Readings Poems and Blessings can add a layer of richness and meaning to any ceremony. I always advise my clients to use readings sparingly and only include them if they resonate strongly with you. Only use a poem or reading if the words actually speak to you and say something that illuminates how you feel and what is important to you.
When you ask a friend or family member to be a reader, make sure it is someone who is willing to speak publicly and is OK with that. At the rehearsal I am very happy to assist with some helpful NLP techniques for confidence and calming nerves. I have some good strategies up my sleeve to help anyone with public speaking.
The samples below are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many thousands of readings for ceremonies. The internet is an endless resource of inspiration and I also have many books I can loan upon request too.
[bride] and [groom], may you both live lives of love and peace together.
May you be honest in your relationship,
sharing the truth in kindness and trust,
so that your love may grow in maturity and depth.
May you be there for each other in times of grief or struggle,
holding each other close in comfort,
drawing strength and courage from each other
and from those around you.
May your lives be full of laughter,
lifting up the delights in life,
and humour in the harder times.
May your home be filled with joy, as it is joined with the life of others,
and as you grow closer to each other in the shared journey of life.
And may each of us here today
be given new hope in the commitment to love
and be affirmed in our own love for others.
[bride] and [groom], receive this blessing
which is yours from all who are here.
Carry our love with you as you go and call upon us when you will.
Go into your new life together in grace and peace.
[bride] and [groom],
May you grow glorious in each other’s arms
May laughter and warmth reign supreme in your home.
May you have fine healthy children whom you will cherish, and they you in return.
May you live long.
May you live well.
We wish this for you from this day forward.
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
your 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 welcome
as the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage. – Rumi
Blessed be the earth we stand upon
And blessed be these two who stand before us.
Blessed be the eyes of the witnesses
And blessed be the two upon who they gaze.
Blessed be the arms of family and friends who embrace them
And Blessed be their hands that entwine in love
Blessed be our many love memories
And blessed be their hearts that join together.
Blessed be the circle of community
And may our blessing be upon these lovers forever.
Blessings For A Marriage by James Dillett 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 to 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 a valley because it has a mountain towering over it.
So let it be with you (name) and you (name).
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.
May 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 good sense enough 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, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.
Binding Blessing (for a handfasting)
Above you are the stars;below you are the stones
as time does pass, Remember
Like a star should our love be constant
Like a stone should your love be firm
Be close, but not too close
Posses one another, but be understanding
Have patience each with the other
For storms will come, but they will go quickly
Be free in the giving of affection and warmth
Make love often, and be sensuous with one another
Have no fear and let not the ways or words
of the unenlightened give you unease
For the Goddess and the God are with you,
Now and Always
Selection of Poetry, Readings and Blessings
1. Kahlil Gibran’s much loved verse “On Marriage,” from The Prophet.
You were born to be together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in your silent memory.
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 bondage 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 of the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each 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.
2. “the Art of a Good Marriage II” by Wilferd Arlan Peterson.
Across the years I’ll walk with you, in deep green forest, on shores of sand, and when our time on earth is through, in heaven too, you will have my hand.
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 things:
It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, I love you, once each day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is at no time taking for granted. The courtship should not end with the honeymoon, but continue through all the years. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is the speaking of words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humour. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner. [many couples tend to end there, although the reading concludes with this line:] It is discovering what marriage can be at its best, as expressed in the words Mark Twain used in a tribute to his wife: “Wherever she was, there was Eden.”
3. by Roy Croft.
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
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple:
Out of works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
4. “The Greatest Gift” by Katharine Whiteside Taylor.
All things I would give my love,
All things tender, caring, serving, true.
I would enwrap her in my loving arms
And shield her from all stress and pain.
I would enchant him with the vision bright
Of those rare gifts that are his deepest self.
And I would carry her on wings of joy
To all the heights the soul of man can know.
5. by Rainer Maria Rilke
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 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 distance…
Once the realisation is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distance exist, a marvellous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.
6. from “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morros Lindbergh. (a wonderful reading for musicians, dancers and lovers of music)
A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart’s. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back – it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.
7. Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no, it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken,
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come,
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom;
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
8. Sonnet 43, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My sould can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Rights;
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 seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breadth,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! And if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
9. (author unknown)
What is a friend? I’ll tell you.
It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Your soul can go naked with him,
He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you really are.
When you are with her, you do not have to be on your guard.
You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you.
She understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.
