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    Bilingual Wedding Officiants  (English- Portuguese-Spanish)

 



POEMS & ROMANTIC READINGS FOR WEDDINGS

www.floridaweddingsbycecilia.com 

Give us a call  (954)560-5546

Bilingual Wedding Officiant

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The most beautiful wedding ceremonies are the ones infused by the couple’s traditions, values and personality.

These are some samples that I have gathered through my years officiating weddings. I'm sure there is plenty that I've missed, and any suggestions you may have are welcome to keep this list growing! They are not in any specific order so keeping reading until you find the one that touches your heart. If you identify errors, please let me know. I tried to give credit to the authors that I was able to identify but they were not validated. Enjoy! Cecilia


1 - “The Art of a Good Marriage” -by Wilferd Arlan Peterson (American 1900-1995)

Happiness is not something that just happens. "A good marriage must be created. In 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 having a mutual sense of values, and common objectives. It is standing together and facing the world. It is forming a circle that gathers in the whole family.It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not only marrying the right person -- it is being the right partner."


2 "Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love" by Edmund O’Neill (b.1929)

“Marriage is a commitment to life, to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other human relationship can equal; a 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. 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 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.”


3 – “I Knew That I Had Been Touched By Love” Author unknown

I knew that I had been touched by love

the first time I saw you, and I felt your warmth, and I heard your laughter.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when I was hurting from something that happened, and you came along and made the hurt go away.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when I quit making plans with my friends, and started dreaming dreams with you.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when suddenly I stopped thinking in terms of “me,” and started thinking in terms of “we”.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when suddenly I couldn't make any decisions by myself anymore,

and I had the strong desire to share everything with you.

I knew that I had been touched by love

the first time we spent alone together, and I knew I wanted to stay with you forever

because I had never felt this touched by love.


4 -Extract from Les Miserables -Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.


5 - “Love Is Friendship Caught Fire” -by Laura Hendricks (no info)

"Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough."


6 – Author Unknown

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, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely 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.


7 -Love is a Great Thing by Thomas a Kempis (Christian writer 1380-1471)

Love is a great thing, a great good in every way; it alone lightens what is heavy, and leads smoothly over all roughness. For it carries a burden without being burdened, and makes every bitter thing sweet and tasty. Love wants to be lifted up, not held back by anything low. Love wants to be free, and far from all worldly desires, so that its inner vision may not be dimmed and good fortune bind it or misfortune cast it down. Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider; nothing happier, nothing fuller, nothing better in

heaven and earth; for love is born of God . . . Love keeps watch and is never unaware, even when it sleeps; tired, it is never exhausted; hindered, it is never defeated; alarmed, it is never afraid; but like a living flame and a burning torch it bursts upward and blazes forth… Love is quick, sincere, dutiful, joyous, and pleasant; brave, patient, faithful, prudent, serene, and vigorous; and it never seeks itself. For whenever we seek ourselves, we fall away from love. Love is watchful, humble, and upright; not weak, or frivolous, or directed toward vain

things; temperate, pure, steady, calm, and alert in all the senses. Love is devoted and thankful to God, always trusting and hoping in him, even when it doesn’t taste his sweetness, for without pain no one can live in love

.

8– On Love" by Thomas a Kempis (another version)

“Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good. Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God. Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.”


9 -These I Can Promise

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine; I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold; I cannot promise you an easy pathway that leads away from change or growing old.But I can promise all my heart's devotion; a smile to chase away your tears of sorrow; a love that's ever true and ever growing; a hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.


10 - Union by Robert Fulghum (American – 1937)

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.


11- All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten - Robert Fulghum

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the 
sand pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything. 
Play fair. 
Don't hit people. 
Put things back where you found them. 
Clean up your own mess. 
Don't take things that aren't yours. 
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. 
Wash your hands before you eat. 
Flush. 
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. 
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play 
and work every day some. 
Take a nap every afternoon. 
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, 
hold hands, and stick together. 
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: 
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody 
really knows how or why, but we are all like that. 
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even 
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. 
So do we. 
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books 
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK. 

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. 
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. 

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best 
to hold hands and stick together.


12 - "Blessing For A Marriage" by James Dillet Freeman (American 1912-2003)

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 and you.
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!
Thank You, God,
for Your presence here with us
and Your blessing on this marriage.
Amen.

 13 - True Love (Anonymous) 

True love is a precious flame
That burns perpetually
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its density
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.


 14 "True Love" (Anonymous)

True love is a sacred flame that burns eternally, and none can dim its special glow or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones and hears with gentle ear.
True love gives with open heart and true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands it neither rules nor binds.
And true love holds with gentle hands the hearts that it entwines.


15 - "The Magic of Love" by Helen Steiner Rice (American 1900-1918)

“Love is like magic, and it always will be, 
For love still remains life's sweet mystery. 
Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange, 
And there's nothing in life that love cannot change! 
Love can transform the most commonplace 
Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. 
Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, 
For it sees with its heart, and not with its mind. 
Love is the answer that everyone seeks; 
Love is the language that every heart speaks. 
Love can't be bought, it is priceless and free. 
Love, like pure magic, is life's sweet mystery!!”


16 - "Friendship"  by Judy Bielicki (no information)

“It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life-it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. (Bride) and (Groom) came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.”


17 - “I Love You” by Roy Croft (no information)

“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 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 the works of my every day, not a reproach, but a song. 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.”

ac 18- Extract from Letters to a Poet Rainer Maria Rilke (Austro-German 1875-1926)

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all tasks, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.

Love is at first not anything that means merging, surrendering, and uniting with another (for what purpose would a union of something unclarified serve?), rather it is high inducement to the individual to

Ripen, to become something in ourselves, to become a world in ourselves for the sake of another person. Love is a great, demanding claim on us, something that chooses us and calls us to vast distances.


18- Extract from Letters Rainer Maria Rilke

Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and wills of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness – a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner, and a great new danger for both. The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus each shows the other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them a possibility of always seeing each other as a while and before an immense sky.


19 - To Love Another by Rainer Maria Rilke

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has ever 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, 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 realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite

distances exist, a marvelous 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 the immense sky.


 20- Words of Wisdom by Bill Swetmon (no information)

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 marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner


 21– Soon or Later – Anonymos 
"
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, 
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."


 22 – The Key to Love (anonymous )

"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."


23 - “Sonnet 12” by Pablo Neruda (Chilean-1909-1973)

Loving is a journey with water and with stars,

With smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:

Loving is a clash of lightning bolts

And two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.

Kiss by kiss move across your small infinity,

Your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages,

And the gentile fire transformed into delight

Runs through the narrow pathways of the blood

Until it plunges, like a dark carnation,

Until it is and is no more than a flash in the night.


 24 - I do not love you - by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

Or arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark thinks 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. 

25 - Sonnet 48 - By Pablo Neruda

Two happy lovers make one single bread,

One single drop of moonlight in the grass.

When they walk, the leave two shadows that merge,

And they leave one single sun blazing in their bed.


26- Sonnet 69 -By Pablo Neruda 
Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence, 
without you moving, slicing the noon 
like a blue flower, without you walking 
later through the fog and the cobbles,


without the light you carry in your hand, 
golden, which maybe others will not see, 
which maybe no one knew was growing 
like the red beginnings of a rose. 

In short, without your presence: without your coming 
suddenly, incitingly, to know my life, 
gust of a rosebush, wheat of wind: 

since then I am because you are,

since then you are, I am, we are, 
and through love I will be, you will be, we'll be.


27 - Quotes – Pablo Neruda

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”


28 - In My Sky at Twilight – Pablo Neruda

You are taken in the net of my music, my love

and my nets of music are as wide as the sky.

My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.

In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begins.


29 “Looking For Your Face” by Rumi (Persian 1207 – 1273)

“From the beginning of my life I have been looking for your face, but today I have seen it. Today I have seen the charm, the beauty, the unfathomable grace of the face that I was looking for. Today I have found you, and those who laughed and scorned me yesterday are sorry that they were not looking as I did. I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty, and wish to see you with a hundred eyes. My heart has burned with passion and has searched forever for this wondrous beauty that I now behold. I am ashamed to call this love human, and afraid of God to call it divine. Your fragrant breath, like the morning breeze, has come to the stillness of the garden. You have breathed new life into me. I have become your sunshine, and also your shadow. My soul is screaming in ecstasy. Every fiber of my being is in love with you. Your effulgence has lit a fire in my heart, and you have made radiant for me the earth and sky. My arrow of love has arrived at the target. I am in the house of mercy, and my heart is a place of prayer.”


30 - Precious Love by Rumi

Oh God! I have discovered love!

How marvelous! How good! How beautiful it is!

