Sample Ceremony Readings

Web resources for all types of ceremony readings:

http://www.todays-weddings.com/planning/readings.html

http://weddings.about.com/od/yourweddingceremony/a/ReadingsLibrary.htm

http://www.ebrides.ca/readings.htm

Some popular ceremony readings we use:

A Lovely Love Story
Traditional Irish Blessing
Apache Wedding Blessing
Love is an Adventure
Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love
Blessing for a Marriage
Wedding Blessing – Unknown
Blessing of the Hands
What is Love
Excerpt from The Gift of the Sea
Summary of Plato’s Symposium
Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever
On Marriage from The Prophet
From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Union
Source Unknown-Christian Reading
I Carry Your Heart With Me
To Love is Not to Possess
Excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit
From the Irrational Season
I love you
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog
Love Is
Apache Wedding Blessing
Love is an Adventure
Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love

Biblical and Religious Readings:
1 Corinthians 13
Matthew 19:4-6
Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12
Genesis 2:24-28
Mark 10:6-9
1 John 4:10
Source Unknown-Christian Reading
The Prayer
Wedding Prayer

 


A lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.

I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.

But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?

But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?

I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.

I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place.

Traditional Irish Blessing

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow

May the soft winds freshen your spirit

May the sunshine brighten your heart

May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you

And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

and the rain fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again my friend

May God hold you in the palm of his hand

May God be with you and bless you

May you see your children’s children

May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in Blessings

May you know nothing but happiness

from this day forward

May green be the grass you walk on

May blue be the skies above you,

And from this day forward.

May the joys of today

Be those of tomorrow.

Apache Wedding Blessing

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 is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, may happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.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, difficult 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 only the part which 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.

Love is an Adventure by Pierre Tielhart de Chardin

“Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops like the universe itself only by perpetual discovery. The only right love is that between couples whose passion leads them both, one through the other, to a higher possession of their being. Put your faith in the spirit which dwells between the two of you. You have each offered yourself to the other as a boundless field of understanding, of enrichment, of mutually increased sensibility. You will meet above all by entering into and constantly sharing one another’s thoughts, affections, and dreams. There alone, as you know, in spirit, which is arrived through flesh, you will find no disappointments, no limits. There alone the skies are ever open for your love; there alone lies the great road ahead.”

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 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.

Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love By Edmund O’Neil

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.  When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.

Blessing of the Hands by Unknown

These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands 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 hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And 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.

What is Love by 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 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.

Excerpt from The Gift of the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is 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 the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits- islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

Summary of Plato’s Symposium

Our original nature was by no means the same as it is now. There was a kind composed of both sexes and sharing equally in male and female. The form of each person was round all over; each had four arms, and legs to match these, and two faces perfectly alike. The creature walked upright, and whenever it started running fast, it went like our acrobats, whirling over and over with legs stuck out straight, swiftly round and round.

Now they were so lofty in their notions that they even conspired against the gods. Thereat Zeus and the other gods were perplexed; for they felt they could not slay them, nor could they endure such sinful rioting. Then Zeus said “Methinks I can contrive that men shall give over their iniquity through a lessening of their strength.” So saying, he sliced each human being in two. Now when our first form had been cut in two, each half in longing for his fellow would come to it again; and then would they fling their arms about each other and in mutual embraces yearn to be grafted together. Thus anciently is mutual love ingrained in mankind.

Well, when one happens on his own particular half, the two of them are wondrously thrilled with affection and intimacy and love, and are hardly to be induced to leave each other’s side for a single moment. These are they who continue together throughout life. 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. Suppose that Hephaestus should ask “Do you desire to be joined in the closest possible union, that so long as you live, the pair of you, being as one, may share a single life?” Each would unreservedly deem that he had been offered just what he was yearning for all the time.

The craving and pursuit of that entirety is called Love. If we make friends with the god and are reconciled, we shall have the fortune that falls to few in our day of discovering our proper favorites. Love is the god who brings this about; he fully deserves our hymns. If we will supply the gods with reverent duty, he will restore us to our ancient life and heal and help us into the happiness of the blest.

 Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

A soulmate 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 soulmate 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 soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

On Marriage from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

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 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.

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

And another thing. Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, 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. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two.

From “Union” by Robert Fulghum

“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 ”

I Carry Your Heart With Me by E.E. Cummings

I carry your heart with me

(I carry it in my heart)

I am never without it

(Anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate

(For you are my fate, my sweet)

I want no world

(For beautiful you are my world, my true)

And you are 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 soul can hope or mind can hide)

And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart

(I carry it in my heart)

To Love is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess,

To own or imprison,

Nor to lose one’s self in another.

