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Circle of Love Wedding Ceremonies

Hearts are Bound By: Rev. Shannon Mackay

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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,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.


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 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.


These I Can Promise
Author Unknown
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.

But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.


This Day I Married My Best Friend
Author Unknown
This day I married my best friend
...the one I laugh with as we share life's wonderous zest,
as we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best.
...the one I live for because the world seems brighter
as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.
...the one I love with every fiber of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.


A Good Wedding Cake
Author Unknown
4 lb. of love.
1 lb. butter of youth.
1/2 lb. of good looks.
l lb. sweet temper.
1 lb. of blindness for faults.
1 lb. of self forgetfulness.
l lb. of pounded wit.
l lb. of good humor.
2 tablespoons of sweet argument.
1 pint of rippling laughter.
1 wine glass of common sense.
1 oz. modesty.

Put the love, good looks and sweet temper into a well furnished house. Beat the butter of youth to a cream, and mix well together with the blindness of faults. Stir the pounded wit and good humor into the sweet argument, then add the rippling laughter and common sense. Work the whole together until everything is well mixed, and bake gently for ever.


Eskimo Love Song -Author Unknown
You are my husband (wife)
My feet shall run because of you
My feet shall dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love because of you.


Why Marriage? -Author Unknown
Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because of this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

 
As the days go by

Each of us

Slowly gives away

Little pieces of who we are...

We give on ourselves

To family

To friends

To people we

Don't even know...

But always inside...

We keep a special little piece

Until one day,

In one given moment,

We know to whom it belongs

And in giving away this piece of ourselves

We are now complete.

The most beautiful view is the one I share with you.

-Rosemond Gerard


An Apache song
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be a shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you,
now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two bodies,
but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
to enter into your days together.
And may your days be good,
and long upon the earth.

I Love You by Larry S. Chengges
I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over

All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself,
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After All.


Rebirth
Corridors of the soul! The soul that is like a young woman!
You clear light
And the brief history
And the joy of a new life
Oh turn and be born again, and walk the road,
and find once more the lost path!
... walk through life in dreams
out of love of the hand that leads us.

-Antonia Machado


Forever Young
May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young. Bob Dylan


Genuises of Countless Nations
Have told their love for generations
Till all their memorable phrases
Are common as goldenrod or daisies.
Their girls have glimmered like the moon,
Or shimmered like a summer moon,
Stood like a lily, fled like a fawn,
Now the sunset, now the dawn,
Here the princess in the tower
There the sweet forbidden flower.
Darling, when I look at you
Every aged phrase is new,
And there are moments when it seems
I've married one of Shakespeare's dreams ~Ogden Nash


I Wanna be Yours

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
Breathing in your dust,
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust,
If you like your coffee hot
Let me be your coffee pot,
You call the shots,
I wanna be yours.

I wanna be your raincoat
For those frequent rainy days,
I wanna be your dreamboat
When you want to sail away,
Let me be your teddy bear
Take me with you anywhere,
I don’t care,
I wanna be yours.

I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out,
I wanna be the electric heater
You’ll get cold without,
I wanna be your setting lotion
Hold your hair in deep devotion,
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
That’s how deep is my devotion. ~John Cooper Clarke


Somewhere I have never traveled
somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands ~e.e. cummings


I carry your heart with me
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall not be
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is more sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

-e.e. cummings


How Do I Love Thee? 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 candle-light.
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 grieves, 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.


I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul as it leads
-Sara teasdale


-Walt Whitman
I do not offer the old smooth prizes,
But offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid-up stores,
However convenient the dwellings,
You shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port,
And however calm the waters,
You shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you
You are permitted to receive it but a little while
Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before you,
The long brown path before you,
leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
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?

 

What is Marriage? (Anonymous)
What is marriage?
Marriage is more than the exchange of rings
and the sharing of a
household;
It is much more than just living together.
It is the desire to truly want to know and
understand another human being;
to feel and share in that person's
happiness, as well as their pain.
Marriage is to never feel alone;
but rather, to know that you always
have a friend; a partner in life that
you can laugh and cry with.
To know that you always have that
special someone to share your
innermost thoughts and fears,
and know that you will be heard.
Marriage is helping your partner to be
the absolute best that they can be,
while still being able to experience
your own need and goals.
Marriage is love;
true love that goes far beyond passion;
It is a love that you can reach for
in times of crisis as well as joy,
and know it will be there
to comfort and to share.