My body is warm from the heat of this love

How secret! How deep! How obvious it is!

I offer my salutations to the moon and the stars

to all my brothers and all my sisters

I offer my salutations to the spirit of passion

that aroused and excited this universe and all it contains

I have fallen unable to rise

What kind of trap is this?

What chains have tied my hands and feet?

It is so strange and so wonderful

this loving helplessness of mine

Be silent Do not reveal the secret of my precious love.


31 - The Alchemy of Love“ by Rumi

You come to us from another world

From beyond the stars and void of space.

Transcendent, pure, of unimaginable beauty,

Bringing with you the essence of love.

You transform all who are touched by you.

Mundane concerns, troubles and sorrows

dissolve in your presence,

Bringing joy to ruler and ruled,

To peasant and king

You bewilder us with your grace.

All evils transform into goodness.

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love in earth and sky

in the heart and soul of every being.

Through your loving

Existence and non-existence merge.

All opposites unite


32 - "On Love" excerpts from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran (Lebanese-American 1883 - 1931)

When love beckons to you follow him, 
Though his ways are hard and steep. 
 And when his wings enfold you yield to him, 
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him, 
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. 
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. 
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, 
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. 


33 - "On Marriage" excerpts from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran

 You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. 
      You shall be together when 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


34 - "The Hymn of the Universe" by Teilhard de Chardin (French 1881-1955)

"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. This is simply a fact of our everyday experience. For indeed at what moment do lovers come into the most complete possession of themselves if not when they say that they are lost in one another? And is not love all the time achieving - in couples, in teams, all around us - the magical and reputedly contradictory feat of personalizing through totalizing? And why should not what is thus daily achieved on a small scale be repeated one day on world-wide dimensions? Humanity, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, of the one with the many: all these are regarded as utopian fantasies, yet they are biologically necessary; and if we would see them made flesh in the world what more need we do than imagine our power to love growing and broadening, till it can embrace the totality of human beings and of the earth?"


35 From A Natural History of Love By Diane Ackerman (American 1948)

Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love's spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable?...Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots stretching deep into dark and mysterious days..... 
The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving and being liked.


36 A Lasting Marriage By Michael C. Mack (American)

A close relationship is based on friendship.

A caring relationship is based on sharing and understanding.

A romantic relationship is based on giving freely and on the ability to

receive gratefully and graciously.

An intimate relationship is based on openness and honesty.

An affectionate relationship is based on patience and acceptance.

A secure relationship is based not on promise, but rather on trust,

respect, faithfulness, and the ability to forgive.

A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love


37 - Touched by an Angel -By Maya Angelou 
We, unaccustomed to courage 
exiles from delight 
live coiled in shells of loneliness 
until love leaves its high holy temple 
and comes into our sight 
to liberate us into life. 

Love arrives 
and in its train come ecstasies 
old memories of pleasure 
ancient histories of pain. 
Yet if we are bold, 
love strikes away the chains of fear 
from our souls. 

We are weaned from our timidity 
In the flush of love's light 
we dare be brave 
And suddenly we see 
that love costs all we are 
and will ever be.

Yet it is only love 
which sets us free.


38 Blessing of the Hands" (Author Unknown)

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together

you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish

you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These

are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands

that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will

help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength

when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged,

will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a

touch.‖


 39- "I Will Be Here" Steven Curtis Chapman (American musician 1962)

Tomorrow mornin’ if you wake up

And the sun does not appear

I will be there

If in the dark we lose sight of love

Hold my hand and have no fear

‘Cause I…I will be there.

I will be there…

When you feel like bein’ quiet

I will listen

And I will be there

When the laughter turn to cryin’

Through the winnin’ and losin’ and tryin’

We’ll be together

‘Cause I will be there

Tomorrow monrn’ if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I…I ‘ll be here.

Just as sure as seasons are made for change

Our lifetimes are made for these years.

I will be there

You can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we’re older

I will hold you

And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you mean to me

I will be here.

I will be true

To the promise I have made

To you and to the

One who gave you to me

I ..I will be there

And just as sure as seasons are made for change

Our lifetimes are made for these years

‘Cause I will be here.


40 From A Navajo Wedding Ceremony

Now you have lit a fire and that fire shall not go out.

The two of you now have a fire that represents love,

understanding and a philosophy of life.

It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.

The new fire represents a new beginning – a new life and a new family.

The fire shall keep burning; you shall stay together.

You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.


41 An Ancient First Nations Blessing (Apache Wedding Prayer)

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be 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.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into your days together.
And may all your days be good and long upon the Earth.


42 Another version of the Apache Blessing

Now we feel no rain,
for each of us will be shelter to the other.
Now we feel no cold,
for each of us will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness,
for each of us will be a companion to the other.
We are two bodies,
but there is one life before us and one home.
When evening falls,
I'll look up and there you will be.
I'll take your hand;
you'll take mine and we'll turn together
To look at the road we traveled to reach this - the hour of our happiness.
It stretches behind us,
even as the future lies ahead.
A long and winding road,
whose every turn means discovery.
Old hopes, new laughter, shared fears.
The adventure has just begun.

And the fulfillment of our dreams.   

 

43 Commitment Reading of the Pueblo Indian

Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except in the wide
rivers of our minds. We were each other's distant shore, the
opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. We did not
know the other then, did not know our determination to keep alive
the cry of one riverbank to the other. We were apart, yet connected
in our ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common
tree. Remember? 
I knew you existed long before you understood my desire to join my
freedom to yours. Our paths collided long enough for our indecision
to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to me,
the sun surged towards the earth and moon escaped from darkness to
bless the union of two spirits, so alike that the creator had designed them
for life's endless circle. Beloved partner, keeper of my heart's odd secrets,
clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches us.
I thank your patience. Our joining is like a tree to earth,
a cloud to sky and even more. We are the reason the world can laugh
on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say,
in this time, this place, this way - I loved you best of all.


 44- Cherokee Prayer

God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.

We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.

We honor mother earth and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow

stronger through the seasons; We

honor fire – and ask we sail through life safe and calm as in our father's arms; We

honor water -to clean and soothe our relationship – that it may never thirst for

love; With all the forces of the universe that you created, we pray for harmony and true

happiness as we forever grow young together. Amen.


 45 Native American Apache

Treat yourselves and each other with respect,

and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness,

gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship,

as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,

remember to focus on what is right between you,

not just the part that seems wrong.

In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of

the sun in your lives, remembering that even if you lose sight of it for

a moment, the sun is still there.

And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life

together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.


 46 Navajo Prayer

Be swift like the wind in loving each other.

Be brave like the sea in loving each other.

Be gentle like the breeze in loving each other.

Be patient like the sun who waits and watches the four changes of the

earth in loving each other.

Be wise like the roaring of the thunderclouds and lightning in loving

each other.

Be shining like the morning dawn in loving each other.

Be proud like the tree who stands without bending in loving each other.

Now, forever, forever there will be no more loneliness

Because your worlds are joined together with the world, forever,

forever.


47 Hymn to the Sun from the Great Plains Indians

O morning star! When you look down upon us,

Give us peace and refreshing sleep.

Great Spirit! Bless our children, friends and visitors through a happy life.

May our trails lie straight and level before us.

Let us live to behold.

We are all your children and ask these things with good hearts.


48 - Navajo Prayer

When you were children, you talked like children,

But now that you've grown, you should be done with childish things and put them away.

When you were children, you looked into a mirror that gave only a blurred reflection of reality.

But with love and maturity, you shouldn't be afraid to look into that mirror and

see each other face to face.

Be swift like the wind in loving each other.

Be brave like the sea in loving each other.

Be gentle like the breeze in loving each other.

Be patient like the sun who waits and watches

the four changes of the earth in loving each other.

Be wise like the roaring of the thunderclouds and lightening in loving each other.

Be shining like the morning dawn in loving each other.

Be flexible like the sapling that bends with the wind in loving each other.

Be brilliant like the rainbow colors in loving each other,

Now, forever, forever, there will be no more loneliness

Because your words are joined together with the world.

Forever, forever.


49 Shoshone Wedding Song

Not a spirit, not a bird,

That was my flute you heard

Last night by the river.

When you came with you wicker jar

Where the river tugs at the windows.

That was my flute you heard

Calling, Come to the willows.

Not a spirit not a bird

Made the lupine rustle.

That was my heart you heard

And the rustle of my hem

As I walked in the grasses

That was my heart you heard

When you came to the willows


50-Celebration by reverend Carl Thitchener - American ((1932-2008)

We celebrate the love that brought you to this day. 
With love that deepens through many years, 
may they know its meaning 
and its mystery-how we become truly one in sharing ourselves with one another, 
and yet, remain truly two in our own uniqueness. 