With her you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities and in opening them up to her, they are dissolved on the white ocean of loyalty.
He understands. You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him: Through and underneath it all he sees, knows and loves you.
10. by Jalal al-Din Rumi
Apart from Love, everything passes away. The way to heaven is in your heart. Open and lift the wings of Love! When Love’s wings are strong, you need no ladder.
Though the world be thorns, a lover’s heart is a bower of roses.
Though heaven’s wheel be mired down, lovers’ lives go forward.
Invite love into each dark corner. The lover is bright as a hundred thousand candles!
Even if a lover seems to be alone, the secret Beloved is nearby.
The time-span of union is eternity. The life is a jar, and in it, union is the pure wine. If we aren’t together, of what use is the jar? The moment I heard my first love story I began seeking you, not realising the search was useless. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere; they are in one another’s souls all along.
11. from a letter by Vincent can Gogh to his brother, Theo; a wonderful reading for artists!
I want to paint men and women with something of the eternal which is the halo used to symbolise…To express the love of two lovers by a wedding of two complimentary colours, their mingling and opposition, the mysterious vibration of kindred tones. To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of a light tone against a sombre background. To express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance.
12. Sonnet 17, by Pablo Neruda
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 do 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.
13. from “Fidelity” by D.H. Lawrence.
And 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 a man underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild orgasms 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.
14. “Married Love”, by Kuan Tao-shen
You and I
Have so much love
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Moulded 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 mould 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 bed.
15. by The Yueh-Fu
I want to be your friend
For ever and ever.
When the hills are all flat
And the rivers are all dry,
When the trees blossom in winter
And the snow falls in summer,
When the heaven and earth mix –
Not till then will I part from you
16. “Unlimited Friendliness”, by The Buddha (translated by Edward Conze)
This is what should be done by the man and woman who are wise, who seek the good, and who know the meaning of the place of peace.
Let them be fervent, upright, and sincere without conceit of self, easily contented and joyous, free of cares: let them not be submerged by the things of the world: let them not take upon themselves the burden of worldly goods: let their sense be controlled: let them be wise but not puffed up, and let them not desire great possessions even for their families. Let them do nothing that is mean or that the wise would reprove.
May all beings be happy and at their ease. May they be joyous and live in safety.
All beings, whether weak or strong – omitting none – in high, middle, or low realms of existence, small or great, visible or invisible, near or far away, born or to be born: may all beings be happy and at their ease.
Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state. Let none by anger or ill-will wish harm to another.
Even as a mother watches over and protects her only child, so with a boundless mind should one cherish all living beings, radiating friendliness over the entire world, above, below, and all around without limit. So let them cultivate a boundless good will toward the entire world, unlimited, free from ill-will or enmity.
Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, during all their waking hours, let them establish this mindfulness of good will, which is the highest state.
Abandoning vain discussions, having a clear vision, free from sense appetites, those who are perfect will never again know rebirth.
17. by Mark Twain
A marriage –
makes of two fractional lives a whole,
gives two purposeless lives a work,
and doubles the strength of each to perform it;
It gives two questioning natures
a reason for living and something to live for;
It will give a new gladness to the sunshine,
a new fragrance to the flowers,
a new beauty to the earth,
and a new mystery to life.
18. Appache Wedding Prayer
Now you will feel no rain,
for each will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each will be warmth for the other.
Now 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 both
on 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 dwelling
to enter into the days of you life together.
And may your days be good
And long upon the earth.
19. “Learn how to love”, inspired by “Love is an Attitude” by Walter Rinder.
Every day you live
Learn how to love.
Take time with each other,
Restore each other’s soul with loving words.
Receive love with as much understanding
As you give it.
Find that which is within yourselves
Then you can share it with each other.
Do not fear this love,
And do not fear this marriage,
But keep open hearts and sincere minds.
Be sincerely interested in each other’s happiness;
Be, too, constant and consistent in your love,
And in your actions.
From this, as you know, comes security and strength.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us,
So, even though you retain you individuality,
Today in a real sense you also become one
In a true unity.
That this may be deep and rewarding,
Today, the day of your marriage,
Try to commit yourselves,
Fully and freely and trustingly
To each other, without reservations.
20. My Vision, by Craig Bulter
I envision a man and a woman committed to empowering and uplifting our people.
I envision a man and a woman overcoming all obstacles placed before them collectively and individually by the support they provide to one another.
