me this present then: your hand in mine,
and we’ll live out our lives in it.







"I Rely on You," by Hovis Presley

I rely on you
like a camera needs a shutter
like a gambler needs a flutter
like a golfer needs a putter
like a buttered scone involves some butter

I rely on you
like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve
like a hairpin needs a drastic curve
like an HGV needs endless derv
like an outside left needs a body swerve

I rely on you
like a handyman needs pliers
like an auctioneer needs buyers
like a laundromat needs driers
like The Good Life needed Richard Briers

I rely on you.

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"Yes, I'll Marry You," by Pam Ayres

Yes, I'll marry you, my dear,
And here's the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it's creepy and it's late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I'll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It's you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It's you that has to whack him.

Yes, I'll marry you,
You're virile and you're lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!

It's you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I've got PMT it's you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!

 


"Foxtrot From a Play," by W H Auden

The soldier loves his rifle,
The scholar loves his books,
The farmer loves his horses,
The film star loves her looks.
There's love the whole world over
Wherever you may be;
Some lose their rest for gay Mae West,
But you're my cup of tea.
Some talk of Alexander
And some of Fred Astaire,
Some like their heroes hairy
Some like them debonair,
Some prefer a curate
And some an A.D.C.,
Some like a tough to treat'em rough,
But you're my cup of tea.

Some are mad on Airedales
And some on Pekinese,
On tabby cats or parrots
Or guinea pigs or geese.
There are patients in asylums
Who think that they're a tree;
I had an ant who loved a plant,
But you're my cup of tea.

Some have sagging waistlines
And some a bulbous nose
And some a floating kidney
And some have hammer toes,
Some have tennis elbow
And some have housemaid's knee,
And some I know have got B.O.,
But you're my cup of tea.

The blackbird loves the earthworm,
The adder loves the sun,
The polar bear an iceberg,
The elephant a bun,
The trout enjoys the river,
The whale enjoys the sea,
And dogs love most an old lamp-post,
But you're my cup of tea.

 



Albert Einstein



Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.


"Falling in love is like owning a dog," by Taylor Mali

First of all, it's a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.




Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

 


"Yes, I'll Marry You," by Pam Ayres

Yes, I'll marry you, my dear,
And here's the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it's creepy and it's late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I'll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It's you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It's you that has to whack him.

Yes, I'll marry you,
You're virile and you're lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!

It's you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I've got PMT it's you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!


"Oh the Places You'll Go," by Dr. Seuss

 


Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you'll want to go down. In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town. It's opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you'll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't. Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you'll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ľ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you'll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!


"All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," by Robert Fulgham

All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned…

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.

Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.