May your house be a place of happiness for all who enter it, 
a place where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company, 
a place for growing, a place for music, a place for laughter. 
And when shadows and darkness fall within its rooms, 
may it still be a place of hope and strength for all who enter it, 
especially for those who may be entrusted in your care. 
May no person be alien to your compassion. 
May your larger family be the family of all humankind. 
And may those who are nearest to you and dearest to you constantly be enriched by the beauty and the energy of your love for each other,
Amen.


51-From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.


52 From The Symposium by Plato
Humans have never understood the power of Love. It is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.
To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now. Each being was a fusion of genders, sharing equally in male and female. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought a way to diminish the humans’ strength without destroying them. It was at this point that the humans were divided in half.

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. No one could imagine this to be the mere amorous connection: obviously the soul of each is wishing for something else that it cannot express. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

53 A Marriage by Michael Blumenthal (American -1949)

You are holding up a ceiling

With both arms. It is very heavy,

But you must hold it up, or else

It will fall down on you. Your arms

Are tired, terribly tired,

And, as the day goes on, it feels

As if either your arms or the ceiling

Will soon collapse.

But then,

Unexpectedly,

Something wonderful happens.

Someone,

A man or a woman,

Walks into the room

And holds their arms up

To the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get

To take down your arms.

You feel the relief of respite,

The blood flowing back

To your fingers and arms.

And when your partner’s arms tire,

You hold up your own again

To relieve him again.

And this can go on like this for many years

Without the house falling.


54 From Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
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.

55 The Siddur of Shir Chadash from the Jewish Prayerbook
May the door of your home be wide enough
to receive all who hunger for love
and all who are lonely for friendship.
May it welcome all who have cares to unburden,
thanks to express and hopes to nurture.
May the door of your house be narrow enough
to shut out pettiness and pride, envy and enmity.
May its threshold be no stumbling block
to young or old feet,
and may it be too high to admit complacency,
selfishness or harshness.
May your home be, for all who enter,
the doorway to richness and a more meaningful life.

The cool breeze ripples the river below,
And the fleecy clouds float high,
And I mark how the dark green gum-trees match
The bright blue vault of the sky.
The rain has been, and the grass is green
Where the slopes were bare and brown,
And I see the things that I used to see
In the days ere my head went down.

I have found a light in my long dark night,
Brighter than stars or moon;
I have lost the fear of the sunset drear,
And the sadness of afternoon.

Here let us stand while I hold your hand,
Where the light's on your golden head--
Oh! I feel the thrill that I used to feel
In the days ere my heart was dead.

The storm's gone by, but my lips are dry
And the old wrong rankles yet--
Sweetheart or wife, I must take new life
From your red lips warm and wet!
So let it be, you may cling to me,
There is nothing on earth so dread,
For I'll be the man that I used to be
In the days ere my heart was dead!


56 From A Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach

You that love Lovers
This is your home. Welcome!

In the midst of making form, Love
Made this form that melts form,
With love for the door, and
Soul, the vestibule.

Watch the dust grains moving
In the light near the window.

Their dance is our dance.

We rarely hear the inner music,
But we’re dancing to it nevertheless.

Directed by what teaches us,
The pure joy of the sun,
Our music master.

 57 The Promise, by Heather Berry 
Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits. As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places where you’ve both only dreamed. Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms”From Adam Bede by George Eliot: What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories,at the moment of the last parting.

 58 A Good Wedding Cake - Author Unknown

4lb of love
½ of good looks
1 lb of sweet temper 
1 lb of butter youth
1 lb of blindness of faults 
1 lb of pounded wit
1 lb of good humour
2 tablespoons of sweet argument
1 pint of rippling laughter 
1 wine glass of common sense
Dash of modesty

Put the love, good looks and sweet temper Into a well-furnished house.

Beat the butter of youth to a cream, and mix well together
with the blindness of faults.

Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling
laughter and common sense.

Add a dash of modesty and work the whole together until everything is well mixed.

Bake gently for ever.


 59 By Theodore Parker
It takes years to marry completely two hearts, even the most loving and well assorted. A happy wedlock is a falling in love. Young persons think love belongs to the brow-haired and crimson cheeked. So it does for its beginning. But the golden marriage is part of love which the bridal day knows nothing of...Such a large and sweet fruit is marriage that is needs a long summer to ripen, and then a long winter to mellow and season it.



60 Tell Me the Truth About Love by W. H. Auden

Some say that love’s a little boy,

And some say it’s a bird,

Some say it makes the world go round,

And some say that’s absurd,

And when I asked the man next-door,

Who looked as if he knew,

His wife got very cross indeed,

And said it wouldn’t do.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?

Is it usually sick on a swing?

Does it spend all of its time at the races,

Or fiddling with pieces of string?

Has it views of its own about money?

Does it think Patriotism enough?

Are its stories vulgar or funny?

O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning,

Just as I’m picking my nose?

Will it knock on my door in the morning,

Or tread in the bus on my toes?

Will it come like a change in the weather?

Will its greeting be courteous or rough?

Will it alter my life forever?

O tell me the truth about love.

 61 From The Hungering Dark By Frederick Buechner

Dostoevski describes Alexei Karamazov falling asleep and dreaming about the wedding at Cana, and for him too it is a dream of indescribable joy, but when he wakes from it he does a curious thing. He throws himself down on the earth and embraces it. He kisses the earth and among tears that are in no way sentimental because they are turned not inward but outward, he forgives the earth and begs its forgiveness and vows to love it forever. And that is the heart of it, after all, and matrimony is

called holy because this brave and fateful promise of a man and a woman to love and honor and serve each other through thick and thin looks beyond itself to more fateful promises still and speaks mightily of what human life at its most human and its most alive and most holy must always be.



62 From the Divine Comedy by Dante

“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.”

 63  It is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings

it is at moments after I have dreamed

of the rare entertainment of your eyes,

when (being fool to fancy) I have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;

at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile

(it was through tears always) and silence moulds

such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms

are filled with fascination, when my breast

wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

-turning from the tremendous lie of sleep

i watch the roses of the day grow deep

All that is profane becomes sacred again.



64 My Sunshine by Hervé Desbois

When the dawn emerges from the night – it is you I see

When I emerge from the silence of the dark – it is you I see

You are like a river that flows through my dreams

Without you, where would I find light?

When the city veils your smile

It is you I look for

When life batters me and steals my sighs – it is you I look for

You are a fortress that guards and protects me

Without you, where is my shelter, my refuge?

Let me lay down and sleep in the shadow of your eyes

When I am exhausted by the journey of time

As it passes so swiftly and so indifferently

I treasure the sight of the smile on your lips

You are the brilliant light of the sun in my skies

You, my love, my happiness.

 

65 A Comfortable Couple by Charles Dickens

We’re too old to be single.

Why shouldn’t we both be married instead of sitting through the long winter

evenings by our solitary fireplaces? Why shouldn’t we make one fireplace of it?

Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other!

How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to

talk to and sit with. Let’s be a comfortable couple. Now do, my dear.



66 A Reading from Adam Bede by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined

for life, to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to

minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable

memories at the moment of the last parting?

 67 Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world rolls; the circumstances vary every hour. The angels that inhabit this

temple of the body appear at the windows, and the gnomes and vices also.

A man and woman’s once flaming regard is sobered by time in either breast, and

losing in violence what it gains in extent, it becomes a thorough good

understanding.

At last they discover that all which at first drew them together – those once sacred

features, that magical play of charms –was deciduous, had a prospective end, like

the scaffolding by which the house was built; and the purification of the intellect

and the heart, from year to year, is the real marriage.

Thus are we put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor

partiality, but which seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere.

We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state.

But we are often made to feel that our affections are but tents of a night.

There are moments when the affections rule and absorb us, and make our

happiness dependent on a person or persons.

But the mind is presently seen again – its overarching vault, bright with galaxies

of immutable lights, and the warm loves and fears that swept over us as clouds,

must lose their finite character and blend with God, to attain their own perfection.

But we need not fear that we can lose any thing by the progress of the soul.

The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful and attractive, as

these relations between lovers must be succeeded and supplanted only by what is

more beautiful, and so on for ever.”



 68 After Love by Maxine Kumin

Afterwards, the compromise.

Bodies resume their boundaries.

These legs, for instance, mine.

Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips

Admit their ownership.

The nodding yawns, a door

Blows aimlessly ajar

And overhead, a plane

Singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except

There was a moment when

The wolf, the mongering wolf

Who stands outside the self

Lay lightly down, and slept.

