Readings and Poems
Following are Readings for your wedding. They are separated here by Inspirational Readings, Poetry and Scriptural Readings. Scroll down to get to the section you are interested in.
Option A: I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: Where “I” does not exist, nor “You”, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. Excerpt from 100 Love Sonnets ~ By Pablo Neruda
Option B: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together even when the white wings of death scatter your days.
And you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of
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.
By Kahlil Gibran
Option C: Is there a difference between spending all your time together and being married? The answer is yes. Once you tie the knot, the whole mechanics of the relationship changes. You are tied to one another, you have made a commitment, and you can’t simply walk out when things don’t go your way. You’re in this for the long haul and that commitment makes all the difference. The degree of love and affection that you share will intensify immeasurably. You will find that there is potential in your relationship for the bonding of two souls within the security of marriage.
Option #1: A Marriage Prayer:
God fill’s your marriage
with memories to treasure
Of faith and trust along the way
of love too deep to measure
And bring to you as man and wife
the happiness of knowing
That God who fills your cup of life
will keep it overflowing!
Option #2: A Marriage Blessing:
We thank you, O God,
For the Love You
Have implanted in our hearts.
May it always inspire us to be
Kind in our words, considerate
Of feelings, and concerned
For each other’s needs and wishes.
Help us to be understanding
Of human weaknesses and failings.
Increase our Faith and Trust
In You and may Your Prudence
Guide our life and love.
Bless our Marriage, O God,
With Peace and Happiness,
And make our Love Fruitful for
Your Glory and
Our Joy both here and in eternity.
“Sooner or Later” –Anonymous
“Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on Valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, and 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.”
These are scriptures from God’s word on God’s Love. You may choose one of these or select your own favorite verses.
Option A: And now abide in faith, hope and love, these three; but greater is love. Love is always patient, love is always kind. Love is not jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish. Love does not take offense, and it is never resentful. Love takes on no pleasure of sin, but delights in truth. Love is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love does not end.
1 Corinthian 13:13 NKJV
Option B: Whereas the object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 Amplified Bible
Option C: And walk in love, (Esteeming and delighting in one another) as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God (for you, so that it became) a sweet fragrance.
Ephesians 5:2 Amplified Bible
Option D: It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful; it touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it ( it pays no attention to a suffered wrong)
1 Corinthians 13:5 Amplified Bible
Option E: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Option F: If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.
Option G: Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Option H: Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
1 Corinthians 7: 1-16
Option I: Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Option J: Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Option K: Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Option L: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Option M: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly 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 God’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. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12: 9-21
Option N: 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 talked like 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.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Option O: Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Option P: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Option Q: 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.
1 John 4:9-12
Option R: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Other Readings and Poems
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.
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! 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.
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.
What is Love?
By Susan Polis Schutz
Love Love is the strongest feeling known an all -encompassing passion an extreme strength an overwhelming excitement
Love is trying not to hurt the other person trying not to change the other person trying not to dominate the other person trying not to deceive the other person
Love is understanding each other listening to each other supporting each other having fun with each other.
Love is not an excuse to stop growing not an excuse to stop making yourself better not an excuse to lessen one’s goals not an excuse to take the other person for granted
Love is being completely honest with each other finding dreams to share working towards common goals sharing responsibilities equally
Everyone in the world wants to love Love is not a feeling to be taken lightly Love is a feeling to be cherished, nurtured and cared for Love is the reason for life
Foundations of Marriage
by Regina Hill
Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything… In marriage, all of the moments won’t be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together.
Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments. Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It’s inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up… even when all the odds say to quit.
It’s allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren’t in total agreement or exactly what you’d like them to be. It’s getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness.
The Art of Marriage
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage: The little things are the big ones. 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.
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 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.
By Father John Powell
True love is and must always be, a free gift with no conditions attached.
The essential message of unconditional love is one of liberation.
You can be whoever you are, express all your thoughts and feelings with absolute confidence.
You do not have to be fearful that love will be taken away.
You will not be punished for your openness or honesty.
There is no admission price to love, no rental fees or installment payments to be made.
There may be days when disagreements and disturbing emotionans may come between you.
There may be times when thoughts or physical miles may lie between you.
But you have given each other the word of your commitment.
You have set your life on a new course.
You should not go back on your word to each other.
So feel free to be yourselves.
One thing we all know and should share with each other…we are committed to each others growth and happiness.
Above all else, never take each other for granted and always love each other, because true love is unconditional.
And what of marriage?
A poem by Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran
To the question: ‘And what of marriage?’
He says: ‘You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be 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.’
Marriage is a Promise of Love
Marriage is a commitment to life … to the best that the two people can find and bring out of each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that 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 others best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tend caring of a parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitments are stronger, even is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.
Why Marriage? (altered slightly)
Author: Mari Nichols
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 looks for the divine potential of me. Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who is thankful, 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, I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage together we create ourmarriage. Because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless.