Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Your favorite secular/nondenominational readings?

OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
We both love e.e. cummings' "i carry your heart with me" and definitely want to use it in our ceremony. I've read articles here and elsewhere, but there are so many readings that we both love. What are some of your favorites?

Re: Your favorite secular/nondenominational readings?

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
     <3 I love it!
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    After our unity ceremony, we're having this reading by Philip Pullman from The Amber Spyglass:

    "I will love you forever; whatever happens.  Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again…  I’ll be looking for you… every moment, every single moment.  And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart.  Every atom of me and every atom of you…  We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…  And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    OurWildKingdomSP29[Deleted User]
  • I'm seriously considering Justice Kennedy's same-sex marriage opinion, as it's something dear to my heart:

    "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were...Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
    I was just going to post the same thing. Tell me the bolder isn't exactly what we strive for in a marriage. 
    OurWildKingdomJediElizabethkimmiinthemittenmarissaskisses
  • I've seen a few weddings use quotes from A.A. Milne 'Winnie the Pooh':

    “I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”  

    “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.”  

    “How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
    "You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh”  

    If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.

    Also, just found this gem from Bob Marley:

    “Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
    Bob Marley

    OurWildKingdom
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We had 2 readings, one was done by the officiant as part of his ceremony message, and the other read by SIL.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
    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 root was 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.

    Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

    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 commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all 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 that 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, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

    For after today you shall say to the world –
    This is my husband. This is my wife.


    Found this link for you:
    Read more at http://www.classicfm.com/discover/collections/civil-ceremony-music/readings-civil-ceremony/#tyJbK8RbP8yIkTPb.99



    OurWildKingdomdrglitter
  • SP29 said:
    We had 2 readings, one was done by the officiant as part of his ceremony message, and the other read by SIL.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
    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 root was 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.

    Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

    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 commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all 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 that 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, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

    For after today you shall say to the world –
    This is my husband. This is my wife.


    Found this link for you:
    Read more at http://www.classicfm.com/discover/collections/civil-ceremony-music/readings-civil-ceremony/#tyJbK8RbP8yIkTPb.99



    To the bolded..I couldn't love this more and I may have to steal it.

    I like this one quite a bit as well...

    “I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we'd choose anyway. And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you” 

    Kiersten White, The Chaos of the Stars
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    OurWildKingdomSP29mrs.mermaid12FutureWooly
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I love all of these! Keep them coming!
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    drglitter said:

    “I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we'd choose anyway. And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you” 

    Kiersten White, The Chaos of the Stars
    I've heard of the last sentence before, and I've always liked it. But I like it even more now that I've heard the whole sentiment. (I love gushy quotes).

    And you are more than welcome to "steal" "mine". My SIL actually found it and picked it out for us!
    OurWildKingdomdrglitter
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I love all of these! Keep them coming!
    If you want something more classic, you can use Shakespeare's 116th sonnet or "How do I love thee?" from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese.
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    I love all of these! Keep them coming!
    If you want something more classic, you can use Shakespeare's 116th sonnet or "How do I love thee?" from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese.
    I love both of those, and my degree is in English, so either would be appropriate.
    Jen4948
  • I'm seriously considering Justice Kennedy's same-sex marriage opinion, as it's something dear to my heart:

    "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were...Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
    I was just going to post the same thing. Tell me the bolder isn't exactly what we strive for in a marriage. 
    I just added it to our service. LOVE IT!!!

    OurWildKingdomcharlotte989875JediElizabeth
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm seriously considering Justice Kennedy's same-sex marriage opinion, as it's something dear to my heart:

    "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were...Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
    I was just going to post the same thing. Tell me the bolder isn't exactly what we strive for in a marriage. 
    I just added it to our service. LOVE IT!!!
    We added a line from earlier in the opinion to it and have it as the introduction to our wedding vows.  We're political junkies so not only is it beautifully written but it also applies to our interests.

    The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality....  No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were...
    image
    OurWildKingdomcharlotte989875JediElizabeth
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    We had this at our wedding. 

    "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,
    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."