Marriage Joins Two People by Edmund O'Neill
Marriage is a commitment to life
to the best that two people can find
and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other human relationship can equal,
a joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of it's 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.
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.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences,
and new ways of expressing love through all seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage
they create a spirit unique to themselves,
which binds them closer that any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential
made in the hearts of two people who love,
which takes a lifetime to fulfill.


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 others 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 the 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.

 

On Friendship
by Roy Croft (also called 'Love'; also called 'To my Friend')
I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find...

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.


What is Love?
By Susan Polis Schutz
Love
Love is the strongest feeling known
an all -encompassing passion
an extreme strength
an overwhelming excitement

Love is trying not to hurt the other person
trying not to change the other person
trying not to dominate the other person
trying not to deceive the other person

Love is understanding each other
listening to each other
supporting each other
having fun with each other.

Love is not an excuse to stop growing
not an excuse to stop making yourself better
not an excuse to lessen one's goals
not an excuse to take the other person for granted

Love is being completely honest with each other
finding dreams to share
working towards common goals
sharing responsibilities equally

Everyone in the world wants to love
Love is not a feeling to be taken lightly
Love is a feeling to be cherished, nurtured and cared for
Love is the reason for life

 

Love Is by Susan Polis Schutz
Love is
being happy for the other person
when they are happy
being sad for the other person when they are sad
being together in good times
and being together in bad times
Love is the source of strength

Love is
being honest with yourself at all times
being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth
and never pretending
Love is the source of reality

Love is
an understanding that is so complete that
you feel as if you are a part of the other person
accepting the other person just the way they are
and not trying to change them to be something else
Love is the source of unity

Love is
the freedom to pursue your own desires
while sharing your experience with the other person
the growth of one individual along side of
and together with the growth of another individual
Love is the source of success

Love is
the excitement of planning things together
the excitement of doing things together
Love is the source of the future
Love is
the fury of the storm
the calm of the rainbow
Love is the source of passion

Love is
giving and taking in a daily situation
being patient with each other's needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing

Love is
knowing that the other person
will always be with you regardless of what happens
missing the other person when they are away
but remaining near in heart at al times
Love is the source of security

Love is
the source of life


From This Day Forward
From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together,
let us find our favorite places, and go together...
Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain,
being alone together, and in crowds together...
From this day forward, together,
Let us love!

Let Us Walk Together
Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free. Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have solitude and individuality.

Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone, yet be near, when I need you. Let us share our love. Give freely of your love, but do not smother me, my soul must breathe a free air. Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation, is stale and without life. Let us share our lives.

Share my life, but do not try to shape it. Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me. Let us share ourselves. Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams. Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be. Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom or bind your soul. Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams. Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom

Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom. As we share our lives, as we walk through life together, know my love is yours, but not my soul for it must be free.


From 'Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person - it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chose him and calls him to vast distances.

 

From To Know Yourself, by Swami Satchidananda:
A wedding is between two reflections of God. Two pairs of eyes see one vision. They are dedicated to serve one another and the humanity at large. Two minds come together to help each other realize their true nature. Going side by side with the right partner is a good way to reach God quickly. When the husband's and the wife's love for each other blends together and becomes love of God, marriage is a divine institution.

 

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
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 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

 

Anne Morrow Lindburgh:
"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. The only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom, in the sense that 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 neight in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.  One must accept the security of the winged life, of eff and flow of intermittency."

 

Somewhere
Oh, to be lying,
On a beach,
Somewhere,
With sand in my toes,
And the wind,
In my hair.

 

And only the sound,
Of the seagulls,
On high,
On a beach,
Somewhere,
Under sunny blue sky.

The gentle caress,
Of the waves,
On the shore,
And you close,
Beside me,
Could I ask for more?

A soft sandy beach,
That goes on,
Forever,
You, me,
And a beach,
So happy together.