 69 The Passionate Shepherd To His Love by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,

Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,

And a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle:

A gown made of the finest wool,

Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

Fair lined slippers for the cold,

With buckles of the purest gold:

A belt of straw and ivy buds,

With coral clasps and amber studs;

And if these pleasures may thee move,

Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing

For thy delight each May morning;

If these delights thy mind may move,

Then live with me and be my love.

 70 From Gift from the Sea by Anne Morror Lindbergh

When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the

same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to

pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith

in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the

tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We

insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity

possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that

the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or

expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship

lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might

be in dread or anticipation, but living in present relationship and accepting it as it

is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands, one

must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits -

islands surrounded by and interrupted by the sea, and continually

visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the

winged life, of intermittency.

 71 The Confirmation by Edwin Muir

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.

I, in my mind, had waited for this long,

Seeing the false and searching for the true,

Then found you as a traveler finds a place

Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong

Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,

What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,

A well of water in a country dry,

Or anything that's honest and good, an eye

That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,

Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,

The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,

The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.

Not beautiful or rare in every part.

 72 in Wedding Whistle by Ogden Nash

Though you know it anyhow

Listen to, darling, now,

Proving what I need not prove

How I know I love you, love.

Near and far, near and far,

I am happy where you are;

Likewise I have never learnt

How to be where you aren’t.

Far and wide, far and wide,

I can walk with you beside;

Furthermore, I tell you what,

I sit and sulk where you are not.

Visitors remark my frown

When you’re upstairs and I am down,

Yes, and I’m afraid I pout

When I’m indoors and you are out.

In fact I care not where you be,

Just as long as it’s with me.

In all your absence I glimpse

Fire and flood and trolls and imps.

Is your train a minute slothful?

I goad the stationmaster wrothful.

When with friends to bridge you drive

I never know if you’re alive,

And when you linger late in shops

I long to telephone the cops.

Yet how worth the waiting for,

To see you coming through the door.

Somehow, I can be complacent

Never but with you adjacent.

Near and far, near and far,

I am happy where you are;

Likewise, I have never learnt

How to be it where you aren’t.

Then grudge me not for fond endeavor,

To hold you in my sight forever;

Let none, not even you, disparage

Such valid reason for a marriage.

 73 The Covenant of Marriage”
Marriage has certain qualities of contract, in which two people take on the housekeeping tasks of living, together, to enhance life’s joy. However, marriage is more than a contract. Marriage is a commitment to take that joy deep, deeper than happiness, deep into the discovery of who you most truly are. It is a commitment to a spiritual journey, to a life of becoming -- in which joy can comprehend despair, running through rivers of pain into joy again. And thus marriage is even deeper than commitment. It is a covenant -- a covenant that says: I love you. I trust you. I will be here for you when you are hurting and when I am hurting I will not leave. It is a covenant intended not to provide haven from pain or anger and sorrow. Life offers no such haven. Instead, marriage is intended to provide a sanctuary safe enough to risk loving, to risk living and sharing from the center of oneself. This is worth everything.



74 A Chinese Poem

I want to be your friend

For ever and ever without break or decay

When the hills are all flat

And the rivers are all dry

When it lightens and thunders in winter

When it rains and snows in summer

When Heaven and Earth mingle

Not till then will I part from you.

 75 Prayer for a Wedding by Joel Oppenheimer

Because everyone knows exactly what’s good for another

Because very few see

Because a man and a woman may just possibly look at each other

Because a man or a woman can do anything he or she pleases

Because you can reach any point in your life saying: now, I want this

Because eventually it occurs we want each other, we want to know each other,

even stupidly, even ugly

Because there is at best a simple need in two people to try and reach some simple

ground

Because that simple ground is not so simple

Because we are human beings gathered together whether we like it or not

Because we are human beings reaching out to touch

Because sometimes we grow

We ask a blessing on this marriage

We ask that some simplicity be allowed

We ask their happiness

We ask that this couple be known for what it is and that the light shine upon it

We ask a blessing for their marriage



76 "The Bridge Across Forever" by Richard Bach
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.



77 A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot;

My heart is like an apple tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all these

Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;

Hang it with varn and purple dyes;

Carve it in doves and pomegranates,

And peacocks with a hundred eyes;

Work it in gold and silver grapes,

In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;

Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

78 Excerpt from "The Hungering Dark" by Frederick Buechner
Matrimony is called holy, because this brave and fateful promise of a man and a woman, to love and honor and serve each other through thick and thin, looks beyond itself to more fateful promises still, and speaks mightily of what human life at its most human and most alive and most holy must always be. Every wedding is a dream, and every word that is spoken there means more than it says, and every gesture - the clasping of hands, the giving of rings - is rich with mystery. And so it [is that] we hope with every bride and groom, that the love they bear one another, and the joy they take in one another, may help them grow in love for this whole world where their final joy lies.

 79 Married Love -Kuan Tao-Sheng (1263-1319)

You and I 
Have so much love
That it
Burns like a 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 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.

 80 To His Wife Mary by William Wordsworth

Every day every hour every moment makes me feel more deeply

how blessed we are in each other, how purely how faithfully how

ardently, and how tenderly we love each other; I put this last word last because,

though I am persuaded that a deep affection is not uncommon in married life, yet I

am confident that a lively, gushing, thought-employing, spirit-stirring, passion of

love is very rare even among good people…

O, I love you with a passion of love which grows 'til I tremble to think

of its strength.

81 For the Union of You and Me by Rabindranath Tagore

It is for the union of you and me that there is light in the sky.

It is for the union of you and me that the earth is decked in dusky green.

It is for the union of you and me that the night sits motionless with the world in

her arms;

Dawn appears opening the eastern door with sweet murmurs in her voice.

The boat of hope sails along the currents of eternity toward that union; flowers of

the ages are being gathered together for its welcoming ritual.

It is for the union of you and me that this heart of mine, in the garb of a bride,

Has proceeded from birth to birth upon the surface of this ever-turning world to

chose the beloved.

 82 He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven by W.B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

83 Why Marriage? – Author Unknown

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 then 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 and 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.

 84 Marriage – Author unknown

The institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might learn how

to love and, in loving, know joy; that a man and a woman might learn how to

share pain and loneliness and, in sharing, know strength; that a man and a woman

might learn how to give and, in giving, know communion.

The institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might, through

their joy, their strength, and their communion, become creators of life itself.

Marriage is a high and holy state, to be held in honor among all men and women.

Marriage is a low and common state, to be built on the stuff of daily life. Men

and women are not angels, nor are they gods. Love can become hatred; joy,

sorrow; marriage, divorce. But human beings are not condemned to failure. Love

can grow even in a real world. The wounds of sorrow can be healed, and new life

built on the learnings of the old. This is the reason for our gathering today; to

renew our faith in the strength of hope and the power

of love.

 85 All About Love – Author Unknown

Love is the irresistible desire to be desires irresistibly.

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.

To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking

outwards together in the same direction.

Love from one being to another can only be that two people come nearer,

recognize and protect and comfort each other.

Love is a feeling that emanates from the heart.

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Love works miracles everyday: such as weakening the strong, and strengthening

the weak; making fools of the wise, and wise men of fools;

favoring the passions, destroying reason, and, in a word, turning everything topsyturvy.

Love looks not with the eye, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid

painted blind.

Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

Love isn’t perfect, love is just love.

 86 Eskimo Love Song

You are my husband

You are my wife

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

 87 Hawaiian Song

Here all seeking is over

The lost has been found,

A mate has been found

To share the chills of winter-

Now love asks

That you be united.

Here is a place to rest,

A place to sleep,

A place in heaven.

Now two are becoming one,

The black night scattered

The eastern sky grows bright.

At last the great day has come!

88 Pam Ayres "yes I'll marry you"

Yes, I'll Marry You.
Yes, I'll marry you, my dear,
And here's the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it's creepy and it's late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I'll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It's you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It's you that has to whack him.

Yes, I'll marry you,
You're virile and you're lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!
It's you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I've got PMT it's you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!

89 "Sonnet 122" by William Shakespeare

"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou are more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade
Which in eternal lines to time thou grow’st
So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

 90 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.
Oh no, it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering baroque
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 prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

91 From Hamlet (written to Ophelia) by William Shakespeare
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love. From Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. Here All Seeking is Over

 92 Sonnet No. 18 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed:

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 93 Sonnet 47 by William Shakespeare

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,

And each doth good turns now unto the other:

When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,

Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,

With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,

And to the painted banquet bids my heart;

Another time mine eye is my heart's guest,

And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:

So, either by thy picture or my love,

Thy self away, art present still with me;

For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,

And I am still with them, and they with thee;

Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight

Awakes my heart, to heart's and eyes' delight.

94 Sonnet No. 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;

Oh, 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 it 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.


