Selected Readings & Verses
GIFTS FROM THE SEA
In her book, Gifts from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindberg describes the stages and patterns of human relationships. She says that a good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place between you for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand, only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face-to-face, now back-to-back, it does not matter which. Because you know you are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together and being nourished by it.
One recognizes the truth of Saint Exupery's line: Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction for in fact, man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction, they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots and a firm base of life together...Here one makes oneself part of the community of human society. Here the bonds of marriage are formed.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh describes marriage as not a bond, but many bonds, many strands of different textures and strengths, making up a web that is both taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, but many kinds of love, romantic love first, then a slow growing devotion, and playing through these a constantly rippling companionship. This web is made of loyalties and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of the lack of language too. A knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions and known and unknown exchanges. It is strengthened by the day to day living, side by side, looking outward and working outward, always in the same direction. This web is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.
I CHOOSE YOU... author unknown
You are not my will to survive, you are my reason for living. It is with you that I triumph over the challenges in my path. You are not the air that I breathe, your are the sweet scent that drifts upon it. You are not the sounds that I hear, you are the music of my life.
It is your partnership that will lead me as I grow and learn.
It is your patience and wisdom that calms my restless nature.
It is through you that I know my true self.
I do not take you for granted, I cherish you.
I do not need you, I choose you.
I choose you today in witness of all the people who love us. I choose you tomorrow in the privacy of our hearts.
I choose you in strength and weakness.
I choose you in joy and sorrow.
I will choose you, over all others, every day, for all the days of my life.
DUET READING / WHEN YOU MARRY
When You Marry Him
When you marry him, love him
After you marry him, study him.
If he is secretive, trust him.
If he is sad, cheer him.
When he is talkative, listen to him.
When he is quarrelsome, ignore him.
If he is jealous, cure him.
If he doesn't care for pleasure, coax him.
If he favors society, accompany him.
When he deserves it, kiss him.
Let him think how well you understand him.
But never let him know that you manage him.
When You Marry Her
When you marry her, love her.
After you marry her, study her.
When she is blue, cheer her.
When she is talkative, by all means listen to her.
If she dresses well, compliment her.
When she is cross, humor her.
When she does you a favor, kiss her.
If she is jealous, cure her.
If she is lonely, comfort her.
When she looks pretty, tell her so.
Let her feel how well you understand her.
But never let her know she isn't boss
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 promises, but rather on trust, respect and faithfulness, and the ability to forgive a lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love.
EXCERPT FROM THE PROPHET
Love one another, but make not a bond of love, Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your soul. Fill each other 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 you hearts, but not into each other keeping, for only the hand of life can contain you 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 others shadow.
From Corellis Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres, notes that Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, and it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Like two trees that have grown separately through the years, you both will have invisible roots that have grown towards and entwined with each other, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from your branches you will find that you are not two but now one.
TO KNOW LOVE...
To know love is what life is all about. To share love is to possess something that is beyond the reach of age or time. To give love, to experience love, is to be rich in the joys that give color to each day and significance to each detail of our lives... To be in love with someone so wonderful, is to know the fullest meaning of what happiness can be.
THE HANDS OF YOU (Carrie Bond)
Sometimes when shadows cross my path, as shadows sometimes do, I reach my hands across the mist and touch the hand of you. I know the sun is in the sky, I know true love is true. But oh, comforts in the dark to touch the hand of you. Through all the silence of the years, through friendships old and new, the dearest moment of my life I touch the hand of you. So clouds and sorrows may come along, we all must have a few, but through them all, please god let me still touch the hand of you. The loving relationship you
Romantic Readings for Wedding Ceremonies
There are many beautiful poems, songs, and other writings about love from all over the world. Including one or more in your ceremony helps to focus the audience's thoughts on love and marriage. This is just a small sample of excellent readings. If you know of something else not listed here that you especially like I would be happy to include it in the ceremony Sometimes couples choose to have 3 short readings included in their ceremony. In parallel to the development of their relationship, the first is about friendship, the second on love, and the third on commitment and marriage.
Besides including a reading in your ceremony, you may consider writing something original to put in your wedding program or to say to one another.
"Blessing of the Hands", revised by Rev. Daniel L. Harris
(Best to be read just before the exchange of rings)
"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 as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, 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."
May ___ and ___ see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide.