-Linda Harnett

 

Giving Away the Bride
Half-kneeling and half-seated
The head of the family makes his address
communicating with the ancestors
Imploring them to bless the bride.

"The daughter you gave us is going.
We are taking her to her husband's.
We accepted their herd of cattle
And according to the teaching you gave us,
We have no right to keep both
Our daughter and their herd.

"You, my father, who has gone before us
And are watching over us from the clouds,
We ask you to tell the girl's grandmother -
Your wife and our mother.
Also tell our people who are with you
That we are taking their child to her new home.

"We thought it right and proper
That we should notify you before she goes.
You know as much as we do
That when she leaves behind
Guidance away from home
Can now only come from you,
You who only can be with us
And with her in her new home.

"Let there be happiness and good life,
Let there be tender pumpkins in their marriage.
You do know if there should be no little ones,
Her husband and his people may think
That their cattle brought no children home.
If there should be no little ones of her own,
Give her the wisdom
Not to try her luck with other men!" ~Paul Chidyausiku


Oh Yum Hunab Ku Evam maya e ma ho!! All Hail the Harmony of Mind and Nature


I love you

for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be. I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little. A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall. The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desires are working for larger and finer growth. Not always shall you be what you are now. You are going forward toward something great. I am on the way with you and therefore I love you. Carl Sandburg

Come live with me and be my love,
We'll lay and watch the skies above.
I'll take you out upon the sea,
And show you what it means to me.

The wind will be calm yet lightly blowing,
The cabin's warm with oil's glowing.
Just think of us upon this ocean,
Sipping tea as a soothing potion.

I'll climb up high into the rig above,
To share the starry night with you, my love.
The sails will be full with autumn's breeze,
Our bow dipping gracefully into the glowing seas.

And as we dig into my coffers' deep,
You shall behold the things that make women weep.
Bottles of wine from the finest vineyards,
And wool from only the most renowned spinners.

These things and more can be fully your own,
But mostly the beauty that the sea has shown.
The most graceful porpoises will be swimming by,
As the sea birds sing with their siren-like cry.

Precious few have answered our ocean's calling,
Shouting out with eyes bright and bawling.
So take this proposal and fly like the dove,
To come with me and be my love.

-Christopher Sousa


Shakespeare on Love

Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate...
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 116 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:
O, no! It is an ever-fix'd 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 prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

I do … want to laugh with you, Learn with you, Grow with you. I do… Want to be with you All my life through, For I love you with all of my heart, And today I’m so happy to tell you… I do

"Are you the new person drawn toward me?"
Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?
No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
I know it not O soul,
Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undream'd of in that region, that inaccessible land....
Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it is so easy to have me become your lover? Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloyed satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?
"Are you the new person drawn toward me?" Walt Whitman

Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.
The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first,
Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop'd,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.
Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter'd this port and however calm these waters wemust not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.
Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules! ...
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?

-Walt Whitman


100 Love Sonnets
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other waythan this: Where "I" does not exist, nor "You", so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
-Pablo Neruda

Love is not simply a relationship to a specific person; It is an attitude; an orientation of character, which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one "object" of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow person, this love is not love but a selfish attachment, or an enlarged egotism. If you truly love one person, you love all persons, you love the world, you love life. If you can say to somebody else, "I love you" you must be able to say, "I love through you the world, I love in you also myself.
-Eric Fromm


Dance Me To The End Of Love

Dance me to your beauty, with a burning violin, Dance me through the panic, till I'm gathered safely in, Lift me like an olive branch, and be my homeward dove, Dance me to the end of love. Let me see your beauty, when the witnesses are gone, Let me feel you moving, like they do in Babylon, Show me slowly what I only know the limits of, Dance me to the end of love. Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on, Dance me very tenderly, and dance me very long, We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, Dance me to the end of love. Dance me to the children, who are asking to be born, Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn, Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn, Dance me to the end of love. Dance me to your beauty, with a burning violin, Dance me through the panic, till I'm gathered safely in, Touch me with your naked hand, touch me with your glove, Dance me to the end of love. -Leonard Cohen


