(Closed) secular readings- post your faves

posted 10 years ago in Secular
Post # 32
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Ah! I just found this one that I had bookmarked in one of my poetry books and could not for the life of my tracked down – I adore this one, and I adore Walt Whitman in general:

Listen, I will be honest with you …
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 dwelling, 
you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port,
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 and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Post # 33
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

This is just one of my favorite passages in my favorite book of all time, The Little Prince

“…you are nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”
~The Little Prince

Post # 34
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I love this post! PS @monitajb those are two of my all-time favorite passages!

Post # 35
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@Elizabeth–The Little Prince is one of my favorite books too!  If I ever get a tattoo, it will be of the fox.  🙂  Great choice for a reading!

Post # 36
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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.

Post # 37
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

A Love Song By Vernon Scannell

I’ve always been in love with you I swear ‘Impossible,’ they say; yet it is true:I speak with certainty, for I was there.

When I reeled groggy as the punchbowl airWas spiced with melody I longed for you; I’ve always been in love with you I swear.

My infant whispers to the beat-up bear Were meant for you, the tears and kisses too; I speak with certainty, for I was there.

Let experts, calendars and maps declare I’m nuts or have at least one wobbly screw; I’ve always been in love with you I swear.

New kinds of beauty and the wish to share These riches were rehearsals, as I knew; I speak with certainty, for I was there.

These shadow-loves were work-outs to prepare For this, the main event, that they led to; I’ve always been in love with you I swear; I speak with certainty, for I was there.

Post # 38
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

We used “The Union” too. I love it!!!

Post # 39
6 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

We had DH’s father read this at our wedding. It was beautiful. Maybe a tiny bit non-secular. But I found it pretty even ground for most people.

James Dillet Freeman

Blessing for a Marriage

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.

May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults.

If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

Post # 40
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

i love the union! thanks for posting!

Post # 41
3667 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Ok, this may be kind of silly because it’s from an episode of Sex and the City, but I thought it was sweet. Carrie is asked to write a poem and recite it at her friend’s wedding (yeah, I wrote it down. I’m a dork, LOL):


His hello was the end of her endings

Her laugh was their first step down the aisle

His hand would be hers to hold forever

His forever was as simple as her smile

He said she was what was missing

She said instantly she knew

She was a question to be answered

And his answer was, “I do.”

Post # 42
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

These are the two that we used.  They’re probably not right for most people but they were picked by our readers and suited them perfectly. 

My aunt loves rocks, originally read this poem at my cousin’s wedding, my cousin read it at hers and then my aunt read it at mine as well.  It’s a bit of a family tradition now.  🙂

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.

Jed’s aunt is pretty much Polish even though she was born in the US and picked this one.  She read it in Polish first then in English.

Love by Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills—
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

Post # 44
47 posts
  • Wedding: December 2012

@caitlanc: I love Darling Husband Lawrence, been thinking about having “Fidelity” at our wedding, provided i can find someone who’s not afraid of saying “foraminiferae” in public 🙂

This is one i’ve loved for years, by Seamus Heaney:


Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be

Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Post # 45
2206 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Report: I haven’t done a full recap yet (pro picks won’t be here for 7 more weeks! Agh!), but I’ll report here first that both of my readings (Goodrich and the Velveteen Rabbit) were big hits. I heard the most about Velveteen, but was happiest with Goodrich. My conservative father said later that though he disagrees with me on same-sex marriage, he thought the reading was tasteful, not too in your face, but expressed our views well. High praise, IMO.

Post # 46
1440 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@stacyk556789: “I carry your heart” was quoted in a tv show, and it is going to drive me mad as I can’t recall what it is.

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