95"Sonnet XLIII" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (English 1806–1861)

"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 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 seemed 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 thee better after death."

POEMS & ROMANTIC READINGS FOR WEDDINGS

www.floridaweddingsbycecilia.com 

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The most beautiful wedding ceremonies are the ones infused by the couple’s traditions, values and personality.

These are some samples that I have gathered through my years officiating weddings. I'm sure there is plenty that I've missed, and any suggestions you may have are welcome to keep this list growing! They are not in any specific order so keeping reading until you find the one that touches your heart. If you identify errors, please let me know. I tried to give credit to the authors that I was able to identify but they were not validated. Enjoy! Cecilia

1 - “The Art of a Good Marriage” -by Wilferd Arlan Peterson (American 1900-1995)

Happiness is not something that just happens. "A good marriage must be created. In 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 having a mutual sense of values, and common objectives. It is standing together and facing the world. It is forming a circle that gathers in the whole family.It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not only marrying the right person -- it is being the right partner."

2 "Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love" by Edmund O’Neill (b.1929)

“Marriage is a commitment to life, to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other human relationship can equal; a 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. 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 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.”

3 – “I Knew That I Had Been Touched By Love” Author unknown

I knew that I had been touched by love

the first time I saw you, and I felt your warmth, and I heard your laughter.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when I was hurting from something that happened, and you came along and made the hurt go away.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when I quit making plans with my friends, and started dreaming dreams with you.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when suddenly I stopped thinking in terms of “me,” and started thinking in terms of “we”.

I knew that I had been touched by love

when suddenly I couldn't make any decisions by myself anymore,

and I had the strong desire to share everything with you.

I knew that I had been touched by love

the first time we spent alone together, and I knew I wanted to stay with you forever

because I had never felt this touched by love.

4 -Extract from Les Miserables -Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.

5 - “Love Is Friendship Caught Fire” -by Laura Hendricks (no info)

"Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough."

6 – Author Unknown

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, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely 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.

7 -Love is a Great Thing by Thomas a Kempis (Christian writer 1380-1471)

Love is a great thing, a great good in every way; it alone lightens what is heavy, and leads smoothly over all roughness. For it carries a burden without being burdened, and makes every bitter thing sweet and tasty. Love wants to be lifted up, not held back by anything low. Love wants to be free, and far from all worldly desires, so that its inner vision may not be dimmed and good fortune bind it or misfortune cast it down. Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider; nothing happier, nothing fuller, nothing better in

heaven and earth; for love is born of God . . . Love keeps watch and is never unaware, even when it sleeps; tired, it is never exhausted; hindered, it is never defeated; alarmed, it is never afraid; but like a living flame and a burning torch it bursts upward and blazes forth… Love is quick, sincere, dutiful, joyous, and pleasant; brave, patient, faithful, prudent, serene, and vigorous; and it never seeks itself. For whenever we seek ourselves, we fall away from love. Love is watchful, humble, and upright; not weak, or frivolous, or directed toward vain

things; temperate, pure, steady, calm, and alert in all the senses. Love is devoted and thankful to God, always trusting and hoping in him, even when it doesn’t taste his sweetness, for without pain no one can live in love

.

8– On Love" by Thomas a Kempis (another version)

“Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good. Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God. Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.”

9 -These I Can Promise

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine; I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold; I cannot promise you an easy pathway that leads away from change or growing old.But I can promise all my heart's devotion; a smile to chase away your tears of sorrow; a love that's ever true and ever growing; a hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

10 - Union by Robert Fulghum (American – 1937)

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife

11- All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten - Robert Fulghum

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the 
sand pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything. 
Play fair. 
Don't hit people. 
Put things back where you found them. 
Clean up your own mess. 
Don't take things that aren't yours. 
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. 
Wash your hands before you eat. 
Flush. 
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. 
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play 
and work every day some. 
Take a nap every afternoon. 
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, 
hold hands, and stick together. 
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: 
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody 
really knows how or why, but we are all like that. 
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even 
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. 
So do we. 
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books 
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK. 

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. 
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. 

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best 
to hold hands and stick together.

12 - "Blessing For A Marriage" by James Dillet Freeman (American 1912-2003)

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 and you.
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!
Thank You, God,
for Your presence here with us
and Your blessing on this marriage.
Amen.


 13 - True Love (Anonymous) 

True love is a precious flame
That burns perpetually
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its density
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

 14 "True Love" (Anonymous)

True love is a sacred flame that burns eternally, and none can dim its special glow or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones and hears with gentle ear.
True love gives with open heart and true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands it neither rules nor binds.
And true love holds with gentle hands the hearts that it entwines.

15 - "The Magic of Love" by Helen Steiner Rice (American 1900-1918)

“Love is like magic, and it always will be, 
For love still remains life's sweet mystery. 
Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange, 
And there's nothing in life that love cannot change! 
Love can transform the most commonplace 
Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. 
Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, 
For it sees with its heart, and not with its mind. 
Love is the answer that everyone seeks; 
Love is the language that every heart speaks. 
Love can't be bought, it is priceless and free. 
Love, like pure magic, is life's sweet mystery!!”

16 - "Friendship"  by Judy Bielicki (no information)

“It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life-it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. (Bride) and (Groom) came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.”

17 - “I Love You” by Roy Croft (no information)

“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 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 the works of my every day, not a reproach, but a song. 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.”

ac 18- Extract from Letters to a Poet Rainer Maria Rilke (Austro-German 1875-1926)

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all tasks, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.

Love is at first not anything that means merging, surrendering, and uniting with another (for what purpose would a union of something unclarified serve?), rather it is high inducement to the individual to

Ripen, to become something in ourselves, to become a world in ourselves for the sake of another person. Love is a great, demanding claim on us, something that chooses us and calls us to vast distances.

18- Extract from Letters Rainer Maria Rilke

Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and wills of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness – a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner, and a great new danger for both. The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus each shows the other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them a possibility of always seeing each other as a while and before an immense sky.

19 - To Love Another by Rainer Maria Rilke

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has ever 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, 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 realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite

distances exist, a marvelous 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 the immense sky.

 20- Words of Wisdom by Bill Swetmon (no information)

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 marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner

 21– Soon or Later – Anonymos 
"
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, 
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."

 22 – The Key to Love (anonymous )

"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."

23 - “Sonnet 12” by Pablo Neruda (Chilean-1909-1973)

Loving is a journey with water and with stars,

With smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:

Loving is a clash of lightning bolts

And two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.

Kiss by kiss move across your small infinity,

Your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages,

And the gentile fire transformed into delight

Runs through the narrow pathways of the blood

Until it plunges, like a dark carnation,

Until it is and is no more than a flash in the night.

 24 - I do not love you - by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

Or arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark thinks 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. 


 25 - Sonnet 48 - By Pablo Neruda

Two happy lovers make one single bread,

One single drop of moonlight in the grass.

When they walk, the leave two shadows that merge,

And they leave one single sun blazing in their bed.

26- Sonnet 69 -By Pablo Neruda 
Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence, 
without you moving, slicing the noon 
like a blue flower, without you walking 
later through the fog and the cobbles,


without the light you carry in your hand, 
golden, which maybe others will not see, 
which maybe no one knew was growing 
like the red beginnings of a rose. 

In short, without your presence: without your coming 
suddenly, incitingly, to know my life, 
gust of a rosebush, wheat of wind: 

since then I am because you are,

since then you are, I am, we are, 
and through love I will be, you will be, we'll be.

27 - Quotes – Pablo Neruda

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

28 - In My Sky at Twilight – Pablo Neruda

You are taken in the net of my music, my love

and my nets of music are as wide as the sky.

My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.

In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begins.

29 “Looking For Your Face” by Rumi (Persian 1207 – 1273)

“From the beginning of my life I have been looking for your face, but today I have seen it. Today I have seen the charm, the beauty, the unfathomable grace of the face that I was looking for. Today I have found you, and those who laughed and scorned me yesterday are sorry that they were not looking as I did. I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty, and wish to see you with a hundred eyes. My heart has burned with passion and has searched forever for this wondrous beauty that I now behold. I am ashamed to call this love human, and afraid of God to call it divine. Your fragrant breath, like the morning breeze, has come to the stillness of the garden. You have breathed new life into me. I have become your sunshine, and also your shadow. My soul is screaming in ecstasy. Every fiber of my being is in love with you. Your effulgence has lit a fire in my heart, and you have made radiant for me the earth and sky. My arrow of love has arrived at the target. I am in the house of mercy, and my heart is a place of prayer.”

30 - Precious Love by Rumi

Oh God! I have discovered love!

How marvelous! How good! How beautiful it is!

My body is warm from the heat of this love

How secret! How deep! How obvious it is!