Tonight is a night of union and also of scattering of the stars, for a bride is coming from the sky: the full moon. The sky is an astrolabe, and the Law is Love. JALAL AL-DIN RUMI

Therefore must the bride below have a canopy, all beautiful with decorations prepared for her, in order to honor the Bride above, who comes to be present and participate in the joy of the bride below. For this reason it is necessary that the canopy be as beautiful as possible, and that the Supernal Bride be invited to come and share in the joy. "Terumah," in the Zohar


Touched by an Angel
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free. Maya Angelou

Come and be my baby
The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn
Some people wrap their lives around a cocktail
glass
And you sit wondering
where you’re going to turn
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.

Some prophets say the world is gonna end
tomorrow
But others say we've got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
what you’re gonna do.
I got it.
Come. And be my baby. Maya Angelou

Is it for now or for always,
The world hangs on a stalk?
Is it a trick or a trysting-place,
The woods we have found to walk?

Is it a mirage or miracle,
Your lips that lift at mine:
And the suns like a juggler's juggling-balls,
Are they a sham or a sign?

Shine out, my sudden angel,
Break fear with breast and brow,
I take you now and for always,
For always is always now Philip Larkin


On Love

The love of God unnutterable 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 more 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.`

~Dante


The maiden is the daughter of light ...
Delightful is the sight of her, Radiant with shining beauty.
Her garments are like spring flowers,
And a scent of sweet fragrance is diffused from them .. Truth rests upon her head.
By the movements of her feet, she shows forth joy ...
Her two hands make signs and secret patterns, describing the dance of the blessed aeons.
Her fingers open the gates of the city. Her chamber is full of light ... Her bridesmaids are seven, Who dance before her.
Twelve are they who serve her
And are subject to her,
Gazing toward the bridegroom
That by the sight of him they may be enlightened; And forever be with him in eternal joy. Bride and groom shall be at that marriage ... And both shall be in joy and exultation.
And thus they glorified and praised, with the living Spirit, The Father of Truth and the Mother of Wisdom.

from the apocryphal Acts of Thomas, translation by R. McL. Wilson

Nothing happens without a cause.

The union of this man and woman has not come about accidentally but is the foreordained result of many past lives. This tie can therefore not be broken or dissolved.
In the future, happy occasions will come as surely as the morning. Difficult times will tome as surely as night. When things go joyously, meditate according to the Buddhist tradition. When things go badly, meditate. Meditation in the manner of the Compassionate Buddha will guide your life.
To say the words "love and compassion" is easy. But to accept that love and compassion are built upon patience and perseverance is not easy. Your marriage will be firm and lasting if you remember this. Buddhist marriage homily


At the Wedding March
God with honor hang your head,
Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed
With lissome scions, sweet scions,
Out of hallowed bodies bred.

Each be other’s comfort kind:
Deep, deeper than divined. Divine charity, dear charity,
Fast you ever, Fast bind.

Then let the march tread our ears:
I to him turn with tears
Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock,
Deals triumph and immortal years.

-Gerald Manley Hopkins

When our two souls stand up erect and strong, Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher, Until the lengthening wings break into fire At either curved point,-what bitter wrong Can the earth do us, that we should not long Be here contented! Think. In mounting higher, The angels would press on us and aspire To drop some golden orb of perfect song Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay Rather on earth, Beloved-where the unfit Contrarious moods of men recoil away And isolate pure spirits, and permit A place to stand and love in for a day

...Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Marriage is a solemn and religious tie; and therefore the pleasure we take from it should be restrained, serious and seasoned with a certain gravity.... A good marriage-if there be any-rejects the company and conditions of love and seeks to reproduce those of friendship. It is a sweet companionship of life, full of trust and an infinite number of useful and solid services and mutual obligations....
That few are observed to be happy is a token of its value and price. If well-formed and rightly taken, there is not a finer estate in human society. Though we cannot live without it, yet we do nothing but decry it. We see the same with bird-cages: the birds outside despair to get in and those within despair to get out.

~Michel De Montaigne


I hereby give myself.