We ask this in the name of our God who lives and reigns with us now and forever.
"Why Marriage", by Mari Nichols
"Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body... Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, Who won't hold them against me, Who loves me when I'm unlikable, Who sees the small child in me, and Who looks for the divine potential of me... Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who thanks God for me; with someone I feel blessed to hold...
Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love in friendship... Because marriage is a discipline to be added to a list of achievements... Because marriages do not fail, people fail when they enter into marriage expecting another to make them whole... Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness. I create me. I take half of the responsibility for my marriage. Together we create our marriage... Because with this understanding, the possibilities are limitless."
"Foundations Of Marriage", by Regina Hill
"Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything... In marriage, all of the moments won't be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together. Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments. Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It's inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up... even when all the odds say to quit. It's allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren't in total agreement or exactly what you'd like them to be. It's getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness."
"Blessing For A Marriage", by James Dillet Freeman
"May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another -- not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you 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 out 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 that 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."
"Benediction of the Apaches"
"Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you.
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one Life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth."
"Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love", by Edmund O'Neill
"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."
From "The Irrational Season", by Madeleine L'Engle
"Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling."
"Love Is Friendship Caught Fire", by Laura Hendricks
"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."
"A History of Love", by Diane Ackerman
"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 spreading into deep 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 loved."
"On Love", by Thomas a Kempis
"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."
"I Love You", by Roy Croft
"I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you, for the part of me that you bring out. I love you, for putting your hand 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."
Excerpt from "The Art of a Good Marriage", by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
"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."
"Time In A Bottle", by Jim Croce
"If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to save every day 'till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.
If I could make days last forever; if words could make wishes come true; I'd save every day like a treasure and then, again, I would spend them with you.
If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true; the box would be empty, except for the memory of how they were answered by you.
But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them. I've looked around enough to know that you're the one I want to go through time with."
"I Am Love"
"Some say I can fly on the wind, yet I haven't any wings. Some have found me floating on the open sea, yet I cannot swim. Some have felt my warmth on cold nights, yet I have no flame. And though you cannot see me, I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces. I am the twinkle in your child's eyes. I am hidden in the lines of your mother's face. I am your father's shield as he guards your home. And yet... Some say I am stronger than steel, yet I am as fragile as a tear. Some have never searched for me, yet I am around them always. Some say I die with loss, yet I am endless. And though you cannot hear me, I dance on the laughter of children. I am woven into the whispers of passion. I am in the blessings of Grandmothers. I embrace the cries of newborn babies. And yet... Some say I am a flower, yet I am also the seed. Some have little faith in me, yet I will always believe in them. Some say I cannot cure the ill, yet I nourish the soul. And though you cannot touch me, I am the gentle hand of the kind. I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night. I am the hug of a child. I am love."
"Looking For Your Face", by Rumi
"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."
"Friendship", by Judy Bielicki
"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."
"The Magic of Love", by Helen Steiner Rice
"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!!"
A READING FROM THE WRITINGS OF PIERRE TEILARD de CHARDIN
Seeing you both here, united for all time, I cannot help glancing back at the two roads, which for so long seemed to be independent of one another…have just suddenly converged…and here and now, in a movement are about to run as one.
How astonishing…a symmetry in your designs, that without realizing it, you were gradually moving towards your union with each other. Who was the one, who without ever breaking a thread, worked alone to weave today into a perfect whole, the double web of your two lives. What has yet to come is more precious than what is already born. If you want to answer the summons to grace, which comes to you today from God, then put your faith in the spirit that lies ahead of you.
On Your Wedding Day… author unknown
To day is a day you will always remember, the greatest day in anyone’s life. You started off the day just two people in love and will end it as husband and wife.
It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey with moments to cherish and treasure. And although there will be times when you both disagree these will surely be outweighed by pleasure.
You will have heard many words of advice in the past when the secrets of marriage were spoken, but you know that the answers lie hidden inside where the bond of true love lies unbroken.
So live happy forever as lovers and friends, it’s the dawn of a new life for you. As you stand there together with love in your eyes from the moment you whisper ‘ I do’
And with luck all your hopes and your dreams can be real, may success find its way to your hearts. Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys but today is the day it all starts.
"Sonnet XLIII", from "Sonnets from the Portuguese", by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My 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 griefs, 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."
"Sooner or Later" (anonymous)
"Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, 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."