I offer my salutations to the moon and the stars

to all my brothers and all my sisters

I offer my salutations to the spirit of passion

that aroused and excited this universe and all it contains

I have fallen unable to rise

What kind of trap is this?

What chains have tied my hands and feet?

It is so strange and so wonderful

this loving helplessness of mine

Be silent Do not reveal the secret of my precious love.



31 - The Alchemy of Love“ by Rumi

You come to us from another world

From beyond the stars and void of space.

Transcendent, pure, of unimaginable beauty,

Bringing with you the essence of love.

You transform all who are touched by you.

Mundane concerns, troubles and sorrows

dissolve in your presence,

Bringing joy to ruler and ruled,

To peasant and king

You bewilder us with your grace.

All evils transform into goodness.

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love in earth and sky

in the heart and soul of every being.

Through your loving

Existence and non-existence merge.

All opposites unite

32 - "On Love" excerpts from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran (Lebanese-American 1883 - 1931)

When love beckons to you follow him, 
Though his ways are hard and steep. 
 And when his wings enfold you yield to him, 
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him, 
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. 
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. 
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, 
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. 

33 - "On Marriage" excerpts from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran

 You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. 
      You shall be together when 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

34 - "The Hymn of the Universe" by Teilhard de Chardin (French 1881-1955)

"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. This is simply a fact of our everyday experience. For indeed at what moment do lovers come into the most complete possession of themselves if not when they say that they are lost in one another? And is not love all the time achieving - in couples, in teams, all around us - the magical and reputedly contradictory feat of personalizing through totalizing? And why should not what is thus daily achieved on a small scale be repeated one day on world-wide dimensions? Humanity, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, of the one with the many: all these are regarded as utopian fantasies, yet they are biologically necessary; and if we would see them made flesh in the world what more need we do than imagine our power to love growing and broadening, till it can embrace the totality of human beings and of the earth?"

35 From A Natural History of Love By Diane Ackerman (American 1948)

Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love's spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable?...Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots stretching deep into dark and mysterious days..... 
The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving and being liked.

36 A Lasting Marriage By Michael C. Mack (American)

A close relationship is based on friendship.

A caring relationship is based on sharing and understanding.

A romantic relationship is based on giving freely and on the ability to

receive gratefully and graciously.

An intimate relationship is based on openness and honesty.

An affectionate relationship is based on patience and acceptance.

A secure relationship is based not on promise, but rather on trust,

respect, faithfulness, and the ability to forgive.

A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love

37 - Touched by an Angel -By Maya Angelou 
We, unaccustomed to courage 
exiles from delight 
live coiled in shells of loneliness 
until love leaves its high holy temple 
and comes into our sight 
to liberate us into life. 

Love arrives 
and in its train come ecstasies 
old memories of pleasure 
ancient histories of pain. 
Yet if we are bold, 
love strikes away the chains of fear 
from our souls. 

We are weaned from our timidity 
In the flush of love's light 
we dare be brave 
And suddenly we see 
that love costs all we are 
and will ever be.

Yet it is only love 
which sets us free.

38 Blessing of the Hands" (Author Unknown)

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together

you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish

you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These

are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands

that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will

help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength

when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged,

will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a

touch.‖

 39- "I Will Be Here" Steven Curtis Chapman (American musician 1962)

Tomorrow mornin’ if you wake up

And the sun does not appear

I will be there

If in the dark we lose sight of love

Hold my hand and have no fear

‘Cause I…I will be there.

I will be there…

When you feel like bein’ quiet

I will listen

And I will be there

When the laughter turn to cryin’

Through the winnin’ and losin’ and tryin’

We’ll be together

‘Cause I will be there

Tomorrow monrn’ if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I…I ‘ll be here.

Just as sure as seasons are made for change

Our lifetimes are made for these years.

I will be there

You can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we’re older

I will hold you

And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you mean to me

I will be here.

I will be true

To the promise I have made

To you and to the

One who gave you to me

I ..I will be there

And just as sure as seasons are made for change

Our lifetimes are made for these years

‘Cause I will be here.

40 From A Navajo Wedding Ceremony

Now you have lit a fire and that fire shall not go out.

The two of you now have a fire that represents love,

understanding and a philosophy of life.

It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.

The new fire represents a new beginning – a new life and a new family.

The fire shall keep burning; you shall stay together.

You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.

41 An Ancient First Nations Blessing (Apache Wedding Prayer)

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be 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.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into your days together.
And may all your days be good and long upon the Earth.

42 Another version of the Apache Blessing

Now we feel no rain,
for each of us will be shelter to the other.
Now we feel no cold,
for each of us will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness,
for each of us will be a companion to the other.
We are two bodies,
but there is one life before us and one home.
When evening falls,
I'll look up and there you will be.
I'll take your hand;
you'll take mine and we'll turn together
To look at the road we traveled to reach this - the hour of our happiness.
It stretches behind us,
even as the future lies ahead.
A long and winding road,
whose every turn means discovery.
Old hopes, new laughter, shared fears.
The adventure has just begun.

And the fulfillment of our dreams.   

 

43 Commitment Reading of the Pueblo Indian

Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except in the wide
rivers of our minds. We were each other's distant shore, the
opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. We did not
know the other then, did not know our determination to keep alive
the cry of one riverbank to the other. We were apart, yet connected
in our ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common
tree. Remember? 
I knew you existed long before you understood my desire to join my
freedom to yours. Our paths collided long enough for our indecision
to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to me,
the sun surged towards the earth and moon escaped from darkness to
bless the union of two spirits, so alike that the creator had designed them
for life's endless circle. Beloved partner, keeper of my heart's odd secrets,
clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches us.
I thank your patience. Our joining is like a tree to earth,
a cloud to sky and even more. We are the reason the world can laugh
on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say,
in this time, this place, this way - I loved you best of all.

 44- Cherokee Prayer

God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.

We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.

We honor mother earth and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow

stronger through the seasons; We

honor fire – and ask we sail through life safe and calm as in our father's arms; We

honor water -to clean and soothe our relationship – that it may never thirst for

love; With

all the forces of the universe that you created, we pray for harmony and true

happiness as we forever grow young together. Amen.

 45 Native American Apache

Treat yourselves and each other with respect,

and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness,

gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship,

as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,

remember to focus on what is right between you,

not just the part that seems wrong.

In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of

the sun in your lives, remembering that even if you lose sight of it for

a moment, the sun is still there.

And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life

together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

 46 Navajo Prayer

Be swift like the wind in loving each other.

Be brave like the sea in loving each other.

Be gentle like the breeze in loving each other.

Be patient like the sun who waits and watches the four changes of the

earth in loving each other.

Be wise like the roaring of the thunderclouds and lightning in loving

each other.

Be shining like the morning dawn in loving each other.

Be proud like the tree who stands without bending in loving each other.

Now, forever, forever there will be no more loneliness

Because your worlds are joined together with the world, forever,

forever.

47 Hymn to the Sun from the Great Plains Indians

O morning star! When you look down upon us,

Give us peace and refreshing sleep.

Great Spirit! Bless our children, friends and visitors through a happy life.

May our trails lie straight and level before us.

Let us live to behold.

We are all your children and ask these things with good hearts.

48 - Navajo Prayer

When you were children, you talked like children,

But now that you've grown, you should be done with childish things and put them away.

When you were children, you looked into a mirror that gave only a blurred reflection of reality.

But with love and maturity, you shouldn't be afraid to look into that mirror and

see each other face to face.

Be swift like the wind in loving each other.

Be brave like the sea in loving each other.

Be gentle like the breeze in loving each other.

Be patient like the sun who waits and watches

the four changes of the earth in loving each other.

Be wise like the roaring of the thunderclouds and lightening in loving each other.

Be shining like the morning dawn in loving each other.

Be flexible like the sapling that bends with the wind in loving each other.

Be brilliant like the rainbow colors in loving each other,

Now, forever, forever, there will be no more loneliness

Because your words are joined together with the world.

Forever, forever.

49 Shoshone Wedding Song

Not a spirit, not a bird,

That was my flute you heard

Last night by the river.

When you came with you wicker jar

Where the river tugs at the windows.

That was my flute you heard

Calling, Come to the willows.

Not a spirit not a bird

Made the lupine rustle.

That was my heart you heard

And the rustle of my hem

As I walked in the grasses

That was my heart you heard

When you came to the willows

50-Celebration by reverend Carl Thitchener - American ((1932-2008)

We celebrate the love that brought you to this day. 
With love that deepens through many years, 
may they know its meaning 
and its mystery-how we become truly one in sharing ourselves with one another, 
and yet, remain truly two in our own uniqueness. 

