(Closed) secular readings- post your faves

posted 10 years ago in Secular
Post # 62
Member
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We are using this one:

From the Beyond Words Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith by Frederick Buechner

“They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even — for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health — when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their live s together… The question is, what do they get in return?

They get each other in return… There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to… There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. They can give their children, as well as each other, roots and wings.

They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”

Post # 63
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: November 2010

My sister read this at our wedding; it was the only time during the ceremony that my husband & I got choked up!

Married Love by Kuan Tao-sheng

You and I have so much love
That it burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.

The we take both of them
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.

I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.

Post # 64
Member
150 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

THANK you bee’s for posting these! They will help me decide what readings to do at my wedding!

Post # 65
Member
40 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I love the velveteen rabbit excerpt! 

Here are some more– hope they haven’t been posetd already:

 

 

“I Am Love”  (back to top of page)

 

“Some say I can fly on the wind, yet I haven’t any wings. Some have found me floating on the open sea, yet I cannot swim. Some have felt my warmth on cold nights, yet I have no flame. And though you cannot see me, I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces. I am the twinkle in your child’s eyes. I am hidden in the lines of your mother’s face. I am your father’s shield as he guards your home. And yet… Some say I am stronger than steel, yet I am as fragile as a tear. Some have never searched for me, yet I am around them always. Some say I die with loss, yet I am endless. And though you cannot hear me, I dance on the laughter of children. I am woven into the whispers of passion. I am in the blessings of Grandmothers. I embrace the cries of newborn babies. And yet… Some say I am a flower, yet I am also the seed. Some have little faith in me, yet I will always believe in them. Some say I cannot cure the ill, yet I nourish the soul. And though you cannot touch me, I am the gentle hand of the kind. I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night. I am the hug of a child. I am love.”

 

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

Post # 66
Member
40 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Here’s another good one: 

“Hope Is The Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson 

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, 

And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. 

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity It asked a crumb of me. 

Post # 67
Member
2788 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

We used Marriage is a Promise of Love by Edmund O’Neill and What is Real from Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit.

ETA: Text for both are already on this thread

Post # 68
Member
1126 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

This is a pretty common one, so I’m surprised no one has posted it!  We’re definitely going to have this one at our wedding, because it’s just so perfect.

 

Wilferd Peterson – The Art of Marriage


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.

Post # 69
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I know I’ve seen this one on WB before, but I’ll post it here too. 

To Love is Not to Possess
James Kavanaugh

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

Post # 70
Member
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

this thread is so helpful! bookmarking now…

Post # 71
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Thanks ladies!  Good stuff.  So glad I found this thread…I was racking my brain trying to figure out what kind of content we’d be able to have for a secular wedding!

Post # 72
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2011

LOL we used about 3 of the ones already posted!

But we also did the hands one: – Gets me teary re-reading it!

These are the hands of your best friend, 
strong and full of love for you,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as you promise to love each other today and from this day forward. 

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, 
as together you build your future and realise your dreams. 
These are the hands that will 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 fills your mind. 
These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes; 
Be they tears of sorrow or tears of joy. 

These are the hands that will guide your children, 
the hands that will help you to blend and hold your family as one. 
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
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.

Post # 73
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Our favorite description of love is from the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin:

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
-St. Augustine

Post # 74
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2012

This passage from Paul and Virginia by Bernardin St. Pierre made me tear up and would  be a beautiful reading (or maybe vows?):

“When I am wearied, the sight of you refreshes me. If from the summit of the mountain I perceive you below in the valley, you appear to me in the midst of our orchard like a blooming rose-bud. If you go towards our mothers’ house, the partridge, when it runs to meet its young, has a shape less beautiful, and a step less light. When I lose sight of you through the trees, I have no need to see you in order to find you again. Something of you, I know not how, remains for me in the air through which you have passed, on the grass where you have een seated. When I come near you, you delight all my senses. The azure of the sky is less charming than the blue of your eyes, and the song of the amadavid bird less soft than the sound of your voice. If I only touch you with the tip of my finger, my whole frame trembles with pleasure. Do you remember the day when we crossed over the great stones of the river of the Three Breasts? I was very tired before we reached the bank: but, as soon as I had taken you in my arms, I seemed to have wings like a bird…”

Post # 75
Member
4655 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oooh ooooh I love these. Here are a few for the nerdy crowd among us. 

From Douglas Adams’ “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish”

There was a sort of gallery structure in the roof space which held a bed and also a bathroom which, Fenchurch explained, you could actually swing a cat in, “But,” she added, “only if it was a reasonably patient cat and didn’t mind a few nasty cracks about the head. So. Here you are.”

“Yes.”

They looked at each other for a moment.

The moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from.

For Arthur, who could usually contrive to feel self-conscious if left alone long enough with a Swiss cheese plant, the moment was one of sustained revelation. He felt on the sudden like a cramped and zoo-born animal who wakes one morning to find the door of his cage hanging quietly open and the savanna stretching gray and pink to the distant rising sun, while all around new sounds are waking.

He wondered what the new sounds were as he gazed at her openly wondering face and her eyes that smiled with a shared surprise.

He hadn’t realized that life speaks with a voice to you, a voice that brings you answers to the questions you continually ask of it, had never consciously detected it or recognized its tones until it now said something it had never said to him before, which was,

“Yes.”


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“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”  -Neil Degrasse Tyson

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Post # 76
Member
89 posts
Worker bee

commenting so I can come back later 🙂

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