The following are a collection of wedding ceremony readings, poems and prayers that can be brought into your wedding ceremony to inspire and uplift your guests. I have assembled a list of the most popular non-religious wedding ceremony readings as well as time-tested wedding ceremony bible readings that our wedding couples have found useful. You can also add Prayers to your wedding ceremony if you wanted to bring in a religious or spiritual dimension.

All of these choices are one way of adding a certain flavor to your ceremony to help shape it into the wedding of your dreams. For example, if you wanted to bring in a little religious flavor, you could choose a Bible reading. Or maybe you love poetry and want to express your feelings about your marriage through a beautiful poem. Or perhaps a certain reading distills the perfect essence of marriage and you would like to share it to inspire your loved ones.

Please note that one way of honoring a loved one or a friend is to invite them to participate in the ceremony by sharing a reading, poem or prayer. This adds drama, warmth, connection and joy to your ceremony. You could also share the reading, poem or prayer yourself, either to your partner, or together. Of course, you can always have one of our wedding officiants enthusiastically present your favorite passage as you take in its rich joy and meaning on your miraculous wedding day.

Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony Readings

The Key To Love
On Friendship
From This Day Forward
Let Us Walk Together
Letters to a Young Poet
From To Know Yourself, by Swami Satchidananda
From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Navajo Prayer
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever
On Love~
True Love
Art Of Marriage
Celtic Wedding Blessing
These I Can Promise
This Day I Married My Best Friend
A Good Wedding Cake Author Unknown
Eskimo Love Song
A Lovely Love Story
Traditional Irish Blessing
Apache Wedding Blessing
Excerpt from The Alchemist
Love is an Adventure
Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love
Blessing for a Marriage
Blessing of the Hands
What is Love
Excerpt from The Gift of the Sea
Summary of Plato’s Symposium
Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever
On Marriage from The Prophet
From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
I Carry Your Heart With Me
I’ll Be There for You
Instructions for Life in the New Millennium
Rolfe Gerhardt Poem
Scientific Romance
To Love is Not to Possess
The Amber Spyglass
The Day Sky
The Invitation
The Privileged Lovers
Excerpt from The Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality
Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit
Touched by an Angel
From the Irrational Season
I love you
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog
Love Is
We’re All a Little Weird
Why Marriage
When I am with you

Biblical Wedding Ceremony Readings

1 Corinthians 13
Matthew 19:4-6
Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12
Genesis 2:24-28
Mark 10:6-9
1 John 4:10
Romans 12:9-16
Colossians 3:12-17
Source Unknown-Christian Reading
The Prayer
Wedding Prayer


Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony Readings

The Key To Love
The key to love is understanding...
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness...
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing...
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving...
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect...
realising that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don't belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all...
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work... but the rewards are more than worth the effort...
and that is the key to love.

[Back to Top]

On Friendship
by Roy Croft (also called 'Love'; also called 'To my Friend')
I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but 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 frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find...

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.

[Back to Top]

From This Day Forward
From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together,
let us find our favorite places, and go together...
Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain,
being alone together, and in crowds together...
From this day forward, together,
Let us love!

[Back to Top]

Let Us Walk Together
Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free. Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have solitude and individuality.

Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone, yet be near, when I need you. Let us share our love. Give freely of your love, but do not smother me, my soul must breathe a free air. Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation, is stale and without life. Let us share our lives.

Share my life, but do not try to shape it. Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me. Let us share ourselves. Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams. Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be. Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom or bind your soul. Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams. Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom

Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom. As we share our lives, as we walk through life together, know my love is yours, but not my soul for it must be free.

[Back to Top]

Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person - it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chose him and calls him to vast distances.

[Back to Top]

From To Know Yourself, by Swami Satchidananda:
A wedding is between two reflections of God. Two pairs of eyes see one vision. They are dedicated to serve one another and the humanity at large. Two minds come together to help each other realize their true nature. Going side by side with the right partner is a good way to reach God quickly. When the husband's and the wife's love for each other blends together and becomes love of God, marriage is a divine institution.

[Back to Top]

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
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 each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand 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

[Back to Top]

Navajo Prayer
When you were children, you talked like children, But now that you've grown, you should be done with childish things and put them away. When you were children, you looked into a mirror that gave only a blurred reflection of reality. But with love and maturity, you shouldn't be afraid to look into that mirror and see each other face to face. Be swift like the wind in loving each other. Be brave like the sea in loving each other. Be gentle like the breeze in loving each other. Be patient like the sun who waits and watches the four changes of the earth in loving each other. Be wise like the roaring of the thunder clouds and lightning in loving each other. Be shining like the morning dawn in loving each other. Be proud like the tree who stands without bending in loving each other. Be brilliant like the rainbow colors in loving each other. Now, forever, forever, there will be no more loneliness because your worlds are joined together with the world. Forever, forever.

