Incorporating ceremony readings into your special day can bring wisdom, humor, and a sense of togetherness to your nuptials. The right reading can change the energy of your ceremony dramatically, lightening the mood or creating a sense of reverence, so choosing the right readings for weddings is an important task. Here are just a few selections... There are many more to select from if you check on the internet under Wedding Readings for more ideas.RELIGIOUS READINGS#1: We read in I Corinthians 13, Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have no love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Love rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.#2: We read in The Prophet, True love gives nothing but itself, and takes nothing but from itself, for love is sufficient unto love. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself, to awake at dawn and give thanks for another day of loving, to rest at noon and meditate love's ecstasy, 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.#3: We read in The Prophet, 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. 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.#4: We read in Colossians 3:12, Therefore put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long- suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful.#5:We read in the first epistle of John, Let us love not in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.... Let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.... He who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. NON-RELIGIOUS READINGS
Wedding Poetry & Readings--Selections
May the Road Rise Up to Meet YouTraditional Irish BlessingMay the road rise up to meet you,May the wind be always at your back,May the sun shine warm upon your face,And the rains fall soft on your fields.May you have warm words on a cold evening,A full moon on a dark night,May the roof above you never fall in, And the friends gathered below never fall out.May you never be in want,And always have a soft pillow for your head,May you be forty years in heavenBefore the devil knows you’re dead.May you be poor in misfortunes, rich in blessings,Slow to make enemies and quick to make friends,But be you rich or poor, quick or slow,May you know nothing but happiness from this day on. The Apache Wedding Prayer (often used as a 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 will be warmth for the otherNow you will feel no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.Now you are two persons,but there are three lives before you:his life, her life, and your life together.May beauty surround you bothon the journey ahead and through all the years.May happiness be your companion to the place where the river meets the sun.Go now to your dwellingto enter into the days of your life together.And may your days be goodAnd long upon the earth.Reading from “Letters to a Young Poet”by Rainer Maria RilkeIt is . . . good to love: because love is difficult. 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 chooses him and calls him to vast distances.Ancient Egyptian OdeThis love is as goodas oil and honey to the throat,as linen to the body,as fine garments to the gods,as incense to worshiperswhen they enter in,as the little seal-ringto my finger.It is like a ripe pear in a man’s hand,it is like the dates we mix with wine,it is like the seedthe baker adds to bread.We will be togethereven when old age comes.And the days in betweenwill be food set before us,dates and honey, bread and wine.The Art of MarriageA good marriage must be created.In the 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 each day.It is never going to sleep angry.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 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 finding room for the things of the spirit.It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.It is not only marrying the right partner –-It is being the right partner.Will You Love Me When I’m Old”by AnonymousI would ask of you, my darling,A Question soft and low,That gives me many a heartacheAs the time come and go.Your love I know is truthful,But the truest love grows cold;It is this that I would ask you:Will you love me when I’m old?Life’s morning will soon be waning,And its evening bells be tolled,But my heart shall know no sadness,If you'll love me when I’m old.Down the stream of life togetherWe are sailing side by side,Hoping some bright day to anchorSafe beyond the surging tide.Today our sky is cloudless,But the night may clouds unfold;But, though storms may gather round us,Will you love me when I’m old?When my hair shall shade the snowdrift,And mine eyes shall dimmer grow,I would lean upon some loved one,Through the valley as I go.I would claim of you a promise,Worth to me a world of gold;It is only this, my darling,That you’ll love me when I’m old. “The Gem” by D.H. LawrenceAnd man and woman are like the earth,that brings forth flowers in Summer, and love, but underneath is rock.Older than flowers, older than ferns,older than foraminiferae,older than plasm altogether is the soul of manunderneath;and when, throughout all the wild orgasms of love,slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, one-more-moltenrocks of two human hearts, two ancient rocks, From The Prophetby Kahlil GibranLove one another,But make not a bond of love.Let it rather be a moving seaBetween the shores of your souls.Fill each other’s cup But drink not from the same cup.Sing and dance together and be joyous,But let each one of you be alone,Even as the strings of a lute are aloneThough they quiver with the same music.Give your hearts.But not into each other’s keeping,For only the hand of lifeCan contain your hearts.And stand togetherYet not too near together:For the pillars of the temple stand apart,And the oak tree and the cypressGrow not in each other’s shadow.Love’s Philosophyby Percy Bysshe ShelleyThe fountains mingle with the river,And the rivers with the ocean,The winds of heaven mix foreverWith a sweet emotion;Nothing in the world is single;All things by a law divineIn one another’s being mingleWhy not I with thine?See the mountains kiss high heaven,And the waves clasp one another;No sister flower would be forgivenIf it disdained its brother;And the sunlight clasps the earth,And the moonbeams kiss the sea,What are all these kissings worth,If thou kiss not me?loveby e.e. cummingslove is more thicker than forgetmore thinner than recallmore seldom than a wave is wetmore frequent than to failit is most mad and moonlyand less it shall unbethan all the sea which onlyis deeper than the sealove is less always than to winless never than aliveless bigger that the least beginless littler than forgiveit is more sane and sunlyand more it cannot diethan all the sky which onlyis higher that the sky Eskimo Love SongYou are my husband, you are my wifeMy feet shall run because of youMy feet dance because of youMy heart shall beat because of youMy eyes see because of youMy mind thinks because of youAnd I shall love, because of you.I ChingWhen two people are at onein their inmost hearts,they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.And when two people understand each otherin their inmost hearts,their words are sweet and strong,like the fragrance of orchids.How do I love thee? by Elizabeth Barrett BrowningHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways.I love thee to the depth and breadth and heightMy soul can reach, when feeling out of sightFor the ends of Being an Ideal Grace.I love thee to the level of every day'sMost 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 useIn my old grief's, and with my childhood's faith.I love thee with a love I seemed to loseWith 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. We Two by Kuan Tao-Sheng (13th Century) You and IHave so much love,That it burns like a fire,In which we bake a lump of clayMolded into a figure of youAnd a figure of me.Then we take both of them,And mix the pieces of 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. I carry your heart – e.e. cummingsi 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 not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it's 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) This Marriage - Ode 2667by RumiMay these vows and this marriage be blessed.May it be sweet milk,this marriage, like wine and halvah.May this marriage offer fruit and shadelike the date palm.May this marriage be full of laughter,our every day a day in paradise.May this marriage be a sign of compassion,a seal of happiness here and hereafter.May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,an omen as welcomeas the moon in a clear blue sky.I am out of words to describehow spirit mingles in this marriage.Untitled by RumiMay these nuptials be blessed for us, may this marriage be blessed for us,May it be ever like milk and sugar, this marriage like wine and halvah.May this marriage be blessed with leaves and fruits like the date tree;May this marriage be laughing forever, today, tomorrow, like the hours of paradise.May this marriage be the sign of compassion and the approval of happiness here and hereafter;May this marriage be fair of fame, fair of face and fair of omen as the moon in the azure sky.I have fallen silent for words cannot describe how the spirit has mingled with this marriage.