"Hug O' War", by Shel Silverstein
"I will not play at tug o' war. I'd rather play at hug o' war, where everyone hugs instead of tugs, where everyone giggles, and rolls on the rug, where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins."
"Sonnet 17", by Pablo Neruda
"I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom, and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. 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 know no 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 it is your eyes that close."
"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."
"Desiderata", by Max Erhmann (1927)
"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
Excerpt from "Any Husband or Wife," by Carole Haynes
"Let us be guests in one another's house, with a deferential "No" and courteous "Yes." Let us take care to hide our foolish moods behind a certain show of cheerfulness. Let us avoid all sullen silences. We should find fresh and sprightly things to say. I must be fearful lest you find me dull, and you must dread to bore me any way. Let us knock gently at each other's heart, glad of a chance to look within-and yet let us remember that to force one's way is the unpardoned breach of etiquette. So we shall be host and hostess, until all need for entertainment ends. We shall be lovers when the last door shuts. But what is better still, we shall be friends."
"Sonnet 18", 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."
"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 barque
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."
"The Merchant of Venice", Act 4, Scene 1 (spoken by Portia), by William Shakespeare ()
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, [Jew,]
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy."
From "The Hymn of the Universe", by Teilhard de Chardin
"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 worldwide 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?"
"On Love" and "On Marriage", excerpts from "The Prophet", by Khalil Gibran
"Then said the student Almitra, Speak to us of love. And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said: 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."
"Then Almitra spoke again and said, and what of Marriage master? And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone."
"On Children", by Khalil Gibran
"And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, 'Speak to us of Children.' And he said, 'Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies, but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness, for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.'"
"You Were Born Together", by Khalil Gibran
"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spades 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 of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the land 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."
We Have Lived and Loved Together (by Charles Jefferys)
We have lived and loved together through many changing years. We have shared each other's gladness and wept each other's tears. I have never known a sorrow that you have not soothed. Your smiles can make a summer where winters darkness would be. We both can speak of one love which time can never change. We have lived and loved together through many changing years. We have shared each other's gladness and wept each other's tears. Let us hope the future as the past has been will be, I will share with you my sorrows and you, your joys with me.
How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog
by Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Somethimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
I CARRY YOUR HEART WITH ME, EE Cummings
I carry your heart with me,
I carry it in my heart.
I am never without it,
Any where I go you go, my dear.
Whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling
I fear no fate for your are my fate my sweet
I want no world for beautiful, you are my world, my true
And it's you, whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing, is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life
Which grows higher than a soul can hope or mind can hide
And this is the wonder that is keeping the stars apart.
I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.
THE SECOND TIME AROUND, by Allison Chambers Coxsey
I searched the whole world over,
All of my life I dreamed of you; of someone who would share my life,
Now my dreams have all come true.
I never gave up hoping that one day you'd be found;
And love would be much sweeter the second time around.
Now I've put my hand in yours and we've joined heart to heart;
I give my soul, my love to you.
As we make a brand new start.
Now my search is over, for I know that I have found; someone to share my life, my love, the second time around
The Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make us intruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love:
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Commitment Reading of the Pueblo Indian
Before you met, you were halves unjoined except in the wide rivers of your minds. You were each other’s distant shore, the opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. You did not know the other then, did not know your determination to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other. You were apart, yet connected in your ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember?
You both existed long before you understood your desire to join your freedom to each other. Your paths collided long enough for your indecision to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to each other 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 you for life’s endless circle. Beloved partners, keepers of your hearts odd secrets, clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches you. Together, thank your patience. Your joining is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky and even more. You together are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear each say, in this time, this place, this way I loved you best of all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
New International Version (NIV)
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
New International Version (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3. make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace
Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7
My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Set me as a seal upon your heart,as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13
10 My lover speaks to me. Come then, my love; my darling, come with me. 11 The winter is over; the rains have stopped; 12 in the countryside the flowers are in bloom. This is the time for singing; the song of doves is heard in the fields. 13 Figs are beginning to ripen; the air is fragrant with blossoming vines. Come then, my love; my darling, come with me.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
6 Close your heart to every love but mine; hold no one in your arms but me. Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself. It bursts into flame and burns like a raging fire. 7 Water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it. But if any tried to buy love with their wealth, contempt is all they would get.