[Back to Top]

Anne Morrow Lindburgh
"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. The only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom, in the sense that 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, not in hoping even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency."

Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever
(Richard Bach)
A soul mate 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 soul mate 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 soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

[Back to Top]

On Love~
By Thomas Kempis ~
Love is a mighty power,
a great and complete good.
Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.
It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders
all bitterness sweet and acceptable.

Nothing is sweeter than love,
Nothing stronger,
Nothing higher,
Nothing wider,
Nothing more pleasant,
Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.

Love flies, runs and leaps for joy.
It is free and unrestrained.
Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.
Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil,
attempts things beyond its strength.

Love sees nothing as impossible,
for it feels able to achieve all things.
It is strange and effective,
while those who lack love faint and fail.

Love is not fickle and sentimental,
nor is it intent on vanities.
Like a living flame and a burning torch,
it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

[Back to Top]

True Love
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.

[Back to Top]

Art of 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 at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

[Back to Top]

Celtic Wedding Blessing
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
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.

[Back to Top]

These I Can Promise
Author Unknown

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.

But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

[Back to Top]

This Day I Married My Best Friend
Author Unknown
This day I married my best friend
...the one I laugh with as we share life's wonderous zest,
as we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best.
...the one I live for because the world seems brighter
as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.
...the one I love with every fiber of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

[Back to Top]

A Good Wedding Cake Author Unknown

4 lb. 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.
l lb. of good humour.
2 tablespoons of sweet argument.
1 pint of rippling laughter.
1 wine glass of common sense.
1 oz. modesty.

Put 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.

Eskimo Love Song
Author Unknown

You are my husband (wife)
My feet shall run because of you
My feet shall 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.

[Back to Top]

A lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.

I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.

But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?

But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?

I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.

I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place.

[Back to Top]

Traditional Irish Blessing

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow
May the soft winds freshen your spirit
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again my friend
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 misfortunes and rich in Blessings
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward
May green be the grass you walk on
May blue be the skies above you,
And from this day forward.
May the joys of today
Be those of tomorrow.

[Back to Top]

Apache Wedding Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, may happiness be your companion and your days together 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, difficult 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.

[Back to Top]

Excerpt from The Alchemist

When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.

[Back to Top]

Love is an Adventure by Pierre Tielhart de Chardin

“Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops like the universe itself only by perpetual discovery. The only right love is that between couples whose passion leads them both, one through the other, to a higher possession of their being. Put your faith in the spirit which dwells between the two of you. You have each offered yourself to the other as a boundless field of understanding, of enrichment, of mutually increased sensibility. You will meet above all by entering into and constantly sharing one another’s thoughts, affections, and dreams. There alone, as you know, in spirit, which is arrived through flesh, you will find no disappointments, no limits. There alone the skies are ever open for your love; there alone lies the great road ahead.”

[Back to Top]

Blessing for a Marriage by 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.

[Back to Top]

Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love By Edmund O’Neil

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 fulfill.

[Back to Top]

Blessing of the Hands by Unknown

These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands 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 hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And 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.

[Back to Top]

What is Love by Unknown

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.

[Back to Top]

Excerpt from The Gift of 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 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, not 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.

[Back to Top]

Summary of Plato’s Symposium

Our original nature was by no means the same as it is now. There was a kind composed of both sexes and sharing equally in male and female. The form of each person was round all over; each had four arms, and legs to match these, and two faces perfectly alike. The creature walked upright, and whenever it started running fast, it went like our acrobats, whirling over and over with legs stuck out straight, swiftly round and round.

Now they were so lofty in their notions that they even conspired against the gods. Thereat Zeus and the other gods were perplexed; for they felt they could not slay them, nor could they endure such sinful rioting. Then Zeus said “Methinks I can contrive that men shall give over their iniquity through a lessening of their strength.” So saying, he sliced each human being in two. Now when our first form had been cut in two, each half in longing for his fellow would come to it again; and then would they fling their arms about each other and in mutual embraces yearn to be grafted together. Thus anciently is mutual love ingrained in mankind.

