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Sample Readings

Old Testament

 

New Testament
I Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and I have not love, I have become 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 move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in differences, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is desire, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy' O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Cherokee Prayer
Oh Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me; I need our strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice, Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people. Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me. Le me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others. Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me. I seek strength not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy, myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

Apache Wedding Blessing
Now you will feel no rain, for each will be the shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each will be the warmth for the other. Now there is no more loneliness, for each will be the companion for the other. Now there are two bodies, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, to enter into your days of togetherness. And may you days be good and long upon the earth.

How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 every day's Most quiet need, by the 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 grief's, and with my childhood's faith, I love thee with a love I seem 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 them better after death.

On Marriage
From Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Then Almita spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master? And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, 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.

Happiness in 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 big things�

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; the courtship shouldn't end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives; it is standing together to face 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 not expecting the husband to wear a halo and the wife to have wings. 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 in giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is in establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, the dependence is mutual and the obligation in reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is in being the right partner.

Blessing For A Marriage
James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring. And may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another - not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less; but more and the valley is more because the mountain is towering over it.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
My you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you" and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have the good sense to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another's presence - no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even in distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.

Taken from poems by
Denise Braxton Brown and Peggy Wrightsman

Let's grow old together, beginning with today.
Let's work slowly with each other and build a relationship that we can both enjoy being a part of.
Let's share love and understanding that neither of us is perfect; we both subject to human frailties.
Let's hold each other close and whisper through the night, pledging our love, honoring our commitment.
Let's encourage each other to pursue our dreams, even when we're weary from trying.
Let's expect the best that we both have to give and still love when we fall short of our expectations.
Let's be friends and respect each other's individual personality and give one another room to grow.
Let's be candid with each other and point out strengths and weaknesses.
Let's understand each other's personal philosophy, even if we don't agree.
Let's lie awake long into the night sharing our innermost secrets.
Let's be friends as well as lovers.
Let's laugh at time and plan with each other and wonder how we ever got along without this love we've found.
Let's never take for granted these moments that we've shared, but always be reminded of how intensely we have learned to live, how completely we have learned to love.
Let's grow old together and look back on life and smile.

THIS IS FRIENDSHIP

"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 putting your hand into my heaped-up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing here, and drawing out into the light all the beautiful, radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find.
I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool in me and for laying firm hold of
the possibilities of good in me.
I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me, and adding to the music in me
by worshipful listening. . ."

LET US NOT ASK TOO MUCH

Let us know how not to ask too much of each other,
Share body and mind and spirit without giving up freedom,
Love without trying to absorb, be kind yet not smother with kindness,
Walk together, but neither retard the other's pace.
I would not lead one who did not choose to follow
Or follow one who demanded that I be led.
The spark of selfhood, that high and precious thing,
Let us not dampen it with scorn or blame: Each his own master and the two of us richer, dearer because of it
But neither sunk passively in the other, That alone is true mating.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again, May God hold 
you in the hollow of his hand

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.


Song of Solomon 2:10, 13,16
My Beloved spake, and said to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For low, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; Flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Arise my love, my fair one, come away. My beloved is mine and I am his.