I love you. You are the only being whom I can love absolutely with my complete self, with all my flesh and mind and heart. You are my mate, my perfect partner, and I am yours. You must feel this now, as I do.... It was a marvel that we ever met. It is some kind of divine luck that we are together now. We must never, never part again. We are, here in this, necessary beings, like gods. As we look at each other we verify, we know, the perfection of our love, we recognise each other. Here is my life, here if need be is my death. It's life and death, as if they were to destroy Israel-if I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem-"
-Iris Murdoch


My grief has ended.

Comes now the season of joy.
For the flowers of Spring are jeweling my green garden. Let us make ready to walk through its paths. Go! Tell the nightingale that Spring is here.
And tell the minstrel to come with his lute.
Let him sing us a ballad of the flowers of Spring. Do not listen to the parrot whispering to the rose That Autumn will soon be here.
With spring my love returned to me,
And again I behold the moon of my delight. Let others have their various festivals. My only festival is when, in Spring, I see my love's narrow feet
Step through the garden like lisping twin flowers. Then Khushal Khan puts on his brightest robes And enters the bazaar of his love's soft arms. ~Afghan Love song


My boat is of ebony,
the holes in my flute are golden.
As a plant takes out stains from silk so wine takes sadness from the heart.
When one has good wine,
a graceful boat,
and a maiden's love,
why envy the immortal gods?
-Li TAI Po


Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove That hills and valleys, dales and fields And all the craggy mountains yields.
There we will sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses With 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.
-CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE


The essence of a good marriage

is respect for each other's personality combined with that deep intimacy, physical, mental, and spiritual, which makes a serious love between man and woman the most fructifying of all human experiences. Such love, like everything that is great and precious, demands its own morality, and frequently entails a sacrifice of the less tothe greater; but such sacrifice must be voluntary, for, where, is not, it will destroy the very basis of the love for the sake which it is made. ~Bertrand Russell

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion, but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting and significant than any romance, however passionate. W.H AUden

Afternoon in a Bark Yard on Chestnut Street Here are a man and a woman, being married. The entire world of summer lawns holds its breath for the event. The trees around them are lovely, displaying the small breath and motions of August. The couple glance at one another. Where has the moon gone, the requisite moon? Nearby, a mother begs her child, "Try to remember; when did you have it last?" Oh, impossible mystery. Where is joy when it is not here? Time says nothing. These things can happen, and will, while children at the yard's border play among grown-ups tasting the summer's wine.
Memory looks at its watch, smiling. The moon will begin to come round the way it always did but we'd forgotten.
The lovers touch hands and think of some place they want to be, and go there. The child, happy at last, has remembered where its lost ball is. In the the garden the pink phlox and the lilies show off, between the old moon here in the hot sky and the one to come. Everyone hugs or shakes hands and walks off toward the future, waving. The man and woman look at each other.
They know it means happiness, this year. They do.
-David Kellett


Letter to her daughter

You learned from me that commitment, love, loyalty, "being there" are at the center of everything. I taught you, by example, that life is very complex, that there are no final solutions, there is only the commitment to the search for quality and genuineness. I taught you to treasure the real and to shun the plastic. I taught you to value human relationships, to run away from bigotry and to expose it when you find it. I taught you to believe in the value of books, to respect education and learning, to admire goodness and integrity and wisdom. Let's not forget humor. Above all, perhaps, I taught you by example that a thoughtful and examined life requires difficult choices; that there are, for such a life, no instant fixes. We live in a society which sells trivial answers for every complex human dilemma. In our household, from our example, you were able to draw on a different set of strengths, not available in the ambient society of your growing up. I see all of these strengths in your life now. You have become the kind of woman I dreamed of raising. -Rachael Levine


Song for a Country Wedding

We have come in the winter To this warm country room, The family and friends Of the bride and the groom, To bring them our blessing, To share in their joy, and to hope that years passing The best measures employ To protect their small clearing, and their love be enduring.
May the hawk that flies over these thick-wooded hills,
Where through tangled ground cover With its cushion of quills,The plump porcupine ambles And the deer come to browse While through birches and brambles Clear cold water flows,
Protect their small clearing, ,And their love be enduring.
May the green leaves returning To rock maples in spring Catch fire, and, still burning, Their flaming coat fling On the lovers when sleeping To contain the first chill Of crisp autumn weather With log-fires that will protect their small clearing,
And their love be enduring.
May the air that grows colder Where the glacier has left Its erratic boulder Mountain water has cleft,
And the snow then descending No less clear than their love Be a white quilt depending From sheer whiteness above
To protect their small clearing,
And their love be enduring.