Well, when one happens on his own particular half, the two of them are wondrously thrilled with affection and intimacy and love, and are hardly to be induced to leave each other’s side for a single moment. These are they who continue together throughout life. No one could imagine this to be the mere amorous connection: obviously the soul of each is wishing for something else that it cannot express. Suppose that Hephaestus should ask “Do you desire to be joined in the closest possible union, that so long as you live, the pair of you, being as one, may share a single life?” Each would unreservedly deem that he had been offered just what he was yearning for all the time.

The craving and pursuit of that entirety is called Love. If we make friends with the god and are reconciled, we shall have the fortune that falls to few in our day of discovering our proper favorites. Love is the god who brings this about; he fully deserves our hymns. If we will supply the gods with reverent duty, he will restore us to our ancient life and heal and help us into the happiness of the blessed.

[Back to Top]

Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever by 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.

[Back to Top]

On Marriage from The Prophet 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 white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, 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,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand 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.

[Back to Top]

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

And another thing. Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion… That is just being ‘in love’, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two.

[Back to Top]

From “Union” by Robert Fulghum

“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife ”

[Back to Top]

I Carry Your Heart With Me by E.E. Cummings

I carry your heart with me
(I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it
(Anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate
(For you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world
(For beautiful you are my world, my true)
And you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart
(I carry it in my heart)

[Back to Top]

I’ll Be There For You by Louise Cuddon

I’ll be there, my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said, ‘Fine,’ but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue
’Cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there.

[Back to Top]

Instructions for Life in the New Millennium by his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
And that a loving atmosphere in your home
is the foundation for your life.

Be gentle with the earth,
be gentle with one another.

When disagreements come
remember always to protect the spirit of your union.

When you realize you’ve made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.

Remember that the best relationship is one
in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.

So love yourselves, love one another,
love all that is your life together
and all else will follow.

[Back to Top]

Rolfe Gerhardt Poem by Rolfe Gerhardt

Let this be a reminder that you are guaranteed by the seasons of nature a significant winter each year, and you are guaranteed by the whimsies of life more winters of the soul than you can now imagine. So I am bringing before you these words to ask you to remember the springtimes that should follow each winter, springtimes that are not always given to you but sometimes must be created by you even when it seems impossible. Find the time to arise and come away with each other; be romantic; listen to the voices of birds that aren’t there; laugh and cry deeply; and be silly as a daisy in spite of the chill and dark times that must come into everyone’s life. That is the love I am wishing you. As much of any of us would wish otherwise, there must be winters in your life, so we pray for your springtimes as well.

[Back to Top]

Scientific Romance by Tim Pratt

If I became lost in
the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my
only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be
whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even
if it was a world ruled by giant spider-
priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even
a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because
you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway,
and plus
we could get rich
off inventing sandwiches.
If the Singularity comes
and we upload our minds into a vast
computer simulation of near-infinite
complexity and perfect resolution,
and become capable of experiencing any
fantasy, exploring worlds bound only
by our enhanced imaginations,
I’d still spend at least 1021 processing
cycles a month just sitting
on a virtual couch with you,
watching virtual TV,
eating virtual fajitas,
holding virtual hands,
and wishing
for the real thing.

[Back to Top]

To Love is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able to be who really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another- and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adults’ deepens wounds
They are openly free to be who they really are- and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

[Back to Top]

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again…I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you…We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.

[Back to Top]

The Day Sky by Hafiz
Let us be like
Two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with God
And burn

Into a sacred existence that defies—
That surpasses

Every description of ecstasy
And love.

[Back to Top]

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 became shriveled and closed
for fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it 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 your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
or to remember the limitations of being 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 beauty
even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from mysterious 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 njght 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,
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.

[Back to Top]

The Privileged Lovers by Rumi

The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,

This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
beckons us
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.

They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.

They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.

[Back to Top]

Excerpt from The Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality From “Goodridge vs. Department of Health” by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations….Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.”

Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

[Back to Top]

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

[Back to Top]

Touched by an Angel by Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

[Back to Top]

From the Irrational Season by Madeline L’Engle

But ultimately there comes a moment 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, so that, together we become a new creature.

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, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

[Back to Top]

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
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

[Back to Top]

Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love can wake you up all hours of the night with its needs.
Love can give 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 gonna mess with you.
Love needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love does not like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
Love may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love makes messes.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
But then love gives you big kisses,
And you laugh at the little things.
Sometimes love just wants to play.
Running you around the block, leaving 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.
And love brings you together.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk and greet each other on the street.
Most importantly, love needs love, and lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and loves you and never stops.

