(Closed) Non Religious Readings Please

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

That’s the one we’re having! I think it’s lovely. 🙂

These were our two runners up:


The Art Of Marriage by Wilfred A. Peterson

The little things are the big things.<br /> It is never being too old to hold hands. <br /> It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. <br /> <br /> It is never going to sleep angry. <br /> It is at no time taking the other for granted; <br /> the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, <br /> it should continue through all the years. <br /> <br /> It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. <br /> It is standing together facing the world. <br /> It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. <br /> It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, <br /> but in the spirit of joy. <br /> <br /> It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating <br /> gratitude in thoughtful ways. <br /> It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. <br /> It is not looking for perfection in each other. <br /> <br /> It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. <br /> It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. <br /> It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. <br /> <br /> It is finding room for the things of the spirit. <br /> It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.<br /> It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. <br /> It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.


From “Union”, by Robert Fulghum

“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making 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’vepromised 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.”

Post # 3
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Bettyboo1982:  autumnvee:  These are both so beautiful! I just screenshot the Union and Reading no1, so I can remember for next September. Such thoughtful words 🙂

Post # 6
4375 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I had the poem mentioned above (I carry your heart by E.E. Cummings) – E.E. Cummings is my favorite poet, so it was appropriate. We also had “I Love You” by Roy Croft.

<h2 lang=”en-US” align=”center”>I Love You by Roy Croft</h2>
<h2 lang=”en-US” align=”center”> </h2>
<h2 lang=”en-US” align=”center”>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 are helping me to make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a temple. Out of the works of my every day, not a reproach, but a song. 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.</h2>


Post # 7
8465 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

Bettyboo1982:  We had a bunch of Robert Fulghum readings, Union above was one of them. There was an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit. A poem about 2 trees growing together with their roots entwined. 

All of our secular vows can be found in a thread I made if you search under my name. We ended the ceremony with an Apache Wedding Blessing, which is my favorite.

Post # 8
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens

We used The Union by Robert Fulghum and a reading “inspired by Carl Sagan” that I found online. I’m a science teacher, Darling Husband is an engineer. I also made a sign/poster with a quote from Neil de Grasse Tyson: We are all connected, to each other biologically, to the Earth chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically. I can look up the Sagan-inspired quote if you’d like.

Post # 9
4892 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Bettyboo1982:  One of my friends used that one, very beautiful!

Our offciant gave us some examaples of readings to use, and wanted to have at least 2 done. After reading through them, and others online… we picked an excerpt of the Art of Marriage that autumnvee posted. I liked all of the points that it had. It will be our first reading, after we exchange vows.

“A good marriage must be created.<br />In marriage the “little” things are the big things.<br />It is never being too old to hold hands.<br />It is remembering to say, ”I love you” at least once a day.<br />It is never going to sleep angry.<br />It is having a mutual sense of values, and common objectives.<br />It is standing together and facing the world.<br />It is forming a circle that gathers in the whole family.<br />It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.<br />It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.<br />It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.<br />It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.<br />It is not only marrying the right person — it is being the right partner.”

We also used this one, called “Sooner or Later”, which will be after we exchange rings:

“Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all — one known only by those who love.”

Post # 10
5167 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

I also just wanted to add that I’m following this thread, all the recommendations are very helpful and beautiful. I wanted to have a beautiful reading that is non-religious. We are actually getting married by my FI’s family pastor (I thought it would be a nice gesture as he’s a very nice man). FI’s family is very religous but Fiance and I and my family are not. I’m a scientist and an atheist, so I would like to keep the “god” talk to a minimum. I don’t mind some, for tradition’s sake, I went to Catholic school so I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me a whole lot. We are also not doing our own vows, so I would like some beautiful reading that means something to us in place of personal vows (just never liked the idea of professing my love in front of my family, the thought makes me uncomfortable, I’m not very emotionally expressive around them). 

hyzenthlay:  As a scientist, I love the idea of enfocorporating something from Neil de Grasse Tyson or Carl Sagan, Fiance loves those guys as well. They have so many beautiful quotes about being connected to the universe, I’m actually getting chills thinking about it. Whoever said science takes the beauty out of the universe is dead wrong!

Post # 11
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Henry David Thorau – What the essential difference between man and woman is, that they should be thus attracted to one another, no one has satisfactorily answered. Perhaps we must acknowledge the justness of the distinction which assigns to man the sphere of wisdom, and to woman that of love, though neither belongs exclusively to either. Man is continually saying to woman, Why will you not be more wise? Woman is continually saying to man, Why will you not be more loving? It is not in their wills to be wise or to be loving; but, unless each is both wise and loving, there can be neither wisdom nor love.

From Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) – “I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”


Post # 12
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens

SithLady:  Bettyboo1982:  Here are a couple of images of ways we used some of our quotes/readings in our wedding and ceremony. The John Muir quote was read by my dad towards the end of the ceremony and it was also in our Field Guide programs. 

Post # 13
5167 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

hyzenthlay:  Wow! Thanks for sharing! Thats a really beautiful presentation

Post # 14
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - lotusresidence.com


Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love

Edmund O’Neill (b. 1929)

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.<br /><br />Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent or child.<br /><br />Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly. 

Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.

When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love<br />each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.

To Love is Not to Possess<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />To own or imprison,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Nor to lose one’s self in another.<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Love is to join and separate,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />To walk alone and together,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />To find a laughing freedom<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />That lonely isolation does not permit.<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />It is finally to be able<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />To be who we really are<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />No longer clinging in childish dependency<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />It is to be perfectly one’s self<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />And perfectly joined in permanent commitment<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />To another–and to one’s inner self.<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Love only endures when it moves like waves,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Receding and returning gently or passionately,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Or moving lovingly like the tide<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />In the moon’s own predictable harmony,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Because finally, despite a child’s scars<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Or an adult’s deepest wounds,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />They are openly free to be<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />Who they really are–and always secretly were,<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />In the very core of their being

Where true and lasting love can alone abide.


Post # 15
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club

I came to suggest the excerpt from The Union, but autumnvee:  already had.  This may be the only reading at our wedding and I really love it.  Commenting to follow in case there’s another one that I can’t live without…

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