(Closed) Share Your Non-Religious Readings

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
4659 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

OOooooooh gladly! FH and I are atheists doing a veeery untraditional ceremony so we had fun finding this stuff.

From So Long and Thanks For All the Fish, by Douglas Adams

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.”

 

We might have one more, 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.”


Both of these gave me tingles/goosebumps, so we might use both. 😀

Post # 4
Member
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

We had this from Captain Mandoline (spelling?)

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. Love is the roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from the branches and you find that you are one tree and not two.

Post # 6
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We used The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilferd Petersen

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In 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 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 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 humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
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.

Post # 7
Member
3141 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I used this as part of my Vows 

Post # 9
Member
3141 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

As we look upon the earth 
Clothed with gold and light 
I hold these thoughts for you. 
Without you, I am incomplete 
Without you, I am alone 
Without you, I am one. 

The winds softly whisper your name 
To the heaven’s and earth 
I hold these thoughts for you, 
My spirit soars on high 
My spirit is at peace 
My spirit is awestruck. 

The sun shines upon our love, 
Storm clouds dissipate, 
I hold these thoughts for you, 
I taste the goodness of you 
I smell the fragrance of your being, 
I hear your words for the first time. 

So on this one perfect day 
This day given by the Creator 
I hold these thoughts for you 
I pledge you undying love 
I pledge you my yesterdays 
I pledge you my future. 

Today I give you my life 
My being 
My love 
To hold forever 
To walk the path 
Together…

Post # 11
Member
3141 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@sapphire–stars Thank you it was really moving for me so I wanted to include both 

Post # 12
Member
421 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

We used this reading (written by Ann Landers) and had so many people commenting on how beautiful it was: 

Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human imperfection. Love is content with the present. It hopes for the future and doesn’t brood over the past. It is the day in day out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories and working towards common goals. If you have love in your life it can make up for many things you don’t have. If you do not have love in your life, no matter what there is, it is not enough.


Post # 13
Member
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

“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 commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all 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 that 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, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

“To Love is Not to Possess,” by 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 # 14
Member
9209 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@acciotoni: , @village_skeptic: I love the Ann Landers and “to love is not to possess” ones – wow!

Post # 15
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

from Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

That is why this too must be the criterion for rejection or choice: whether you are willing to stand guard over someone else’s solitude, and whether you are able to set this same person at the gate of your own depths.

So those who love must try to act as if they had a great work to accomplish: they must go into themselves and gather and concentrate themselves; they must work; they must become something. For the more we are, the richer everything we experience is. And those who want to have a deep love in their lives must collect and save for it, and gather honey.

Post # 16
Member
911 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia

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