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Non-Denominational Prayers • Old Testament Readings
New Testament Readings • Excerpts from Prose (fiction books)
Love Poetry (from various points-of-view) • Excerpts from Essay (non-fiction books)
Popular Songs (to have performed, or to quote)

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PRAYERS

“Child’s Wedding Blessing”

May the sun shine on all your days,
May the moon bless all your nights.
May you always remember to say something nice,
And forgive each other when you fight.
May the dark be warm and welcoming,
And always give way to the Light.

“Parental Love Blessing”

Long ago, love made you,
And laid you in our arms.
Through the year love grew you
Until you came into your own.
Today, love joins you together
As you willingly take on this bond.
And the love you grew from will always bless you
As you begin the cycle anew.

"Wedding Prayer" by Robert Lewis 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.

Scottish Wedding Prayer

Lord, help us to remember when 
We first met and the strong love that grew between us. 
To work that love into practical things so that nothing can divide us. 
We ask for words both kind and loving and hearts always 
Ready to ask forgiveness as well as to forgive.

Dear Lord, we put our marriage into your hands.

 

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READINGS FROM SCRIPTURE (OLD TESTAMENT)

Song of Solomon 2:10-13, adapted from the King James Bible version

My beloved spoke, and said unto me, 
"Rise up, 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 the 
singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle 
is heard in the land.

"The fig tree put forth her green figs, and the 
vines with the tender grape give a good smell. 
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."

 Song of Solomon 2:10-13, New American Standard Version

My beloved responded and said to me,
'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.
For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

'The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.

'The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!'

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, New American Standard Version

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 
For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. 
But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 
Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

 

 Ruth 1:16-17, New American Standard Version

But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

"Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."

 

Song of Solomon 8:6-7, New King James Version (Many waters cannot quench love)

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,

Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.

 

Tobit 8:5b-8 (That she and I may grow old together)

Then began Tobias to say, Blessed are you, O God of our fathers, and blessed is your holy and glorious name for ever; let the heavens bless you, and all your creatures.

You made Adam, and gave him Eve his wife for an helper and, stay, of them came mankind. You have said, It is not good that man should be alone; let us make unto him an aid like unto himself.

And now, O Lord, I take not this, my sister, for lush, but uprightly, therefore mercifully ordain that we may grow old together.

And she said with him, Amen.

 

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READINGS FROM SCRIPTURE (NEW TESTAMENT)

I Corinthians 13:1-13, New American Standard Version

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.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Colossians 3:12-15, New King James Version (Love which binds everything together in harmony)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

 

 

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PROSE EXCERPTS

An excerpt from "A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway

At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.

 

An excerpt from " The Two Towers : Being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien (A reading for a man and a woman)

ENT:       When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and sap is in the bough;

ENTWIFE.: When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade; 
                When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid; 
                When shower and Sun upon the Earth with fragrance fill the air, 
                I’ll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair.

ENT.:      When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold 

ENTWIFE. : When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown; 
                When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town; 
                When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West, 
                I’ll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!

ENT.:      When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay; 
                When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day; 
                When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain 
                I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I'll come to thee again!

ENTWIFE : When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last; 
                When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past; 
                I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again: 
                Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!

BOTH :   Together we will take the road that leads into the West, 

 

An excerpt from Jazz by Toni Morrison (Whispering under the covers)

It’s nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. 

They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavor would be like? 

Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher’s palm asking for witnesses in His name’s sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. 

They are under the covers because they don’t have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud’s eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers.

 

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 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 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.

 

 

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POEMS

From The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alligeri

The love of God, unutterable and perfect, flows into a pure soul the way that light rushes into a transparent object.
The more love that it finds, the more it gives itself; 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 others."

 

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 bark, 
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 proved, 
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

Sonnet 18 by  William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art 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 owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

 

An excerpt from "Love's Labours Lost" by  William Shakespeare

But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain;
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.

It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind; 
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;

Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical 

As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair: 
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. 
Never durst poet touch a pen to write 
Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility. 

From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world: 
Else none at all in ought proves excellent.

 

"Sonnet 29" by  William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings

 

From "Hamlet" by  William Shakespeare

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

 

“She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

“Roads Go Ever Ever On” By J.R.R Tolkien

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.

Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

 

“To Be One With Each Other” by George Eliot

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,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?

 

“A White Rose” by J.B. O’Reilly

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips

 

“To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.

Thy love is such I can in no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
Then while we live, in love lets so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

 

“Hope is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickenson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.

 

"Song of the Open Road " by Walt Whitman

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe--I have tried it--my own feet have tried it well--be not detain'd!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen'd!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn'd!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

 

"Sudden Light" by Dante Rosetti

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before,
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall---I knew it all of yore.

Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time's eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death's despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

 

 "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle,
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs,
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

 

"Sonnet 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 everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
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.

 

"Sonnets from the Portuguese, XIV" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently,--for a trick of thought

That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,

May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,--
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

 

An Irish Wedding Blessing

You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,
You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.
No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.

Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths.

You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.

 

"A Dedication to My Wife" by T.S. Eliot

To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our wakingtime
And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime,
The breathing in unison

Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
And babble the same speech without need of meaning.

No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only

But this dedication is for others to read:
These are private words addressed to you in public.

 

"The Bargain" by Sir Philip Sidney

My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:

My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:

My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

 

"My Luve" by Robert Burns (Scottish poet)

O my luve is like a red, red rose,
That`s newly sprung in June:
O my luve is like the melodie,
That`s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a` the seas gang dry.

Till a` the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi` the sun;
And I will luve thee still my dear,
While the sands o` life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho` it were ten thousand mile

 

"The Good-Morrow" by John Donne

I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not weaned till then ?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?

'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?

Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die

 

An excerpt from "The Master Speed" by Robert Frost

Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.

