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Wedding Readings
Wedding Reading Possibilities
 

Old Testament

  • Genesis 1:26-28, 31
  • Genesis 2:18-24
  • Ruth 1:16-17
  • Psalm 33:1-5
  • Psalm 37:3-7
  • Psalm 67
  • Psalm 100
  • Psalm 103
  • Psalm 121
  • Psalm 127
  • Psalm 128
  • Psalm 150
  • Song of Solomon 2:8-13 
  • Song of Solomon 8:6-7

The New Testament

  • Matthew 5:1-12
  • Matthew 7: 24-27
  • Matthew 19:4-6
  • John 15:9-17
  • Romans 8:31-39
  • Romans 12:1-2, 9-18 
  • 1 Corinthians 13
  • Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Ephesians 5:2, 21-33
  • Colossians 3:12-17
  • 1 Peter 3:1-9
  • John 3:18-24



Other Religious Traditions

Vedic Literature

We have taken the seven steps. 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, united. 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 earth be honey-sweet for us; may the heavens be honey-sweet for us.

 

May the plants be honey-sweet for us; may the sun be all honey for us; may the cows yield us honey-sweet milk!

 

As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our union be permanently settled.

 

 

From the Hindu Marriage Ritual of "Seven Steps"

Let the earth of my body be mixed with the earth my beloved walks on.

Let the fire of my body be the brightness in the mirror that reflects his face.

Let the water of my body join the waters of the lotus pool he bathes in.

Let the breath of my body be air lapping his tired limbs.

Let me be sky, and moving through me that cloud-dark Shyama, my beloved.

Hindu love poem

 

Tao Te Ching

As for your name and your body, which is the dearer?

As for your body and your wealth, which is the more to be prized?

As for gain and loss, which is the more painful?

Thus, an excessive love for anything will cost you dear in the end.

The storing up of too much goods will entail a heavy loss.

To know when you have enough is to be immune from disgrace.

To know when to stop is to be preserved from perils.

Only thus can you endure long.

-- Tao Te Ching

 

Other Readings

Hold fast to dreams,

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams,

For if dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes

 

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false

friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a

healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (also attributed to Harry Emerson Fosdick)

 

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.

-- Teilhard De Chardin

 

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, 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, 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's not enough.

-- Unknown

 

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 cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

-- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

I add my breath to your breath

That our days may be long on the Earth

That the days of our people may be long

That we may be one person

That we may finish our roads together

May our mother bless you with Life

May our Life Paths be fulfilled.

-- Song from the Keres Indians

 

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life -- to strengthen each other in all labor, 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 at the moment of the last parting.

-- George Eliot

 

You are my beloved, I will always cherish you.

You are my beloved, I see your great beauty.

You are my beloved, I feel your great power.

You are my beloved, I respect your great wisdom.

You are my beloved, my home is with you.

You are my beloved, I value your independence.

You are my beloved, I am radiant in your love.

I will always love you.

I will always love you.

I will always love you.

I will always love you.

-- Native American tradition

 

Love is a great thing, a great and thorough good; by itself it makes everything that is heavy light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.

It carries a burden which is no burden; it will not be kept back by anything low and mean; it desires to be free from all worldly affections, and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility.

It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.

Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed, it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a living flame it forces its way upward, and securely passes through all.

Love is active and sincere; courageous, patient, faithful, and prudent.

-- Thomas ˆ Kempis

 

The first duty of love is to listen. -- Paul Tillich

 

When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and sometimes steep.

And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, And when he speaks to you, believe in him.

And he shall ascend to your height and caress your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love, you should not say, "God is in my heart" but rather, "I am in the heart of God."

And think not that you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

-- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

Sharing begins with a host of little things.

A poem read, the rising of the sun across the lake,

Telling how some bird sings

Or, climbing a hill together

Just for the fun of standing side by side

Upon its crest.

Giving a gift or bringing good news

For it is better shared

And laughter shared is always blessed.

Day in, day out -- slowly, bit by bit

Sharing begins unconsciously

With no thought of return except another's pleasure.

But mark how often it's been known to grow

Until the sharing of the heart's treasure

Is so compelling that two become aware

Of how true their love is

By their need to share.

-- Unknown

 

Why Marriage?

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 unlovable,

who sees the small child in me,

and looks for the divine potential of me ...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night

with someone I feel blessed to hold ...

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

Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility

for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness.

Because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless ...

-- Source Unknown

 

 

What is Real?

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when [he and the Skin Horse] 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."

-Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

 

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth shine,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.

-- From Shakespeare's Hamlet

 

If ever two were one, then surely we,

If ever man were loved by wife, then thee,

If ever wife was happy in a man,

Compare with me ye women if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold

Or all the riches that the East doth hold ....

Then while we live, in love let's so persevere,

That when we live no more, we may live ever.

-- Anne Bradstreet, "To My Husband"

 

"Sonnet XIV"

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 trick of thought

That falls in well with mine, 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 lose thy love thereby!

But love me for love's sake, that evermore

Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.

-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from Sonnets from the Portugese

 

 

"Sonnet XLIII"

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 faith.

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.

-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from Sonnets from the Portuguese

 

"Goodbye," said the fox, "and now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye ...

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important ...

"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose."

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, from The Little Prince

 

... he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same .... If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be, and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn a mite stranger .... He's always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

-- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

 

Give all to love;

Obey thy heart;

Friends, kindred, days,

Estate, good-fame,

Plans, credit and the Muse,

Nothing refuse.

Tis a brave master,

Let it have scope:

Follow it utterly,

Hope beyond hope:

High and more high

It dives into noon,

With wing unspent,

Untold intent;

But it is a god,

Knows its own path

And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;

It requireth courage stout.

Souls above doubt,

Valour unbending.

It will reward,

They shall return

More than they were,

And ever ascending ...

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Give All to Love"

 

Hear the mellow wedding bells, --

Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!

Through the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight!

From the molten golden notes,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats

On the moon!

Oh, from out the sounding cells,

What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!

How it swells!

How it dwells

On the Future! How it tells

Of the rapture that impels

To the swinging and the ringing

Of the bells, bells, bells,

Of the bells, bells bells bells,

Bells, bells, bells,

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

-- Edgar Allan Poe, from "The Bells"

 

My true love hath my heart and I have his,

By just exchange one for another given;

I hold his dear and mine he cannot miss;

There never was a better bargain driven:

My true love hath my heart and I have his.

My heart in me keeps him and me in one;

My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;

He loves my heart for once it was his own;

I cherish his because in me it bides:

My true love hath my heart and I have his.

--Sir Philip Sidney, "My True Love Hath My Heart"