[Back to Top]

Love Is by Susan Polis Schutz

Love is
being happy for the other person
when they are happy
being sad for the other person when they are sad
being together in good times
and being together in bad times
Love is the source of strength
Love is
being honest with yourself at all times
being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth
and never pretending
Love is the source of reality
Love is
an understanding that is so complete that
you feel as if you are a part of the other person
accepting the other person just the way they are
and not trying to change them to be something else
Love is the source of unity
Love is
the freedom to pursue your own desires
while sharing your experiences with the other person
the growth of one individual alongside of
and together with the growth of another individual
Love is the source of success
Love is
the excitement of planning things together
the excitement of doing things together
Love is the source of the future
Love is
the fury of the storm
the calm of the rainbow
Love is the source of passion
Love is
giving and taking in a daily situation
being patient with each other’s needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing
Love is
knowing that the other person
will always be with you regardless of what happens
missing the other person when they are away
but remaining near in heart at all times
Love is the source of security
Love is the source of life

[Back to Top]

Why Marriage by Dena Acolatse

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 and 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… Together we create our marriage… and with this understanding, the possibilities are limitless.

[Back to Top]

We’re All a Little Weirdby Robert Fulghum

We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.

[Back to Top]

When I am with you From The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks

When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.

Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.

I want to hold you close like a lute, so we can cry out with loving.

You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.

[Back to Top]

Wedding Ceremony Bible Readings

1 Corinthians: 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Modern Version Of Paul to the Corinthians
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
(Bible, part 1 Cor 13)

The Catholic version.
It is not the extraordinary things that make life worthwhile but the love that we share with those around us- a love that comes from God. Let us be eager to learn how to love with this kind of love 'which will never fade away'

[Back to Top]

Matthew 19:4-6

Jesus says: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,’ and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

[Back to Top]

Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him.

[Back to Top]

Genesis 2:24-28

The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

This one shall be called ‘woman,’

For out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

[Back to Top]

Mark 10:6-9

From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

[Back to Top]

1 John 4:10

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Love one another. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us. We love because he first loved us.

[Back to Top]

Romans 12:9-16

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.

[Back to Top]

Colossians 3:12-17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ* dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

[Back to Top]

Canticle of Love ( From the United Methodist Hymnal 1989 Pg. 646)

Let love be genuine and live in harmony;

hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.

Out do one another in showing honor;

be humble and never conceited.

Love is stronger than death

and jealousy is cruel as the grave.

Floods can not drown love and

wealth can not buy it.

Put love above all else;

let Christ’s peace rule your hearts.

Always be forgiving,

as Christ has forgiven you.

Love is not jealous or boastful,

arrogant, rude, or stubborn,

irritable, resentful, or possessive.

Love is patient and kind.

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.

[Back to Top]

Source Unknown-Christian Reading

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 Christians says, “No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreserved to Me, with having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone; discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you 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, exclusively of anyone or anything else, exclusively of any other desire or longing.

I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing, one that you can not imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you. You keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing and learning the things I tell you… You just have to wait. That’s all.

Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things others have gotten or that I’ve given them. Don’t look around at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and up to Me, or you will miss what I want to show you.

And then…when you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any other that you would dream of.

You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time, until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the Love that exemplifies your relationship with Me and this perfect Love.

Dear one, I want you to have this 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 that I love you utterly.

I am God. Believe and be satisfied.

[Back to Top]

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.


[Back to Top]

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.


[Back to Top]

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians (12:31-13:8)
Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophesy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, peice by peice, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but I am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.

[Back to Top]

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians
You are God's chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful. The word of the Lord.

Psalm 1
Blessed are the man and the woman who have grown beyond themselves and have seen through their separations. They delight in the way things are and keep their hearts open, day and night. They are like trees planted near flowing rivers, which bear fruit when they are ready. Their leaves will not fall or wither. Everything they do will succeed.

[Back to Top]

Ruth said:
Entreat me not to leave thee,
Or to return from following after thee:
For whither thou goest, I will go,
And where thou lodgest, I will lodge.
Thy people shall be my people,
And thy God my God.

Where thou diest, will I die,
And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If ought but death part thee and me.
(Ruth 1: 16-17)

[Back to Top]

Song of Solomon
The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.

My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
'in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is comely.