-William Jay Smith


Love's Philosophy

The Fountains mingle with the River
And the Rivers with the Ocean, The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother, And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea: What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me? ~PERCY BY SHE SHELLEY


Live You by Love

Live you by love confined,
There is no nearer nearness; Break not his light bounds, The stars' and seas' harness: There is nothing beyond, We have found the land's end. We'll take no mortal wound Who felt him in the furnace, Drowned in his fierceness, By his midsummer browned: Nor ever lose awareness Of nearness and farness
Who've stood at earth's heart careless Of suns and storms around,
Who have leant on the hedge of the wind, On the last ledge of darkness
...C. Day Lewis


Tanganyikan fishermen's prayer

 I will woo her, I will go with her into the wilderness and comfort her: there I will restore her vineyards, turning the Vale of Trouble into the Gate of Hope, and there she will answer as in her youth, when she came up out of Egypt. On that day she shall call me, "My husband . . ."

Then I will make a covenant on behalf of Israel with the wild beasts, the birds of the air, and the things that creep on the earth, and I will break bow and sword and weapon of war and sweep them off the earth, so that all living creatures may lie down without fear. I will betroth you to myself forever, betroth you in lawful wedlock with unfailing devotion and love; I will betroth you to myself to have and to hold, . . . I will answer for the heavens, and they will answer for the earth, and the earth will answer for the corn, the new wine and the oil. Hosea

O Morning Star! when you look down upon us, give us peace and refreshing sleep. Great Spirit! bless our children, friends, and visitors through a happy life. May our trails lie straight and level before us. Let us live to be old. We are all your children and ask these things with good hearts. Hymn of the Great Plains Indians to the sun


O Spirit, grant us a calm lake, little wind, little rain, so that the canoes may proceed well, so that they may proceed speedily.
May you be for us a moon of joy and happiness. Let the young become strong and the grown man maintain his strength, the pregnant woman be delivered and the woman who has given birth, suckle her child. Let the stranger come to the end of his journey and those who remain at home dwell safely in their houses. Let the flocks that go to feed in the pastures return happily. May you be a moon of harvest and of calves. May you be a moon of restoration and of good health.


African prayer to the new moon

Let us all wear furs.
We shall not keep hidden What we have learned. We shall preserve What we have found.
We have decided here and now to marry our son and daughter. Therefore, 0 goddess of Fire, hearken and be witness. Protect this pair from every illness; watch over them so that they may grow old.


Turko-Mongolian prayers

You are my [husband/wife]
My feet shall run because of you. My feet, dance because of you.
My heart shall beat because of you. My eyes, see because of you. My mind, think because of you. And I shall love because of you.


