Readings consist of one or more selections (poems, lyrics, stories, etc.) to be read aloud during carefully selected moments throughout the ceremony. The selections are meant to convey a feeling or message that provides a window into the couple’s unique world and may be read by a friend, family member or the Officiant. Readings may also be incorporated into the ceremony as the wording for one of the traditional ceremony elements.
- 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.
~ Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love, Edmund O’Neill
- If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.~ I Corinthians 13:1-13 (also known as the “love chapter” of the Bible [New Living Translation])
- 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.~ Excerpt from “The Bridge Across Forever”, Richard Bach
- 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 other’s 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 hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up. The key to love is respect … Realizing 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.~ The Key to Love, Anon
- Marriage is love walking hand in hand together. It’s laughing with each other about silly little things, and learning to discuss big things with care and tenderness. In marriage, love is trusting each other when you’re apart. It’s getting over disappointments and hurts, knowing that these are present in all relationships. It’s the realization that there is no one else in this world that you’d rather be with than the one you’re married to. It’s thinking of new things to do together; it’s growing old together. Marriage is being in love for the rest of your life.~ Marriage Means Being In Love for the Rest of Your Life, Chris Ardis
- Love is . . . Being happy for the other person when they are happy, Being sad for the 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 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 in 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~ Love Is, Susan Polis Schutz
- Love, 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 reaching out and touching my heart, and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help simply seeing there. And for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings, that no one else had looked quite far enough to find. Love is entrusting our faults to one another. Love is belonging in each other’s thoughts with care as well as feeling. Love is beautiful. You are enhanced by my love. I am enhanced by you, Love. I love because of you, and you are the reason for all of my tomorrows. Your love makes my life complete. Love~ adapted from poem by Roy Croft
- Happiness in a marriage is not something that just happens; a good marriage must be created. And it is created in the following ways: It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. 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 life. 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. 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 independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
~ Rev. Bill Swetmon