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Readings

A Prayer for the Bride and Groom - Helen Steiner Rice
As hand in hand you enter a life that’s bright and new, May God look down from the heaven and bless the two of you.  May he give you understanding enough to make you kind; so you may judge each other with your heart and not your mind.  May he teach you to be patient, as you learn to live together; forgiving little “Human Rifts” that arise in “Stormy Weather.”  And may your love be big enough to withstand the strongest sea, so you may dwell forever in love’s rich tranquility.  Two are better than one……

A Sacred Space
Your love requires space in which to grow. This space must be safe enough to allow your hearts to be revealed.  It must offer refreshment for your spirits and renewal to your minds. It must be a space made sacred by the quality of your honesty, attention, love, and compassion.  It may be anywhere, inside or out -- But it must exist.

From A Natural History Of Love - 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.

Irrational Season -  Madeleine 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.

Kahil Gibran (From The Prophet)
"True love gives nothing but itself, and takes nothing but from itself, for love is sufficient unto love.  Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself, to awake at dawn and give thanks for another day of loving, to rest at noon and meditate love's ecstasy, to return home at eventide with gratitude, and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart, and a song of praise upon your lips."

Love Is Friendship Caught Fire - 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.

Love Reflects Love in Return - The Divine Comedy by Dante
The love of God, unutterable and perfect, flows into a pure soul the way light rushes into a transparent object.  The more love we receive, the more love we shine forth; 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 other.

Marriage Advice - Jane Wells (1886)
Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.  Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.  Believe the best rather than the worst.  People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them.  Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship.  The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.  Please hand this down to your children and your children's children.

Marriage is Love - Gloria Matthew
If two are caring as they are sharing life's hopes and fears.
If the music of laughter outweighs sadness and tears.  Marriage is togetherness.
If both derive pleasure from the mere presence of each other, yet when parted no jealousies restrict, worry or smother.  Marriage is freedom.
If achievements mean more when they benefit two and consideration is shown with each point of view.  Marriage is respect.
And if togetherness, freedom and respect are combined with a joy that words can never fully define, then marriage is love.

Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love - Edmund O'Neill
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.

Marriage Means Being In Love for the Rest of Your Life - Chris Ardis
Marriage is love walking hand in hand together.  It's laughing with each other about silly little things, and learning to discuss big things with care and tenderness.  In marriage, love is trusting each other when you're apart.  It's getting over disappointments and hurts, knowing that these are present in all relationships.  It's the realization that there is no one else in this world that you would rather be with than the one you're married to.  It's thinking of new things to do together; It's growing old together.  Marriage is being in love for the rest of your life.

On Love - Thomas à Kempis (1379-1471)
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.

One With Each Other - George Elliott
What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, and to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

Sooner or Later
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.

The Art Of A Good Marriage - Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.  A good marriage must be created.  In the art of marriage, the little things are 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 never taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
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 the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner,
it is being the right partner.

The Bridge Across Forever - 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.

The Key to Love
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 other’s 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 hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.  The key to love is respect... Realizing 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.

The Strength to Love - Martin Luther King, Jr.
The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring.  Love is something much more than emotional bosh.  An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, is the love of God operating in the human heart.  Love is the most durable power in the world - the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security. The great military leaders of the past have gone, and their empires have crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of Jesus, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing.

The Value of Life
To realize the value of this thing called life …This fragile spark.  It flickers and dares, succumbs and flares.  To realize the value of one year … A trip on a long path, A safe shield, A hazard consciousness.  To realize the value of one month … An ample illusion, A visible dream, A deciding purpose.  To realize the value of one week …The strength of rock, The weakness of sand, The thought of truth and purpose.  To realize the value of one day … The spiritual measure of life, A meaning of hope, A temptation of joy, An eternal cause un-guaranteed. Who knows how long it will burn.  To realize life is frail and unshielded.  To realize the value of life is love.

To Be One With Each Other - George Eliot (1819-1880)
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are to join 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.

To Love - Author Unknown
To love is to enter a whole New World, a world of togetherness, a world of sharing.... All that is dearest and deepest within your hearts.  To love is to remember and keep alive forever all those unique qualities that drew you to one another in the beginning.... Those first halting phrases... That wonderful feeling of oneness when your eyes first met.  To love is to constantly search for new ways to bring each other happiness, to make the most of every moment you share together, and marvel at how your feelings for one another keep rising to new dimensions.  To love is to create an oasis of tranquility for one another and a quiet place, apart from others, where you need not pretend...where you can be yourselves.... And know within your hearts, you will be accepted by one another.  To love is to greet each day with anticipation...Always eager for another opportunity to share new adventures...And gather up new memories together!  To love is to follow the rainbow through the rain, to be able to laugh at yourselves and be willing to say...."I was wrong, I'm sorry"...To forgive, and more importantly, to forget, and to always believe and trust in one another. To love is to watch with wonder all the miracles of creation, to find beauty in all the simple things of life, and to find, within yourselves, a deeper appreciation and a new awareness of how wonderful it is to be alive...To be happy...To be together.  To love is coming together from the pathways of your past and then moving forward... Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of your future, ready to risk, to dream, and to dare.... Always believing that all things are possible with faith and love.

True Friendship - 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.

True Love - Author Unknown
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. True love holds with gentle hands the hearts that it entwines.

United Hearts - M.S. Lowndes
God has brought you here together to be united in His love, joined in Holy Matrimony with faith in God above.  Let your faith guide your lives with a measure of God's grace for this is what keeps love strong through whatever you may face.  Keep building your marriage on the foundation of Christ, it will not crumble or give way through the daily pressures of life.  But it will stand the test of time growing stronger day by day, just keep your hearts truly united joined as one when you pray. The cord that binds your hearts will not fray or break in two when you build your lives on God.  He will walk with you.

When a Man and a Woman Are in Love - Stephen T. Fader
His life lies within hers and her life lies within his.  Each lives as an individual, yet they also live for one another.  Each strives for independent goals, but they also work together to achieve their dreams.  They will give to one another what they need to survive and help fulfill each other’s wants. They will turn one another’s disappointment into satisfaction. They will turn one another’s frustration into contentment.  They will work as a mirror, reflecting to each other their strengths and weaknesses. They will work together to alleviate the emotional walls that may separate them. They will work together to build a better understanding of one another.  They will learn to lean on each other, but not so much as to be a burden on the other.  They will learn to reach out to one another, but not so much as to suffocate the other.  They will learn when it is time to speak and when it is time to listen. They will be there to comfort each other in times of sorrow.  They will be there to celebrate together in times of happiness.  They will be one another’s friend, guiding each other to the happiness that life holds.  They will be one another’s companion, facing together the challenges that life may present.  When a man and a woman are in love, his life lies within hers and her life lies within his.  Together they will love one another for the rest of their lives and forever.