Eskimo love song

0, You who dwell in Tsegihi,
In the house made of dawn,
In the house made of evening twilight, In the house made of dark cloud,
In the house made of the he-rain, of the dark mist,
In the house made of the she-rain, of pollen, of grasshoppers, Where the dark mist curtains the doorway, The path to which is the rainbow,
Where the zigzag lightning stands high on top,
Oh, divinity!
With your moccasins of dark cloud, come to us,
With your leggings and shirt and headdress of dark cloud, come
to us,
With your head enveloped in dark cloud, come to us, With the dark thunder above you, come to us, soaring, With the shapen cloud at your feet, come to us, soaring, With the far darkness made of the dark cloud over your head,
come to us, soaring.
With the far darkness made of the rain and the mist over your
head, come to us, soaring.
With the zigzag lightning flung out on high over your head, With the rainbow hanging high over your head, come to us,
soaring.
With the far darkness made of the dark cloud on the ends of
your wings,
With the far darkness made of the rain and the mist on the ends
of your wings, come to us, soaring.
With the zigzag lightning, with the rainbow hanging high on
the ends of your wings, come to us, soaring.
With the near darkness made of the dark cloud of the he-rain
and the she-rain, come to us,
With the darkness on the earth, come to us.
With these I wish the foam floating on the flowing water over
the roots of the great corn.
I have made your sacrifice,
I have prepared a smoke for you, My feet restore for me.
My limbs restore, my body restore, my mind restore, my voice
restore for me.
Today, take out your spell for me, Today, take away your spell for me,
Away from me you have taken it,
Far off from me it is taken,
Far off you have done it.
Happily I recover,
Happily I become cool,
My eyes regain their power, my head cools, my limbs regain the strength, I hear again.
Happily I walk; impervious to pain, I walk; light within, I walk; joyous, I walk.
Abundant dark clouds I desire,
An abundance of vegetation I desire,
An abundance of pollen, abundant dew, I desire.
Happily may fair white corn, to the ends of the earth, come
with you.
Happily may fair yellow corn, fair blue corn, fair corn of all
kinds, plants of all kinds, goods of all kinds, jewels of all
kinds, to the ends of the earth, come with you.
With these before you, happily may they come with you, With these behind, below, above, around you, happily may
they come with you,
Thus you accomplish your tasks.
Happily, the old men will regard you,
Happily, the old women will regard you,
The young men and the young women will regard you, The children will regard you,
The chiefs will regard you,
Happily, as they scatter in all directions, they will regard you. Happily, as they approach their homes, they will regard you. May their roads home be on the trail of peace, Happily may they all get back.
In beauty I walk,
With beauty before me, I walk,
With beauty behind me, I walk,
With beauty below and above me, in the beauty about me, I
walk.
It is finished in beauty. It is finished in beauty. It is finished in beauty.


Holy the Firm

Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time. I worship each god, I praise each day splintered down, splintered down and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split.
I wake in a god. I wake in arms holding my quilt, holding me as best they can inside my quilt.
Someone is kissing me-already. I wake, I cry, "Oh," I rise from the pillow. Why should I open my eyes,
I open my eyes. The god lifts from the water. His head fills the bay. He is
Puget Sound, the
Pacific; his breast rises from pastures; his fingers are firs; islands slide wet down his shoulders. Islands slip blue from his shoulders and glide over the water, the empty, lighted water like a stage.
Today's god rises, his long eyes flecked in clouds. He flings his arms, spreading colors; he arches, cupping sky in his belly; he vaults, vaulting and spread, holding all and spread on me like skin....
The day is real....
The day is real. . . . I stand and smooth the quilt.
"Oh," I cry, "Oh!"

-ANNIE DILLARD

Understand, I'll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
I'll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.

 

Beach Wedding Poem
Standing beside this oceans tide,
May your love always be constant & unchanging,
Like these never-ending waves pouring beneath our feet,
Flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea;
Love came softly upon your hearts,
Just like foam comes softly upon sand,
And just as there will never be a morning without this ocean's flow,
So there will never be a day without your love for one other,
As today you pledge yourselves together forever.
This love will be unchanging - dependable like the tides;
Waters nourish the earth and sustain life,
So to may your constant devotion nourish and sustain one other
Until the end of time.

 

From Gift From The Sea, 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 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.

 

To a Marriage Brian Zouch
In your hands you hold the key to life
The key to open up the door of love
The strength to face together joy or strife
And all of human frailties rise above
You take a vow this day to be as one
In all you do? in all that you inspire
And let there be noon beneath the sun
Who'd seek to put asunder your desire
And let us wish this knot we tie this day
Be firm and strong against the test of time
And let our children's children say
That all was good and right and fine
And so in all humility and in this place
We cast your love into the hands of fate
For it is written true that all you face
If faced with love, you'll triumph and be great
For greatness lies within the souls of lovers
There is no power can tear it from your grasp
It bonds your hearts as one, to one another's
As Alpha and Omega? first and last
So go you forward from this place this day
And as you journey 'along the road of life
Know that you stand together, come what may
For true love comes just once, not twice, not thrice.