My beloved is mine and I am his.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is cruel as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
(Song of Solomon 2: 8-10,14,16a. 8:6-7a)

[Back to Top]

Reading from the book of Genesis

The Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate."

So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beast and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it.

The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for the man was found for him.

So the Lord God made the man fall into deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh.

The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man.

The man exclaimed: "This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man"

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and they become one body.
The word of the Lord


The Lords' Prayer (Option 1)
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallow be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

Prayer (Option 2)
Let us Pray: Dear God, thank you for this joyous day. Thank you for Your Light that has entered Dianne and Byron's life. Thank you for all the miracles and blessings. Please bless this union. Help Dianne and Byron find the perfect place in this world for their love to flourish. Let the radiant light of their love shine on all those around them. May all their future creations be blessed. God, bless them with the inner gifts of trust, compassion, forgiveness and truth that they may live and grow together in love and peace. Amen.

Prayer (Option 3)
Father of mankind, whose nature is love, look with favor upon this woman and this man who desire to make their vows before you. We are grateful for the providence that has led to this union. Grant this to be more than an outward union, but also the blending of hearts and spirits and purposes. Bless each with the inward qualities of integrity, trust, cooperation and forgiveness, that they may live together in love and peace. Amen.

Prayer (option 4)
adapted from Illuminata by Marianne Williamson

Dear God, Please make of this relationship a great and holy adventure. May their joining be a sacred space. May the two of them find rest here, a haven for their souls. Remove from them any temptation to judge themselves or each other or to direct each other. May they surrender to You their conflicts and their burdens. We know You are their Answer and their rock. Help them not forget. Bring them together in heart and mind as well as body and guide them in the ways of holiness. May this relationship be a burst of light. May it be a fount of love and wisdom for them, for their family, for their community, and for their world. May this bond be a channel for Your love and healing, a vehicle of Your grace and power. As lessons come and challenges grow, let them not be tempted to forsake each other. Let them always remember that in each other they have the most beautiful woman, the most beautiful man, the strongest one, the sacred one in whose arms we are repaired. May they remain young in this relationship. May they grow wise in this relationship. Bring them what You desire for them. And show them how you would have them be. Thank You, dear God.

Prayer (option 5)
Gracious God, spirit of life and love, we ask all blessings upon Byron and Dianne in their life together. May they be blessed with patience, to see them through times of tensions or conflict. May they be blessed with kindness, to enable them to nurture and care for one another in times of pain or sorrow. May them be blessed with a spirit of play and joyfulness, that they may participate fully in the beauties and pleasures of creation. May they be blessed, finally, with a knowledge of the ever-flowing presence of love in the world, that they may be channels of this love to one another and to all whom they meet in their life's journey. Amen.

Prayer (option 6) Honoring The Directions
In many ancient religious traditions, it is customary to bring a service of worship or celebration by calling on the four directions. This is a way of symbolically inviting all of creation to be present and take part in the festivities. This morning, we, too, want to invite the whole of creation to be with us here and now.

Oh Great Spirit of the North, we come to you and ask for the strength and the power to bear what is cold and harsh in life. We come like the buffalo ready to receive the winds that truly can be overwhelming at times. Whatever is cold and uncertain in our life, we ask you to give us the strength to bear it. Do not let the winter blow us away. Oh Spirit of Life and Spirit of the North, we ask you for strength and for warmth.

Oh Great Spirit of the East, we turn to you where the sun comes up, from where the power of light and refreshment come. Everything that is born comes up in this direction the birth of babies, the birth of the puppies, the birth of ideas and the birth of friendship. Let there be the light. Oh Spirit of the East, let the color of fresh rising in our life be glory to you.

Oh Great Spirit of the South, spirit of all that is warm and gentle and refreshing, we ask you to give us this spirit of growth, of fertility, of gentleness. Caress us with a cool breeze when the days are hot. Give us seeds that the flowers, trees and fruits of the earth may grow. Give us the warmth of good friendships. Oh Spirit of the South, send the warmth and the growth of your blessings.

Oh Great Spirit of the West, where the sun goes down each day to come up the next, we turn to you in praise of sunsets and in thanksgiving for changes. You are the great colored sunset of the red west, which illuminates us. You are the powerful cycle, which pulls us to transformation. We ask for the blessings of the sunset. Keep us open to life's changes.

Click Here For a Free, Personalized Wedding Ceremony Package and Guide,
or call Rev. Louis at 1-888-886-6075