May your house be a place of happiness for all who enter it, 
a place where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company, 
a place for growing, a place for music, a place for laughter. 
And when shadows and darkness fall within its rooms, 
may it still be a place of hope and strength for all who enter it, 
especially for those who may be entrusted in your care. 
May no person be alien to your compassion. 
May your larger family be the family of all humankind. 
And may those who are nearest to you and dearest to you constantly be enriched by the beauty and the energy of your love for each other,
Amen.

51-From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.


52 From The Symposium by Plato
Humans have never understood the power of Love. It is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.
To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now. Each being was a fusion of genders, sharing equally in male and female. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought a way to diminish the humans’ strength without destroying them. It was at this point that the humans were divided in half.

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. No one could imagine this to be the mere amorous connection: obviously the soul of each is wishing for something else that it cannot express. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

53 A Marriage by Michael Blumenthal (American -1949)

You are holding up a ceiling

With both arms. It is very heavy,

But you must hold it up, or else

It will fall down on you. Your arms

Are tired, terribly tired,

And, as the day goes on, it feels

As if either your arms or the ceiling

Will soon collapse.

But then,

Unexpectedly,

Something wonderful happens.

Someone,

A man or a woman,

Walks into the room

And holds their arms up

To the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get

To take down your arms.

You feel the relief of respite,

The blood flowing back

To your fingers and arms.

And when your partner’s arms tire,

You hold up your own again

To relieve him again.

And this can go on like this for many years

Without the house falling.


54 From Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
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.

55 The Siddur of Shir Chadash from the Jewish Prayerbook
May the door of your home be wide enough
to receive all who hunger for love
and all who are lonely for friendship.
May it welcome all who have cares to unburden,
thanks to express and hopes to nurture.
May the door of your house be narrow enough
to shut out pettiness and pride, envy and enmity.
May its threshold be no stumbling block
to young or old feet,
and may it be too high to admit complacency,
selfishness or harshness.
May your home be, for all who enter,
the doorway to richness and a more meaningful life.

The cool breeze ripples the river below,
And the fleecy clouds float high,
And I mark how the dark green gum-trees match
The bright blue vault of the sky.
The rain has been, and the grass is green
Where the slopes were bare and brown,
And I see the things that I used to see
In the days ere my head went down.

I have found a light in my long dark night,
Brighter than stars or moon;
I have lost the fear of the sunset drear,
And the sadness of afternoon.

Here let us stand while I hold your hand,
Where the light's on your golden head--
Oh! I feel the thrill that I used to feel
In the days ere my heart was dead.

The storm's gone by, but my lips are dry
And the old wrong rankles yet--
Sweetheart or wife, I must take new life
From your red lips warm and wet!
So let it be, you may cling to me,
There is nothing on earth so dread,
For I'll be the man that I used to be
In the days ere my heart was dead!


56 From A Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach

You that love Lovers
This is your home. Welcome!

In the midst of making form, Love
Made this form that melts form,
With love for the door, and
Soul, the vestibule.

Watch the dust grains moving
In the light near the window.

Their dance is our dance.

We rarely hear the inner music,
But we’re dancing to it nevertheless.

Directed by what teaches us,
The pure joy of the sun,
Our music master.

 57 The Promise, by Heather Berry 
Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits. As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places where you’ve both only dreamed. Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms”From Adam Bede by George Eliot: What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories,at the moment of the last parting.

 58 A Good Wedding Cake - Author Unknown

4lb of love
½ of good looks
1 lb of sweet temper 
1 lb of butter youth
1 lb of blindness of faults 
1 lb of pounded wit
1 lb of good humour
2 tablespoons of sweet argument
1 pint of rippling laughter 
1 wine glass of common sense
Dash of modesty

Put the love, good looks and sweet temper Into a well-furnished house.

Beat the butter of youth to a cream, and mix well together
with the blindness of faults.

Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling
laughter and common sense.

Add a dash of modesty and work the whole together until everything is well mixed.

Bake gently for ever.


 59 By Theodore Parker
It takes years to marry completely two hearts, even the most loving and well assorted. A happy wedlock is a falling in love. Young persons think love belongs to the brow-haired and crimson cheeked. So it does for its beginning. But the golden marriage is part of love which the bridal day knows nothing of...Such a large and sweet fruit is marriage that is needs a long summer to ripen, and then a long winter to mellow and season it.



60 Tell Me the Truth About Love by W. H. Auden

Some say that love’s a little boy,

And some say it’s a bird,

Some say it makes the world go round,

And some say that’s absurd,

And when I asked the man next-door,

Who looked as if he knew,

His wife got very cross indeed,

And said it wouldn’t do.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?

Is it usually sick on a swing?

Does it spend all of its time at the races,

Or fiddling with pieces of string?

Has it views of its own about money?

Does it think Patriotism enough?

Are its stories vulgar or funny?

O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning,

Just as I’m picking my nose?

Will it knock on my door in the morning,

Or tread in the bus on my toes?

Will it come like a change in the weather?

Will its greeting be courteous or rough?

Will it alter my life forever?

O tell me the truth about love.

 61 From The Hungering Dark By Frederick Buechner

Dostoevski describes Alexei Karamazov falling asleep and dreaming about the wedding at Cana, and for him too it is a dream of indescribable joy, but when he wakes from it he does a curious thing. He throws himself down on the earth and embraces it. He kisses the earth and among tears that are in no way sentimental because they are turned not inward but outward, he forgives the earth and begs its forgiveness and vows to love it forever. And that is the heart of it, after all, and matrimony is

called holy because this brave and fateful promise of a man and a woman to love and honor and serve each other through thick and thin looks beyond itself to more fateful promises still and speaks mightily of what human life at its most human and its most alive and most holy must always be.



62 From the Divine Comedy by Dante

“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.”

 63  It is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings

it is at moments after I have dreamed

of the rare entertainment of your eyes,

when (being fool to fancy) I have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;

at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile

(it was through tears always) and silence moulds

such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms

are filled with fascination, when my breast

wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

-turning from the tremendous lie of sleep

i watch the roses of the day grow deep

All that is profane becomes sacred again.



64 My Sunshine by Hervé Desbois

When the dawn emerges from the night – it is you I see

When I emerge from the silence of the dark – it is you I see

You are like a river that flows through my dreams

Without you, where would I find light?

When the city veils your smile

It is you I look for

When life batters me and steals my sighs – it is you I look for

You are a fortress that guards and protects me

Without you, where is my shelter, my refuge?

Let me lay down and sleep in the shadow of your eyes

When I am exhausted by the journey of time

As it passes so swiftly and so indifferently

I treasure the sight of the smile on your lips

You are the brilliant light of the sun in my skies

You, my love, my happiness.

 

65 A Comfortable Couple by Charles Dickens

We’re too old to be single.

Why shouldn’t we both be married instead of sitting through the long winter

evenings by our solitary fireplaces? Why shouldn’t we make one fireplace of it?

Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other!

How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to

talk to and sit with. Let’s be a comfortable couple. Now do, my dear.



66 A Reading from Adam Bede by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined

for life, to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to

minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable

memories at the moment of the last parting?

 67 Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world rolls; the circumstances vary every hour. The angels that inhabit this

temple of the body appear at the windows, and the gnomes and vices also.

A man and woman’s once flaming regard is sobered by time in either breast, and

losing in violence what it gains in extent, it becomes a thorough good

understanding.

At last they discover that all which at first drew them together – those once sacred

features, that magical play of charms –was deciduous, had a prospective end, like

the scaffolding by which the house was built; and the purification of the intellect

and the heart, from year to year, is the real marriage.

Thus are we put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor

partiality, but which seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere.

We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state.

But we are often made to feel that our affections are but tents of a night.

There are moments when the affections rule and absorb us, and make our

happiness dependent on a person or persons.

But the mind is presently seen again – its overarching vault, bright with galaxies

of immutable lights, and the warm loves and fears that swept over us as clouds,

must lose their finite character and blend with God, to attain their own perfection.

But we need not fear that we can lose any thing by the progress of the soul.

The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful and attractive, as

these relations between lovers must be succeeded and supplanted only by what is

more beautiful, and so on for ever.”



 68 After Love by Maxine Kumin

Afterwards, the compromise.

Bodies resume their boundaries.

These legs, for instance, mine.

Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips

Admit their ownership.

The nodding yawns, a door

Blows aimlessly ajar

And overhead, a plane

Singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except

There was a moment when

The wolf, the mongering wolf

Who stands outside the self

Lay lightly down, and slept.

 69 The Passionate Shepherd To His Love by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,

Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,

And a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle:

A gown made of the finest wool,

Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

Fair lined slippers for the cold,

With buckles of the purest gold:

A belt of straw and ivy buds,

With coral clasps and amber studs;

And if these pleasures may thee move,

Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing

For thy delight each May morning;

If these delights thy mind may move,

Then live with me and be my love.

