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Popular Wedding Readings

From "Marriage Is One Long Conversation"
Marriage is one long conversation, chequered by disputes…. But in the intervals, almost unconsciously, and with no desire to shine, the whole material of life is turned over and over, ideas are struck out and shared, the two persons more and more adapt their notions one to suit the other, and in process of time, without sound of trumpet, they conduct each other into new worlds of thought. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)

From "The Hymn of the Universe"
Only love can bring individual beings to their perfect completion, as individuals, by uniting them one with another, because only love takes possession of them and unites them by what lies deepest within them.
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955)

Never Marry but for Love
Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely. He that minds a body and not a soul has not the better part of that relation, and will consequently lack the noblest comfort of a married life. ~William Penn (1644 – 1718)

This and More
Attenders to this day:
Look, the wedding is a reason
To inspect your thoughts; say
Smily wishes to the young wedded,
But see to your own new season —
No trite impediments, no bored white
Winter of cold thoughts imbedded
In mountain crevices of self-pity.
Be gathered into the light,
Into no mere festivity —
But more, a snowballing of hope.
Then you still live; we all
Live on tomorrow when two breaths elope,
Tonight when pulse on pulse sustains
Two lives, these and their sweet flesh…
Inhale brisk flowers, then let befall
Whatever dark rains
Come; you see lives mesh
Today, today you bystand bliss.
Attend all this.
~ Glenn Siebert

From "Give All to Love"
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
Nothing refuse.
'T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,—
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)~

Married Love
You and I
Have so much love,
That it
Burns like fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt,
In death we will share one coffin.
~ Kuan Tao-Sheng (13th century)

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 underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man's heart and a woman's
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
~ D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)

Irish Blessing

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

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

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

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

Chosen of Bridegrooms

Carry your greeting to the chosen of bridegrooms
And his loved ones and faithful friends,
The greeting of a lover who overcomes the distance with his eyes, and sees with his heart, face to face.
Children of nobles, plants of loveliness
Whose faces give light through the marriage bower
Like stars through the thickness of clouds.
~ Judah Halevi ~

From The Prophet
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,
A and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow. ~Kahlil Gibran~

From The Prophet
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs 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 rest at the noon hour 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.
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

To My Dear and Loving Husband
If ever two were one then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife were happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye woman, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor aught but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persevere
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
~ Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)~

Love's Philosophy
The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle—
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven
If 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?
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley~

The Best and Fairest
She is gentle and also wise;
Of all other she beareth the prize,
That ever I saw.

To hear her sing, to see her dance!
She will the best herself advance,
That ever I saw.

To see her fingers that be so small!
In my conceit she passeth all
That ever I saw.

Nature in her hath wonderly wrought.
Christ, never such another bought.
That ever I saw.

I have seen many that have beauty
Yet is there none like to my lady
That ever I saw.

Therefore I dare boldly say,
I shall have the best and fairest may
That ever I saw.

A Wedding Reading

The hand which you each offer to the other
Is an extension of yourselves;
Just as is the warmth and love
Which you express to each other.
Cherish the touch,
For you are touching another life.
Be sensitive to its pulse,
And try to understand and respect
Its flow and rhythm,
Just as you do your own.
~ Paul L'Herrou

From The Odyssey
There is nothing nobler or more admirable
Than when two people who see eye to eye
Keep house as man and wife, confounding
Their enemies and delighting their friends.
~ Homer

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

A Wedding Reading

All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love. Love for an object eternal and infinite feeds the mind with joy alone, a joy that is free from all sorrow. ~ Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677)

From 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.
~From Corinthians

From the Bride's Mother

They see you as a woman, as a bride,
Sweet in a modeled gown of creamy lace;
Your blue eyes turned to him in trust and pride,
Your golden curls a halo for your face.
Yet I, your mother, see you not as this
Alone: I see you as a baby in my arms,
Helpless and small, mine to adore and kiss;
I see you as a child of three whose charms
And childish laughter are for me alone;
I see your first, brief step beside my knee;
I see you in the years when you have grown
Into the lovely woman that they see.
A thousand priceless memories I keep
Within my heart. Forgive me that I weep.
~Christie Lund (1803 – 1882)~



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