I envision a man and a woman living happily as friends, partners and soul mates, loving each other unselfishly and unconditionally.
I envision a man and a woman living with mutual respect and patience, loyalty and honesty.
I envision a man and a woman joined spiritually, metaphysically, and emotionally, attaining inner peace and true happiness.
I envision the elders rejoicing in song and dance as they witness a man and a woman pass in righteousness, providing their souls with the safe passage….with the love and strength of tow warriors to endure the ages.
I envision a man and a woman smile as they listen to the melodious voices of their children playing and growing with pride as the continuation of their… family created through the love and faith that God provided them.
I envision a man and a woman on bended knee facing the eastern light in meditation and prayer, asking for God’s help in keeping their commitments to each other, their families, and their community on the righteous path to everlasting life.
21. “Light a holy fire” a Masia prayer. (Good for lighting unity candle along with traditional Christian quotation, “What God has joined together, let no one tear asunder.”)
Receive this holy fire
Make your lives like this fire.
A holy fire that is seen.
A life of God that is seen.
A life that darkness does not overcome.
Many this light of God in you grow.
Light a fire that is worthy of your heads.
Light a fire that is worthy of your children.
Light a fire that is worthy of your fathers.
Light a fire that is worthy of your mothers.
Light a fire that is worthy of God.
22. from “many and More,” by Maya Angelou
There are many and more
who would kiss my hand,
taste my lips,
to my loneliness lend
Their bodies’ warmth.
I have want of a friend.
There are few, some few,
who would give their names
and fortunes rich
or send first sons
to my ailing bed.
I have need of a friend.
There is one and only one
who will give the air
from his failing lungs
for my body’s mend.
And that one is my love.
23. “I dream a world”, from Langston Hughes.
I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn.
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind –
Of such I dream, my world.!
24. by Chester Himes
Make time for one another.
Treat one another with respect.
It’s the little things that count.
Learn to trust.
Be willing to share.
Agree to disagree.
Be willing to give in.
Communicate with one another.
Share spiritual growth.
Be kind and considerate to one another.
Be easy going.
Be flexible about growth and change.
Don’t cross the line.
Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.
25. from “The Wisdom of Elders”, by Robert Fleming
The healing powers of love are legendary. When we feel we are deeply loved by those around us, we are transformed by that love. We are emboldened by that love to make deep, significant changes in our lives. We become more than just flesh and bond. Our internal wounds no longer bleed or fester. With love, healthy new tissue is formed and old emotional scars vanish.
26. Mountain Peak
We came together on the highest mountain on this earth.
As years went by we separated into rivers
from the tears this mountain cried.
We all fell into different rivers flowing though
forests, rocks, and waterfalls.
No matter what season we came across
we continued flowing.
We are rivers that started in the mountains,
and rivers that separated as we went through
Sometimes we travel together,
and other times we travel alone.
Always remember that these same rivers
that travel many miles through the earth
are once again together when it reaches its final destination
So, rivers that started up high in the mountains
and then separated are united
again as a family.
27. Blessed Union
Always together we shall be
Hand in hand, you and me
Sailing oceans, or gliding the shore
To the top of the world, or to it’s core
Our love will never grow cold, but always be simmering
We will share a lifetime of memories
As our ships sail, the journey of our lives start
Never shall we travel far from the heart
And if we go in a circle, and end where we began
Then we’ll just pick up and begin again
28. The Road
I see the road, out there in front
twisting and snaking out of sight
I hear the distant footsteps, smell spring on the air
meandering forward, friends join with me
the light is bright, senses awake
satisfaction growing, tis a happy journey
desires fulfilled and disappointments overcome
strengths revealed and weaknesses banished
I can do this, for I have no choice
this journey, this adventure called life.
Jazzy Cat Jr
29. The Gentle Traveller
Through many a land your journey ran,
And showed the best the world can boast:
Now tell me, traveller, if you can,
The place that pleased you most.”
She laid her hands upon my breast,
And murmured gently in my ear,
“The place I loved and liked the best
Was in your arms, my dear!”
Henry Van Dyke
30. An Affirmation of Love
On life’s journey
We’re at this moment
When we ponder over
A thing called love
As complex as it seems
We decipher its meaning
As we gain experience
We contemplate its beginning
Love is meaningless
If we do not know
It’s a life long process,
A much valuable prize
Once you accept it
Life takes on new beginnings
As we promise
To love him or her
We take a vow that should
Never again occur
For a lifetime
It’s meant to be
An affirmation of our love.