    ________________________________


    OurWildKingdomJen4948
  • Thanks again everyone! I'm going to show these to FW. I'm leaning towards Sonnet 116, Kahlil Gibran, and "How Do I Love Thee?" We're also having a couple of Scripture readings and asking my Dad to read an Irish blessing.
    That's a lot of readings.  I mean, they're good choices, but a lot of them.
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    adk19 said:
    Thanks again everyone! I'm going to show these to FW. I'm leaning towards Sonnet 116, Kahlil Gibran, and "How Do I Love Thee?" We're also having a couple of Scripture readings and asking my Dad to read an Irish blessing.
    That's a lot of readings.  I mean, they're good choices, but a lot of them.
    Oh, we might not do all of them, and both the Scripture readings are short (one is two verses, the other is four). But I'll show all of them to her and we'll pick what we like best.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    adk19 said:
    Thanks again everyone! I'm going to show these to FW. I'm leaning towards Sonnet 116, Kahlil Gibran, and "How Do I Love Thee?" We're also having a couple of Scripture readings and asking my Dad to read an Irish blessing.
    That's a lot of readings.  I mean, they're good choices, but a lot of them.
    Oh, we might not do all of them, and both the Scripture readings are short (one is two verses, the other is four). But I'll show all of them to her and we'll pick what we like best.
    Also, it's okay to abridge any or all of the readings you choose.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948 said:
    adk19 said:
    Thanks again everyone! I'm going to show these to FW. I'm leaning towards Sonnet 116, Kahlil Gibran, and "How Do I Love Thee?" We're also having a couple of Scripture readings and asking my Dad to read an Irish blessing.
    That's a lot of readings.  I mean, they're good choices, but a lot of them.
    Oh, we might not do all of them, and both the Scripture readings are short (one is two verses, the other is four). But I'll show all of them to her and we'll pick what we like best.
    Also, it's okay to abridge any or all of the readings you choose.
    It's also okay to have one person do several readings.  I think taking the time for one person to rise from their seat, walk to the front, read their piece, return to their seat, someone else get introduced to do the same, five times over.... might take a while.  But if someone says, "from the Gospel of John... words... amen... from the book of Ruth... words.... A poem by Maya Angelou... words..."  That'd be okay too.
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited April 2016
    adk19 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    adk19 said:
    Thanks again everyone! I'm going to show these to FW. I'm leaning towards Sonnet 116, Kahlil Gibran, and "How Do I Love Thee?" We're also having a couple of Scripture readings and asking my Dad to read an Irish blessing.
    That's a lot of readings.  I mean, they're good choices, but a lot of them.
    Oh, we might not do all of them, and both the Scripture readings are short (one is two verses, the other is four). But I'll show all of them to her and we'll pick what we like best.
    Also, it's okay to abridge any or all of the readings you choose.
    It's also okay to have one person do several readings.  I think taking the time for one person to rise from their seat, walk to the front, read their piece, return to their seat, someone else get introduced to do the same, five times over.... might take a while.  But if someone says, "from the Gospel of John... words... amen... from the book of Ruth... words.... A poem by Maya Angelou... words..."  That'd be okay too.
    Great idea! Thanks! We want to include both our mothers, so maybe splitting the readings two ways would work, and maybe have my Dad say a blessing before we eat.
  • willthisworkwillthiswork member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2016
    We had this sweet letter (slightly abridged for length) from John Steinbeck to his son, Thom, read this during our wedding.  I absolutely love it. 

    New York
    November 10, 1958

    Dear Thom:

    We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

    First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

    Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

    You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

    But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

    Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

    The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

    If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

    Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

    It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

    Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

    We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

    And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

    Love,

    Fa

    OurWildKingdomSP29charlotte989875mollybarker11
  • "If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one" -The Evolution of Mara Dyer

    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    “The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite. Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven.

    “What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier. The serene and lofty soul, inaccessible to vulgar passions and emotions, dominating the clouds and the shades of this world, its follies, its lies, its hatreds, its vanities, its miseries, inhabits the blue of heaven, and no longer feels anything but profound and subterranean shocks of destiny, as the crests of mountains feel the shocks of earthquake. If there did not exist someone who loved, the sun would become extinct.”
    -Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    OurWildKingdomJen4948charlotte989875SP29
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards