WEDDING GODDESS ®

Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, Wedding Officiant and Author


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Wedding Readings

Wedding Goddess Selects ®:
A selection of readings and poems, classic and hip,
from various cultures, that can be used in
non-denominational, interfaith and multifaith weddings.

Lovingly Collected and Compiled by
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

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On Love

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 loved.

- Diane Ackerman, A History of Love

***

On The True, Seasoned Marriage
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. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of the tide of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide of life and resist in terrors it’s 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 growth... is fluidity... is freedom.

-Ann Morrow Lindbergh, from Gift from the Sea

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.

-Theodore Parker

***

Thoughts on Marriage from Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forever more.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your
days.
Yes, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of heaven 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 each one of you be
alone--even as the strings of a lute are alone though the quiver
with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not in 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 Cyprus grow not in each other's shadows

- Kahlil Gibran

***


I Corinthians: Inspiration from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians

If I speak in the tongues of men
and of angels,
but have not love,
I am nothing more than a noisy gong
or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries,
and have all knowledge,
and a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love,
I am nothing ...
Love is patient; love is kind.
It is never jealous,
nor boastful, proud or rude.
It’s is never selfish, resentful, or quick-tempered.
It keeps no records of wrongs.

Love rejoices with truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
And love never ends.
Faith, Hope and Love ... abide in these three.
But the greatest of these ... is love.

May love always be your aim.
Amen.

(edited version)

***

Song of Solomon, the Old Testament

I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine

My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
for lo, 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.

I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave.
It flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house,
it would be utterly scorned.

I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine

***

Blessing for a Marriage
by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring … and may life also grant you 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.

May you want one another, yet not out of lack.
May you entice one another, yet not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, yet not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another … and may your never 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 – a presence that is no more physical than spiritual … that is 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!