Come sail with me. It’s a journey of discovery.
Not for the weak hearted, but for the strong
searching spirit that longs for knowledge.
Let us accompany each other on this trip of enlightenment.
While we find ourselves let us also
embrace the uniqueness of the other.
Let me also learn from you; my mirror, my alter ego.
We are opposites yet so very similar.
I look at you and see infinite possibility.
I take a part of you and weave the intricate
patterns of your personality with mine.
Maybe you do the same.
All I know is that you inspire me.
Like precious metal to the flame,
I am molded and changed by you.
We are pieces of the same puzzle.
We form a partnership you and I.
How grateful I am that you are my companion.
My traveling partner through this journey called life.
Your hands have joined together
Unity of two souls that were destined,
Bound by daily steps bringing you
Closer each day since the light of birth. Your lives are now one forever
Beginning a journey that will challenge
The definition of happiness, exceeding
Its pleasures and all its treasures of worth. Your lives have been made complete
By the half who can find your smile
In a cloud of constant confusion that a
Day’s struggles has been known to bring. Your future is two with one heartbeat
Handling a horizon of sometimes turmoil
With the calmness you both possess
Remembering the eternal promise by the vowed ring. Your days ahead are filled with mystery and magic
Moments of beautiful bliss and untimely tears,
But countless memories making tomorrow brighter still
Like your love that will grow stronger through the years.
33. Two Who Love
Love always a magical mystery – a joyous journey between two
Joined today to say “I Do”.
My dear friends – two whose love has reached a time –
to say it’s ours; not yours or mine.
From a time of innocence, I’ve known you both – and
today proud to witness the oath –
Of your beautiful love that bloomed when young –
Yet, still truly a love that has only begun.
A daisy nurtured that blossomed into a rose –
permanently in a garden grows.
As today two become one – and as you each walk
separately but together – in the sun
Joined in harmony – holding triumphantly each others
hands, gloriously to withstand –
A life of love, sharing, trust and visions for the
future unknown – to know you’ll never walk alone.
I am blessed in sharing this glorious moment –
and for being a part of both your hearts.
For yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Jenny Sarah Olin
34. Tomorrow And Today
There’s a beauty now within my soul
Brought in by you, who is happy and whole,
I am nourished by a spiritual rain
And vibrantly alive once again.
This gift that you share with me
Shines light where darkness used to be,
It continues to show a very clear view
Of a wonderful place we are travelling to.
The kindness in your eyes speaks a deeper truth
About a higher wisdom’s spirit of youth,
Which plays a song of love from inside your heart
Revealing the importance of this fresh, new start.
For to journey together, holding each other very close
Provides the unbreakable bond sought after by most,
And no matter where we shall go or where we’ll arrive
It will be as one through which we will thrive.
I have felt your touch and tasted your sweet kiss
Now the voice of my life says to make that special wish,
And soon the music of angels will tenderly play
Fulfilling the dream, for tomorrow and today.
35. Two Rivulets
TWO Rivulets side by side,
Two blended, parallel, strolling tides,
Companions, travelers, gossiping as they journey.
For the Eternal Ocean bound,
These ripples, passing surges, streams of Death and Life,
Object and Subject hurrying, whirling by,
The Real and Ideal,
Alternate ebb and flow the Days and Nights,
(Strands of a Trio twining, Present, Future, Past.)
In You, whoe’er you are, my book perusing, 10
In I myself–in all the World–these ripples flow,
All, all, toward the mystic Ocean tending.
(O yearnful waves! the kisses of your lips!
Your breast so broad, with open arms, O firm, expanded shore!)
36. by Walt Whitman
I do not offer the old smooth prizes,
But offer rough new prizes.
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid-up stores,
However convenient the dwellings,
You shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port,
And however calm the waters,
You shall not achor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you
You are permitted to receive it but a little while.
Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before you,
The long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick together as long as we shall live?
37. from The Divine Comedy
“The love of God, unutterable and perfect,
flows into a pure soul the way that light
rushes into a transparent object.
The more love that it finds, the more it gives
itself; so that, as we grow clear and open,
the more complete the joy of loving is.
And the more souls who resonate together,
the greater the intensity of their love,
for, mirror-like, each soul reflects the others.”
38. 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 a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not 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 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 not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. 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.
A successful marriage is one where each partner
discovers that is better to give love than to receive it.
