(Closed) secular readings- post your faves

posted 11 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

This has been posted on here a lot, but I still love it! 

The 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’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.

Post # 4
129 posts
Blushing bee

W’re using “The Union” at our wedding too – I got teary-eyed reading it just now!

Post # 6
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

That’s why I love the Bee, this is where I first found it!

I hope more people post, I love seeing these. 

Post # 7
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m bumping this up, because I’m hoping more people will post. 🙂

Post # 8
2206 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

So, I have two of my three readings settled upon. I am still looking for one about commitment.

For this one, I honestly don’t know if I will be able to go through it without bawling. I have my own velveteen rabbit, and the idea of love being the thing that makes you real is near to my heart. Anyways. Here you go:

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.”

Post # 9
2206 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Here is my other settled reading. I think I will have my officiant welcome everyone, then go right into this reading to explain what we are doing there. It is also my little shout out of solidarity for marriage equality. So, I may in the future replace it with the Cal In re Marriages case:

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.

Post # 10
9 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I L-O-V-E the idea of using the “Goodrich vs Department of Health” ruling as a reading.

Post # 11
2857 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

I have an old copy of the children’s book “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. It’s essentially a long poem. If we do decide on a reading at our ceremony, I think this will be it.

I like you and I know why.

I like you because you are a good person to like.

I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special

And you remember it a long, long time.

You say, Remember when you told me something special

And both of us remember

When I think something is important

you think it’s important too

We have good ideas

When I say something funny, you laugh

I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too


I like you because you know where I’m ticklish

And you don’t tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes

But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too

You know how to be silly

That’s why I like you

Boy are you ever silly

I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you

I like you because you know when it’s time to stop being silly

Maybe day after tomorrow

Maybe never

Too late, it’s a quarter past silly

Sometimes we don’t say a word

We snurkle under fences

We spy secret places

If I am a goofus on the roofus hollering my head off

You are one too

If I pretend I am drowning, you pretend you are saving me

If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,

then you are getting ready to jump


That’s because you really like me

You really like me, don’t you

And I really like you back

And you like me back and I like you back

And that’s the way we keep on going every day

If you go away, then I go away too

or if I stay home, you send me a postcard

You don’t just say Well see you around sometime, bye

I like you a lot because of that

If I go away, I send you a postcard too

And I like you because if we go away together

And if we are in Grand Central Station

And if I get lost

Then you are the one that is yelling for me

And I like you because when I am feeling sad

You don’t always cheer me up right away

Sometimes it is better to be sad

You can’t stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute

You want to think about things

It takes time

I like you because if I am mad at you

Then you are mad at me too

It’s awful when the other person isn’t

They are so nice and hoo-hoo you could just about punch them in the nose

I like you because if I think I am going to throw up

then you are really sorry

You don’t just pretend you are busy looking at the birdies and all that

You say, maybe it was something you ate

You say, the same thing happened to me one time

And the same thing did

If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one

If I find four, I give you two

If we only find three, we keep on looking

Sometimes we have good luck, and sometimes we don’t

If I break my arm, and if you break your arm too

Then it’s fun to have a broken arm

I tell you about mine, you tell me about yours

We are both sorry

We write our names and draw pictures

We show everybody and they wish they had a broken arm too

I like you because I don’t know why but

Everything that happens is nicer with you

I can’t remember when I didn’t like you

It must have been lonesome then

I like you because because because

I forget why I like you but I do

So many reasons

On the Fourth of July I like you because it’s the Fourth of July

On the fifth of July, I like you too

If you and I had some drums and some horns and some horses

If we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines

We could be a HOLIDAY

We could be a CELEBRATION

We could be a WHOLE PARADE

See what I mean?

Even if it was the 999th of July

Even if it was August

Even if it was way down at the bottom of November

Even if it was no place particular in January

I would go on choosing you

And you would go on choosing me

Over and over again

That’s how it would happen every time

I don’t know why

I guess I don’t know why I really like you

Why do I like you

I guess I just like you

I guess I just like you because I like you.

Post # 12
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I’ve adored the book Little Women since I first read it when I was eight. My mother jokes that I really am Amy March in disguise (we have really similar personalities and tendencies). So I picked a reading from Little Women and, just to make it even better, it’s from a letter Amy write to her mother about being newly married.

“It is so beautiful to be loved as he loves me. He isn’t sentimental, doesn’t say much about it, but I see and feel it in all he says and does, and it makes me so happy and so humble that I don’t seem to be the same girl I was. I never knew how good and generous and tender he was till now, for he lets me read his heart, and I find it full of noble impulses and hopes and purposes, and am so proud to know it’s mine. He says he feels as if he ‘could make a prosperous voyage now with me aboard as mate, and lots of love for ballast’. I pray he may, and try to be all he believes me, for I love my gallant captain with all my heart and soul and might, and never will desert him, while God lets us be together. I never knew how much like heaven this world could be, when two people love and live for one another!”

Post # 13
26 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

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 the 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)

Post # 14
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Stacy, is that TS Eliot? It’s beautiful.

Post # 15
3282 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

@danadelphia – i love that “i like you” bit – I used it as part of a bridesmaid speech at a reception!

also, and it has been on the bee before, in several bloggers recaps, but we used this reading:

Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time?
No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Post # 16
3282 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

@ lilyfaith – ‘i carry your heart’ is ee cummings =)

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