Reading – “Fidelity” by D.H. Lawrence

Man and woman are like the earth,
that brings forth flowers in summer, and love,
but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns,
older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love slowly a gem forms,
in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks of two human hearts,
two ancient rocks, a man’s heart and a woman’s,
that is the crystal of peace,
the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

 

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Reading – “Apache Indian Wedding Blessing” from Broken Arrow

(Note: This was written for the 1950s Western movie Broken Arrow. There is no known connection to the traditions of the Apache or any other Native American nation.)

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 for the other.
Now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling, to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon this earth.

 

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Ceremony – Ring Exchange – adapted by Arwen Freer, Minister

I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.
As I place it on your finger, I commit my heart to you.
I pledge to you all that I am and all that I will ever be as your (wife/husband).
Let this ring be a reminder that I am always by your side
and may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my love.
In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, for better or worse,
I choose you to be my (wife/husband) this day and forevermore.

 

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Reading – “We Are One” from Babylon 5

The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
It speaks in the language of hope.
It speaks in the language of trust.
It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice.

It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.
And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says we are One.

No matter the blood, no matter the skin,
No matter the world, no matter the star,
We are One.

No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,
No matter the loss, no matter the fear.
We are One.

Here, gathered together in common cause
We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.

We are the voice of the universe,
the soul of creation,
The fire that will light the way to a better future.
We are One.

 

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Reading – quote from Devine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

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 radiate; 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.

 

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Reading – 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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Reading – “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?

 

 

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Reading – The Bible – John 15: 9-12

In John 15: 9-12, Jesus says:

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

 

 

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Reading – quote from Union from The Beginning to End 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.

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Reading – “The Art Of Marriage” by Wilferd A. 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 the 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 at no time 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 looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
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.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

 

 

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Ceremony – Hands

Please face each other and take each other’s hands.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day 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 passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief comes to you.

These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes countless times; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will join your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort through difficult times.

And lastly, 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.

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