 70 From Gift from the Sea by Anne Morror Lindbergh

When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the

same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to

pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith

in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the

tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We

insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity

possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that

the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or

expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship

lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might

be in dread or anticipation, but living in present relationship and accepting it as it

is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands, one

must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits -

islands surrounded by and interrupted by the sea, and continually

visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the

winged life, of intermittency.

 71 The Confirmation by Edwin Muir

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.

I, in my mind, had waited for this long,

Seeing the false and searching for the true,

Then found you as a traveler finds a place

Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong

Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,

What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,

A well of water in a country dry,

Or anything that's honest and good, an eye

That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,

Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,

The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,

The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.

Not beautiful or rare in every part.

 72 in Wedding Whistle by Ogden Nash

Though you know it anyhow

Listen to, darling, now,

Proving what I need not prove

How I know I love you, love.

Near and far, near and far,

I am happy where you are;

Likewise I have never learnt

How to be where you aren’t.

Far and wide, far and wide,

I can walk with you beside;

Furthermore, I tell you what,

I sit and sulk where you are not.

Visitors remark my frown

When you’re upstairs and I am down,

Yes, and I’m afraid I pout

When I’m indoors and you are out.

In fact I care not where you be,

Just as long as it’s with me.

In all your absence I glimpse

Fire and flood and trolls and imps.

Is your train a minute slothful?

I goad the stationmaster wrothful.

When with friends to bridge you drive

I never know if you’re alive,

And when you linger late in shops

I long to telephone the cops.

Yet how worth the waiting for,

To see you coming through the door.

Somehow, I can be complacent

Never but with you adjacent.

Near and far, near and far,

I am happy where you are;

Likewise, I have never learnt

How to be it where you aren’t.

Then grudge me not for fond endeavor,

To hold you in my sight forever;

Let none, not even you, disparage

Such valid reason for a marriage.

 73 The Covenant of Marriage”
Marriage has certain qualities of contract, in which two people take on the housekeeping tasks of living, together, to enhance life’s joy. However, marriage is more than a contract. Marriage is a commitment to take that joy deep, deeper than happiness, deep into the discovery of who you most truly are. It is a commitment to a spiritual journey, to a life of becoming -- in which joy can comprehend despair, running through rivers of pain into joy again. And thus marriage is even deeper than commitment. It is a covenant -- a covenant that says: I love you. I trust you. I will be here for you when you are hurting and when I am hurting I will not leave. It is a covenant intended not to provide haven from pain or anger and sorrow. Life offers no such haven. Instead, marriage is intended to provide a sanctuary safe enough to risk loving, to risk living and sharing from the center of oneself. This is worth everything.



74 A Chinese Poem

I want to be your friend

For ever and ever without break or decay

When the hills are all flat

And the rivers are all dry

When it lightens and thunders in winter

When it rains and snows in summer

When Heaven and Earth mingle

Not till then will I part from you.

 75 Prayer for a Wedding by Joel Oppenheimer

Because everyone knows exactly what’s good for another

Because very few see

Because a man and a woman may just possibly look at each other

Because a man or a woman can do anything he or she pleases

Because you can reach any point in your life saying: now, I want this

Because eventually it occurs we want each other, we want to know each other,

even stupidly, even ugly

Because there is at best a simple need in two people to try and reach some simple

ground

Because that simple ground is not so simple

Because we are human beings gathered together whether we like it or not

Because we are human beings reaching out to touch

Because sometimes we grow

We ask a blessing on this marriage

We ask that some simplicity be allowed

We ask their happiness

We ask that this couple be known for what it is and that the light shine upon it

We ask a blessing for their marriage



76 "The Bridge Across Forever" by Richard Bach
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.



77 A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot;

My heart is like an apple tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all these

Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;

Hang it with varn and purple dyes;

Carve it in doves and pomegranates,

And peacocks with a hundred eyes;

Work it in gold and silver grapes,

In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;

Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

78 Excerpt from "The Hungering Dark" by Frederick Buechner
Matrimony is called holy, because this brave and fateful promise of a man and a woman, to love and honor and serve each other through thick and thin, looks beyond itself to more fateful promises still, and speaks mightily of what human life at its most human and most alive and most holy must always be. Every wedding is a dream, and every word that is spoken there means more than it says, and every gesture - the clasping of hands, the giving of rings - is rich with mystery. And so it [is that] we hope with every bride and groom, that the love they bear one another, and the joy they take in one another, may help them grow in love for this whole world where their final joy lies.

 79 Married Love -Kuan Tao-Sheng (1263-1319)

You and I 
Have so much love
That it
Burns like a 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 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.

 80 To His Wife Mary by William Wordsworth

Every day every hour every moment makes me feel more deeply

how blessed we are in each other, how purely how faithfully how

ardently, and how tenderly we love each other; I put this last word last because,

though I am persuaded that a deep affection is not uncommon in married life, yet I

am confident that a lively, gushing, thought-employing, spirit-stirring, passion of

love is very rare even among good people…

O, I love you with a passion of love which grows 'til I tremble to think

of its strength.

81 For the Union of You and Me by Rabindranath Tagore

It is for the union of you and me that there is light in the sky.

It is for the union of you and me that the earth is decked in dusky green.

It is for the union of you and me that the night sits motionless with the world in

her arms;

Dawn appears opening the eastern door with sweet murmurs in her voice.

The boat of hope sails along the currents of eternity toward that union; flowers of

the ages are being gathered together for its welcoming ritual.

It is for the union of you and me that this heart of mine, in the garb of a bride,

Has proceeded from birth to birth upon the surface of this ever-turning world to

chose the beloved.

 82 He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven by W.B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

83 Why Marriage? – Author Unknown

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 then 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 and 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.

 84 Marriage – Author unknown

The institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might learn how

to love and, in loving, know joy; that a man and a woman might learn how to

share pain and loneliness and, in sharing, know strength; that a man and a woman

might learn how to give and, in giving, know communion.

The institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might, through

their joy, their strength, and their communion, become creators of life itself.

Marriage is a high and holy state, to be held in honor among all men and women.

Marriage is a low and common state, to be built on the stuff of daily life. Men

and women are not angels, nor are they gods. Love can become hatred; joy,

sorrow; marriage, divorce. But human beings are not condemned to failure. Love

can grow even in a real world. The wounds of sorrow can be healed, and new life

built on the learnings of the old. This is the reason for our gathering today; to

renew our faith in the strength of hope and the power

of love.

 85 All About Love – Author Unknown

Love is the irresistible desire to be desires irresistibly.

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.

To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking

outwards together in the same direction.

Love from one being to another can only be that two people come nearer,

recognize and protect and comfort each other.

Love is a feeling that emanates from the heart.

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Love works miracles everyday: such as weakening the strong, and strengthening

the weak; making fools of the wise, and wise men of fools;

favoring the passions, destroying reason, and, in a word, turning everything topsyturvy.

Love looks not with the eye, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid

painted blind.

Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

Love isn’t perfect, love is just love.

 86 Eskimo Love Song

You are my husband

You are my wife

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

 87 Hawaiian Song

Here all seeking is over

The lost has been found,

A mate has been found

To share the chills of winter-

Now love asks

That you be united.

Here is a place to rest,

A place to sleep,

A place in heaven.

Now two are becoming one,

The black night scattered

The eastern sky grows bright.

At last the great day has come!

88 Pam Ayres "yes I'll marry you"

Yes, I'll Marry You.
Yes, I'll marry you, my dear,
And here's the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it's creepy and it's late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I'll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It's you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It's you that has to whack him.

Yes, I'll marry you,
You're virile and you're lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!
It's you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I've got PMT it's you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!

89 "Sonnet 122" by William Shakespeare

"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou are more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade
Which in eternal lines to time thou grow’st
So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

 90 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.
Oh no, it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering baroque
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 prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

91 From Hamlet (written to Ophelia) by William Shakespeare
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love. From Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. Here All Seeking is Over

 92 Sonnet No. 18 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed:

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 93 Sonnet 47 by William Shakespeare

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,

And each doth good turns now unto the other:

When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,

Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,

With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,

And to the painted banquet bids my heart;

Another time mine eye is my heart's guest,

And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:

So, either by thy picture or my love,

Thy self away, art present still with me;

For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,

And I am still with them, and they with thee;

Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight

Awakes my heart, to heart's and eyes' delight.

94 Sonnet No. 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;

Oh, 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 it 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.


95"Sonnet XLIII" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (English 1806–1861)

"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 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 seemed 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 thee better after death."

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