Love is to join and separate

To walk alone and together,

To find a laughing freedom

That lonely isolation does not permit.

It is finally to be able to be who really are

No longer clinging in childish dependency

Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,

It is to be perfectly one’s self

And perfectly joined in permanent commitment

To another- and to one’s inner self.

Love only endures when it moves like waves,

Receding and returning gently or passionately

Or moving lovingly like the tide

In the moon’s own predictable harmony

Because finally, despite a child’s scars

Or an adults;s deepens wounds

They are openly free to be who they really are- and always secretly were,

In the very core of their being

Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

Excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

From the Irrational Season by Madeline L’Engle

But ultimately there comes a moment 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, so that, together we become a new creature.

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, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

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.

Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali

On cold winter nights, love is warm.

It lies between you and lives and breathes

and makes funny noises.

Love can wake you up all hours of the night with its needs.

Love can give 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 gonna mess with you.

Love needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love does not like being left alone for long.

But come home and love is always happy to see you.

Love may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,

but you can never be mad at love for long.

Love leaves you little surprises here and there.

Love makes messes.

Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.

Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper

and swat love on the nose,

But then love gives you big kisses,

And you laugh at the little things.

Sometimes love just wants to play.

Running you around the block, leaving you panting.

It pulls you in several different directions at once,

or winds around and around you,

until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

And love brings you together.

People who have nothing in common but love

stop and talk and greet each other on the street.

Most importantly, love needs love, and lots of it.

And in return, love loves you and loves you and never stops.

Love Is by Susan Polis Schutz

Love is

being happy for the other person

when they are happy

being sad for the other person when they are sad

being together in good times

and being together in bad times

Love is the source of strength

Love is

being honest with yourself at all times

being honest with the other person at all times

telling, listening, respecting the truth

and never pretending

Love is the source of reality

Love is

an understanding that is so complete that

you feel as if you are a part of the other person

accepting the other person just the way they are

and not trying to change them to be something else

Love is the source of unity

Love is

the freedom to pursue your own desires

while sharing your experiences with the other person

the growth of one individual alongside of

and together with the growth of another individual

Love is the source of success

Love is

the excitement of planning things together

the excitement of doing things together

Love is the source of the future

Love is

the fury of the storm

the calm of the rainbow

Love is the source of passion

Love is

giving and taking in a daily situation

being patient with each other’s needs and desires

Love is the source of sharing

Love is

knowing that the other person

will always be with you regardless of what happens

missing the other person when they are away

but remaining near in heart at all times

Love is the source of security

Love is the source of life

Biblical Readings:

1 Corinthians: 13 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Matthew 19:4-6

Jesus says:  ”Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,’ and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him.

Genesis 2:24-28

The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

This one shall be called ‘woman,’

For out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

Mark 10:6-9

From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

1 John 4:10

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Love one another. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us. We love because he first loved us.

Canticle of Love ( From the United Methodist Hymnal 1989 Pg. 646)

Let love be genuine and live in harmony;

hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.

Out do one another in showing honor;

be humble and never conceited.

Love is stronger than death

and jealousy is cruel as the grave.

Floods can not drown love and

wealth can not buy it.

Put love above all else;

let Christ’s peace rule your hearts.

Always be forgiving,

as Christ has forgiven you.

Love is not jealous or boastful,

arrogant, rude, or stubborn,

irritable, resentful, or possessive.

Love is patient and kind.

Do not love in word or speech only;

love also in deed and truth.

Receive each other in sincerity,

find mercy and grow old together.

Source Unknown-Christian Reading

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

But God, to the Christians says, “No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreserved to Me, with having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone; discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship

that I have planned for you.”

You will never be united with another until you are united with Me, exclusively of anyone or anything else, exclusively of any other desire or longing.

I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing, one that you can not imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you. You keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing and learning the things I tell you… You just have to wait. That’s all.

Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things others have gotten or that I’ve given them. Don’t look around at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and up to Me, or you will miss what I want to show you.

And then…when you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any other that you would dream of.

You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time, until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the Love that exemplifies your relationship with Me and this perfect Love.

Dear one, I want you to have this wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh, a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, and perfection, and Love that I offer you with Myself.

Know that I love you utterly.

I am God. Believe and be satisfied.

The Prayerby St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is discord, union;

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.

Amen

Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, behold our family here assembled.

We thank you for this place in which we dwell,

for the love that unites us,

for the peace accorded us this day,

for the hope with which we expect the morrow,

for the health, the work, the food,

and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;

for our friends in all parts of the earth.

Amen