 

Two Fragments by Sappho (pronounced "saff-oh")

Love holds me captive again

and I tremble with bittersweet longing

 

As a gale on the mountainside bends the oak tree

I am rocked by my love

 

 

"He Wishes For Cloths of Heaven" by W B Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

 

"To a Stranger" by Walt Whitman

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you;

You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking (it comes to me, as of a dream).

I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you.

All is recalled as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured;

You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me;

I ate with you, and slept with you--your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only;

You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass--you take of my beard, breast, hands in return;

I am not to speak to you--I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone;

I am to wait--I do not doubt I am to meet you again;

I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

 

From "Maud" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

There has fallen a splendid tear

From the passion-flower at the gate.

She is coming, my dove, my dear;

She is coming, my life, my fate;

The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;"

And the white rose weeps, "She is late;"

The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;"

And the lily whispers, "I wait."

 

She is coming, my own, my sweet;

Were it ever so airy a tread,

My heart would hear her and beat,

Were it earth in an earthy bed;

My dust would hear her and beat,

Had I lain for a century dead,

Would start and tremble under her feet,

And blossom in purple and red.

 

 

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READINGS FROM ESSAYS

 

“Love Is a Great Thing” by Thomas à Kempis

Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good.

By itself it makes that is heavy light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.

It carries a burden which is no burden; it will not be kept back by anything low and mean; it desires to be free from all wordly affections, and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of mpossibility. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.

Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes through all.

Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, faithful, prudent and manly.

 

From "Goodridge Vs. Department of Health" by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations....Without question, civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community." It is a "social institution of the highest importance." ...

Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.... Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition.

 

 

From "Gift From 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 an 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.

 

From Plato's "Symposium"

Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.

To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now, but different. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three sexes then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the Gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought for a way to end the humans’ insolence without destroying them.

It was at this point that Zeus divided the humans in half. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. Those whose original nature lies with the children of the Sun are men who are drawn to other men, those from the children of the Earth are women who love other women, and those from the children of the Moon are men and women drawn to one another. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

 

An excerpt from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gabran

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 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.

 

Another excerpt from "The Prophet" by Kahil Gibran

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour 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 on your lips.

 

 

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POPULAR SONGS

“Give Yourself to Love” by Kate Wolf

Kind friends all gathered 'round, there's something I would say:
That what brings us together here has blessed us all today.
Love has made a circle that holds us all inside;
Where strangers are as family, loneliness can't hide.

You must give yourself to love if love is what you're after;
Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter,
And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

I've walked these mountains in the rain and learned to love the wind;
I've been up before the sunrise to watch the day begin.
I always knew I'd find you, though I never did know how;
Like sunshine on a cloudy day, you stand before me now.

So give yourself to love if love is what you're after;
Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter,
And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

Love is born in fire; it's planted like a seed.
Love can't give you everything, but it gives you what you need.
And love comes when you're ready, love comes when you're afraid;
It'll be your greatest teacher, the best friend you have made.

So give yourself to if love is what you're after;
Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter,
And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

Give yourself to love, if love is what you're after;
Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter,
And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

   

“Fashioned in the Clay” by Elmer Beal (popularized by Gordon Bok, on album of same name)

 

“Beggars to God” by Bob Franke

The song of Gypsy Davy rang delighted through the night

The wise & foolish virgin kept her candle burning bright

Rise up my young & foolish one & follow if you can

There'll be no need for candles in the arms of such a man

Chorus:

Make love to each other, be free with each other

Be prisoners of love til you lie in the sod

Be friends to each other, forgive one another

See God in each other: be beggars to God

 

The night was cold & dark & wet as they wandered on alone

The sky became their canopy, the earth became their throne

And as their raiment ran to rags, they thought it nothing wrong

For earth & sky are robe enough when you sing the Gypsies' song

 

They sang & played the Gypsies' song wherever they were sent

To some it seemed a dancing tune - to some, a sad lament

But in ev'ry heart that heard them true a tear became a smile

And a pauper or a prince became a Gypsy for a while

©1983 Telephone Pole Music Publishing Co(BMI)

 

“Power of Two” by Indigo Girls

Now the parking lot is empty, Everyone’s gone someplace
I pick you up and in the trunk I’ve packed, A cooler and a 2-day suitcase
‘Cause there’s a place we like to drive, Way out in the country
Five miles out of the city limit were singing, And your hands upon my knee

CHORUS:
So were okay…We’re fine
Baby I’m here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed

Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
Well look at them together then well take them apart
Adding up the total of a love that’s true
Multiply life by the power of two

You know the things that I am afraid of, I’m not afraid to tell
And if we ever leave a legacy, Its that we loved each other well
‘Cause I’ve seen the shadows of so many people, Trying on the treasures of youth
But a road that fancy and fast, Ends in a fatal crash

And I’m glad we got off, To tell you the truth

CHORUS:
Cause were okay…We’re fine…

All the shiny little trinkets of temptation (make new friends)
Something new instead of something old (but keep the old)
All you gotta do is scratch beneath the surface (but remember what is gold)
And its fools gold (what is gold)
Fools gold (what is gold)
Fools gold

Now were talking about a difficult thing, And your eyes are getting wet
I took us for better and I took us for worse, Don’t you ever forget it
Now the steel bars between me and a promise, Suddenly bend with ease
The closer I’m bound in love to you, The closer I am to free

CHORUS:
So were okay…We’re fine…

 

 

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Dove of Peace

Help send a message of peace around the world!  The Dove of Peace flies from site to site, through as many countries as possible.  It does not belong to ANY belief system. 

Please help make a line around the globe by taking it with you to your site, by giving it to someone for their site, by passing it on to another continent or to the conflict areas of the world. 

May trouble and strife be vanquished in it's path.

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