To truly love another person is to wish that person to develop
and flourish on his or her on terms.
In a long marriage there will be joy and laughter,
but also sadness and sorrow,
harmony and discord,
as you strive to overcome adversity and fulfil your dreams.
The key value of wedlock is that it allows
for intimacy between a man and a woman,
who can enjoy each other’s company,
share ideals and expectations, confess failures,
and admit defeats to each other,
and yet realise in union the qualities of the good life.
As you build your home,
embark upon your careers,
and raise a family,
your marriage can become a work of art
in which both of you together
give it line and form, colour and tone.
You will be challenged everyday
and in every way
to make your marriage work.
If you do, it can become a thing of beauty,
a joint creation of aesthetic splendour and enduring value.
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.
41. From the thoughts of Nanushka
You are my friends –
and all the relationships I have ever known –
you are my wisdom and my warmth,
the ecstacy in every high my heart has ever flown –
my pupil, my teacher,
my eagle and my dove –
you are the music and the words to every song my soul has heard –
you are my love –
Let us fall in love
And scatter gold dust all over the world
Let us become a new spring
And fee the breeze drift in the heaven’s scent
Let us dress the earth in green
And like the sap of a young tree
Let the grace from within sustain us.
Let us carve gems out of our hearts
And let them light our path to Love.
The glace of Love is crystal clear
And we are blessed by its light.
43. Captain Corellli’s Mandolin
Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not just breathlessness,
it is not just excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being ‘in love’ which any fool can do
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.
Louis de Bernieres
44. Why Marriage
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
Who looks for the divine potential of me….
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship…
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements…
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole…
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 our marriage…
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.
45. The Invitation
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have became shriveled and closed for fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from mysterious presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
46. I will be hereby Steven Curtis Chapman
If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.
I will be here,
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we’ll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.
I will be here
And when you cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us were older,
I will hold you to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
we’ll be together and i will be here.
I will be true to the promises i’ve made,
to you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.
47. She Walks in Beauty, by Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Sooner or later we begin to understand
That love is more than verses on valentine
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 favourite memories,
And the foundation of our fondest dreams.
Love is a promise that is always kept,
A fortune that can never be spent,
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 by only those who love.
49. Notes on Marriage by Charles Darwin
Freedom to go where one likes
choice of Society and little of it.
Conversation of clever men at clubs
Not forced to visit relatives, and to bend in every trifle
to have the expense and anxiety of children –
perhaps quarrelling –
Loss of time –
cannot read in the Evenings –
fatness and idleness –
anxiety and responsibility –
less money for books
if many children forced to gain one’s bread (But then it is very bad for one’s health to work too much).
Perhaps my wife won’t like London, then the sentence is banishment and degradation with indolent, idle fool.
Children – (if it please God) –
constant companion, who will feel interested in one
(a friend in old age) –
object to be beloved and played with – better than a dog anyhow
Home, and someone to take care of house
Charms of Music and female Chit Chat –
These things good for ones health but terrible loss of time
My God, it is unthinkable to think of spending
one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all
No, no won’t do
Imagine living all one’s days solitarily in smoky
dirty London House –
Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa
with good fire, and books and music perhaps – compare this vision with
Marry! Marry! Marry!
50. I belong in your arms by Deborah Brideau
I belong in your arms
Finally, I have found a place
Into which I fit Perfectly, Safely
And securely with no doubts,
No fears, No sadness, No tears.
This place is filled with happiness and laughter
Yet it is spacious enough to allow me
The freedom to move around,
To live my live and be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found Finally
Inside your arms, inside your heart, inside your love.
60. From The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
Here’s a profundity, the best I can do: sometimes you just know… You just know when two people belong together. I had never really experienced that odd happenstance before, but this time, with her, I did. Before, I was always trying to make my relationships work by means of willpower and forced affability. This time I didn’t have to strive for anything. A quality of ease spread over us. Whatever I was, well, that was apparently what she wanted… To this day I don’t know exactly what she loves about me and that’s because I don’t have to know. She just does. It was the entire menu of myself. She ordered all of it.
61. Dr. Suess poem that expressed the depth and the whimsy of the happy couple:
I will love you in the park, and I will love you in the dark.
I will love you through good or bad,
When you’re happy and when your sad.
I will love you when you’re rich or when you’re poor and in a ditch
And I will have and I will hold,
Ten years from now a thousand fold.
And now we’re here at this new start,
So I’ll start by loving you with my whole heart.